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Global Policing

Global Policing

January 2012 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

In the globally networked society, police power is no longer constrained by the borders of the nation state: it has globalized. Global Policing shows how security threats have been constructed by powerful actors to justify the creation of a new global policing architecture and how the subculture of policing shapes the world system.

Demonstrating how a theory of global policing is central to understanding global governance, the text explores:

  • The 'new security agenda' focused on serious organized crime and terrorism and how this is transforming policing.
  • The creation of global organizations such as Interpol, regional entities such as Europol, and national policing agencies with a transnational reach.
  • The subculture of the 'global cops', blurring boundaries between police, private security, military and secret intelligence agencies.
  • The reality of transnational policing on the ground, its effectiveness, legitimacy, accountability and future development.

Written by two leading international experts who bring cutting-edge theoretical debates to life with case studies and examples, Global Policing will prove captivating reading for students and scholars in criminology, criminal justice, international relations, law and sociology.

Theorising Global Policing
The Problems of Global Policing
Policing Social Theory
Policing and the Social Contract
Policing and Political Theory
Policing and Law
Colonial Policing
Types of Transnational Policing
Conclusion: Policing an Insecure World
Policing and the Transnational-State-System
The Changing Morphology of the State
Jurisdictional Sovereignty and Functional Diversity in Policing
Agenda Setting and Transnational Policing Priorities
Legal Discourse and Law-Making in International Police Co-Operation
Developments in Europe
Developments in the United States
Multi-Agency Co-Operation: The Military, Security and Private Sectors
Conclusion: Policing the New World Order
The Global Policing Architecture
Global Police Agencies
Regional Police Agencies
National Policing Hubs
Private Transnational Policing
Global Policing
The Occupational Subcultures of Global Policing
Police Liaison Officers and the Transnational Space Between
Subcultural Theory and Policing
The Parameters of Policing Subculture
Meet the Global Cops
The Varied Occupational Character of Global Cops
Global Policing, Subculture and Accountability
Conclusion: Occupational Policing Subcultures - Global Thoughts/Local Acts
Global Policing in Practice
Policing Transnational Spaces
Policing Border Zones
Policing the Oceans
Policing Cyberspace
Policing Mega-Events
Policing Transnational Flows
Policing People: Migrants, Criminals, Terrorists and other Suspect Populations
Policing Drugs and Guns
Policing Money
Conclusion: The Consequences of Global Policing
Conclusion: The Global Cops Have Arrived

This book is a massively impressive intellectual achievement, by two authors whose earlier work has established them as leading experts on globalisation’s impact on policing. Compact, clear, readable yet scholarly, this book brings to fruition their extensive empirical research projects on transnational policing in a highly informative, empirically grounded, sophisticated theoretical synthesis. It is a must-read for anyone in the policing field, around the globe.

Robert Reiner
British Journal of Criminology

This concise, accessible and clear analysis of the changing relations between police and citizens in a global age is both innovative in its approach and a superb teaching text. Global Policing will serve for many years as the main reference work in the field.

Katja Franko Aas
Professor of Criminology, University of Oslo


This short book certainly takes issue with several comfortable assumptions and whets the appetite for more discussion on the topic. I foresee several doctoral studies being born from this embryonic volume.

The Criminal Lawyer Journal

Written in a very accessible style, (the discussion regarding Policing and the Social Contract in Chapter 1 is one of the most succinct yet informative pieces I have read on what can be a very complex matter) and from authors with established pedigree within the field, this book will fill in many gaps for readers in this topic, whether they are academics, students, or police practitioners. Despite being a relatively slim volume for a topic of this magnitude (180 pages in total, including indexes etc.), I found it to be both informative and thought provoking throughout... This book is a very useful addition to any police library, not just to enlighten people about what happens at a global level, but how this influences and is, in turn influenced by, policing at the local level.

Prof. Colin Rogers

Global Policing is a massively impressive academic achievement...It is right at the forefront of, and is one of the most important developments in, work on policing. This book is very informative, empirically grounded, and brings all this to bear in a sophisticated, theoretical analysis.

Robert Reiner
Emeritus Professor of Criminology, LSE

This outstanding study emphasizes how global policing represents a vast web of power within which coercion and surveillance are conducted by policing agents, who not only operate with increasing global mobility, but who are also connected by technology, complex institutional links and shared subcultural values. In Global Policing, Bowling and Sheptycki have made an invaluable contribution to debates of policing, as well as to those of global governance. With wide interdisciplinary relevance, this book will lend itself to both the researcher and the student.

Conor O’Reilly
Theoretical Criminology

An ideal book for students which will assist them in understanding the plural and global nature of the police function

Mr Peter Andrew Doyle
School of Sport, Health & Outdoor Education (Swansea), University of Wales, Trinity St David
July 4, 2019

An accessible book offering comprehensive coverage of the key dimensions of global policing including unpicking the relationship between local, national, regional and global elements. This book is being adopted as recommended reading across a number of modules related to the field of critical criminology studies.

Miss Samantha Fletcher
Sociology, Staffordshire University
April 13, 2015

A good text for second year policing module covering cross border policing issues.

Mrs Helen Easton
Department of Social & Policy Studies, London South Bank University
May 7, 2014

A very thoughtful text that raises a number of issues worthy of discussion with regards to the globalisation of policing.

Dr Ian Pepper
School of Social Sciences and Law, University of Teesside
March 13, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

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