Plural Policing and the Abstract Police

Megan O'Neill (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    Terpstra, Fyfe and Salet (Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles, 92(4), 339–359, 2019) introduced the concept of ‘the abstract police’ to explore how policing in many countries has become more distanced and formalised. What is missing from this analysis is the role of the private sector and other policing actors. This chapter will explore the ‘abstract police’ concept, describe some of the main features of pluralisation in policing and postulate what the outcome might be as these two systems interact. This chapter will argue that the role of neoliberalism has been overlooked, which may be an equally significant driver of change. It is through a consideration of pluralised policing that the importance of neoliberalism in the changes that the ‘abstract police’ are intended to identify becomes more apparent.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPolicing in Smart Societies
    Subtitle of host publicationReflections on the Abstract Police
    EditorsAntoinette Verhage, Marleen Easton, Sofie De Kimpe
    Place of PublicationSwitzerland
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Electronic)9783030836856
    ISBN (Print)9783030836849
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Publication series

    NamePalgrave's Critical Policing Studies
    ISSN (Print)2730-535X
    ISSN (Electronic)2730-5368


    • Plural policing
    • Neoliberalism
    • Abstract police


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