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Powers, liabilities and expertise in community safety: Comparative lessons for 'urban security' from the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland

Gilling, Daniel, Hughes, Gordon, Bowden, Matthew, Edwards, Adam Michael, Henry, Alistair and Topping, John 2013. Powers, liabilities and expertise in community safety: Comparative lessons for 'urban security' from the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. European Journal of Criminology 10 (3) , pp. 326-340. 10.1177/1477370813482612

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Abstract

This paper begins by outlining and critiquing what we term the dominant anglophone model of neo-liberal community safety and crime prevention. As an alternative to this influential but flawed model, a comparative analysis is provided of the different constitutional-legal settlements in each of the five jurisdictions across the UK and the Republic of Ireland (ROI), and their uneven institutionalization of community safety. In the light of this it is argued that the nature of the anglophone community safety enterprise is actually subject to significant variation. Summarizing the contours of this variation facilitates our articulation of some core dimensions of community safety. Then, making use of Colebatch’s (2002) deconstruction of policy activity into categories of authority and expertise, and Brunsson’s (2002) distinction between policy talk, decisions and action, we put forward a way of understanding policy activity that avoids the twin dangers of ‘false particularism’ and ‘false universalism’ (Edwards and Hughes, 2005); that indicates a path for further empirical enquiry to assess the ‘reality’ of policy convergence; and that enables the engagement of researchers with normative questions about where community safety should be heading.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: Authority; community safety; comparative criminology ; constitutional-legal settlements; expertise; uneven institutionalization; urban security
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1477-3708
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2017 05:44
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/46850

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