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York University
CRIM 3654
James Sheptycki

CRIM 3654 – FALL BOOK NOTES th Readings for October 4 , 2013 Valverde: Governing Security, Governing Through Security - Debate about civil liberties and Bill C-36 that already exists in civil society has shown a tendency to reproduce unthinkingly the assumption that the relation between security and civil liberties, or security and freedom – is a zero-sum game o People think that if we want to have more security we will just have to lose something from our democratic rights, and if we hold these rights and our democratic traditions, then our collective security may suffer Assessing Security Needs and Security Solutions: Democracy in Action - Primary security and other basic democratic goods are more likely to be achieved, maintained, and guaranteed by measures that rely on and build up horizontal links among citizens, rather than vertical state-citizen relations of surveillance - We don’t usually act on the basis of the worst fear or the worst risk - We govern our safety and security risks by quickly performing a complex non-numerical calculation through which we consider that preventing one risk often creates a different kind of risk, and that measures to enhance security often create new safety risks - Two steps to this process: o 1) assess our security needs o 2) evaluate different means of meeting those needs - We are aware of alternative ways of providing and guaranteeing security that do less harm to our other goals and values than letting professionals dominate our lives - Security is not a noun – it is not something we can have more of or less of - The impossibility of guaranteeing security is rooted in the fact that like justice, and like democracy, ‘security’ is not so much an empirical state of affairs but an ideal – an ideal in the name of which a vast number of procedures, gadgets, social relations, and political institutions are designed and deployed Governing Security - Studies show that it is possible to devise mechanisms that maximize democracy, cultural pluralism, and neighbourliness while at the same time increasing safety and security - Harsher laws and municipal ordinances and increasing criminal charges does not reduce crime any better than community-based strategies involved in problem-oriented community policing - Political effects, such as military personnel at grand central station, provide comfort and benefit to certain interests, while undermining other values like multiculturalism and civil freedoms - The task of defining security needs and engaging in a process to meet those needs has been successfully monopolized by a certain group of people – who have interest in security, but have a professional bias in favour of top-down military style solutions - In a democracy, the police don’t write the criminal code, and they don’t set out the rules of procedure and evidence o These are all issues governed by elected representations o Police feel they know about crime, but democracy means that the police do not get to monopolize either the public process by which criminal code is written and interpreted, or the parameters within which the code is enforced - In the area of security, there is not much by way of organized public debate Governing Through Security - US immigration and poverty have increasingly come to be governed through crime, with rather nasty consequences - The governance of other areas of public life from the standpoint of a Hobbes-defined notion of security - In Ontario, good chance that primary security and well-being of people with cancer becomes severely damaged by longer treatment waiting lists that are the indirect result of security budgets being maintained while health care budgets are cut back - Most of the money Ontario taxpayers spend on security goes to the OPP, who are mostly responsible for highway traffic and crime control in towns too small to have their own police force - We have to look out for abstractions like “security” or “freedom” - Insecurity is not simply a lack of civil liberties; it is also a deficit in basic primary security – in physical safety, in what UN calls food security, which will suffer as social services are cut back for sake of military and police budgets - Abstract noun “security” is an umbrella term that both enables and conceals a very diverse array of governing practices, budgetary practices, political and legal practices, and social and cultural values and habits - It is imperative for all citizens to take an active part in the democratic process of defining our security needs and discussing which particular means we want to use to meet this or that security need Zedner: Too Much Security? - It is unrealistic to regard crime as the exclusive province of the criminal justice system as it is to regard the police as the sole source of crime control - In many jurisdictions private security personnel now outnumber those employed in public policing o Presumption of safety as a public good is being replaced by security as a private commodity - The pursuit of security has become an enterprise in its own right with a dynamic distinct from crime rates - The public sector is governed by extensive legal rules, self-imposed bureaucratic constraints, and the requirement of adherence to due process rights - By contrast, private agencies are governed by partisan industry self-regulation, variable levels of statutory regulation, and bilateral contractual obligations - Move to privatisation was driven by belief that relaxed legal and constitutional constraints operating in the private sector would foster competition and create an efficient market for security services Is Security an Unqualified Good? Six Paradoxes of Security - The reality of security provision conflicts with that which is promised or purportedly pursued - The term security is used to connote the objective state of being without, or protected from, threat; it is used to describe the subjective condition of freedom from anxiety; and it used to refer also to the means or pursuit of these two end states Security Pursues Risk Reduction but Presumes the Persistence of Crime - Security is sold as an end whose pursuit legitimates government action and private enterprise - Absolute security is perpetually beyond reach - Security is not and can never be an absolute state - Rather it is a relational concept whose invincibility must be continually tested against threats as yet unknown - The considerable influence of economic analysis on social thought has resulted in crime being reconceived as a routine activity or opportunity, a fact of everyday life, or a normal social commonplace aspect of modern society o No longer considered a deviation from the norm - Conceiving crime as a rational activity presumes that criminals are much like the rest of us: motivated by self-interest and inclined to pursue that interest unless costs of doing so outweigh the benefits - Rise of economic analysis has had the effect of playing down the drama of crime o Rises in crime are explained by multiplication of opportunities - Situational crime prevention, target-hardening, risk assessment, monitoring and surveillance become central tools in the challenge posed by new traditional conceptions of punishments - Crime has little to do with the threat it poses to our shared values or moral order and everything to do with the calculable physical, psychological and material losses it imposes - Security industry relies upon the persistence of crime for the continuation of its venture - For governments whose political capital is so heavily invested in fighting the war against crime, victory would be a double-edged sword - Security is seen as a transfer of anxiety effected by governments only too well aware that they can do little about the larger source of insecurity such as global warming, long-term unemployment, etc - A lot of tension arises towards safety, and where there is tension, political capital will be created The Expansion of Security Has Enlarged Not Diminished the Penal State - Although one might expect the pursuit of security through private endeavours to make possible a corresponding reduction of state effort, it has been accompanied instead by an unprecedented expansion of the penal state - Rational approaches to crime control of crime rates and harsh punishment policies have developed hand in hand - While state is withdrawing claim to be sole provider of security, it is simultaneously pursuing a policy of increasing incarceration - Garland view is that contemporary penal politics are split between two criminologies: o ‘of the self, that characterises offenders as normal, rational consumers just like us’ o ‘of the other, of the threatening outcast, the fearsome stranger, the excluded and embittered’ - State is driven to deny its predicament through a series of ‘adaptive’ responses that exemplify the ‘criminology of the self’ o At the same time, state seeks to reassert its power to control crime through what Garland calls the ‘criminology of the other’  Promotion of punitive law and order strategies, assertion that ‘prison works’, etc. - Several causal relationships between penality and security: o Pursuit of risk management strategies of the security society so fail to satisfy punitive instincts that they inadvertently stimulate demands for symbolic displays of vengeance o Larger disembedding processes, in part brought about by technological possibility, have created a widespread sense of insecurity that feeds popular punitivism o Managerialism allows the passionate vengeful reactions unleashed by popular punitivism to be reduced to questions of internal efficiency or utility maximisation - Contemporary penality can be characterised as volatile and contradictory - Although pursuit of security and increasing punitiveness appear to be contrary, they share greater commanlity than at first appears - Not necessarily an intensification of punitiveness, as an increasing preoccupation with confinement as such … its conditions and the perfection of its security - Arguable that demand for private security measures could be read less as a loss of faith in state provision and rather as a function of the state fuelling demand - Despite prevailing commitment to market liberalism, the rise of private security has been met by the growth of regulatory legislation, provision for licensing, inspection, and audit - Language of ‘partnership’, ‘inter-agency co-operation’, and ‘multi-agency approach’ captures the close linkages and intimate interactions between state, charitable, and private bodies - Generally new community safety programmes operate at the instigation of the police or local authority rather than through grassroots initiative - Successive governments promote public participation in activities once reserved to the police and seek to impose upon the public a sense of responsibility for their own protection - Garland has described these responsibilisation strategies as a means of deflecting former criminal justice state obligations upon private citizens - Corporatism entails interpenetration of public and private provision, blurring of lines of demarcation between state and private agencies, and the incorporation of local community groups, businesses, and entrepreneurs o Understood this way, the new partnership do not hand over state crime control functions so much as subject individuals to state accountability - Individual, communal, and private security provision is blurring the boundary between criminal justice and private policing and, in so doing, is increasing the burden of the penal state not diminishing it Security Promises Reassurance but in Fact Increasing Anxiety - While security promises to enhance subjective feelings of safety its pursuit often entails increased insecurity - By alerting citizens to risk and scattering the world with visible reminders of the threat of crime, it tends to increase subjective insecurity - The subjective condition of security is not necessarily correlated with the objective condition of absolute risk - Subjective security is enhanced or diminished by many factors aside from crime including individual temperament, environment signals, political assurances and media representation - Even if it was possible to obtain objectively high levels of security, they would carry with them no guarantee of correspondingly high levels of subjective security - The recognition of crime as a ‘normal social fact’, has led the state to encourage individuals, communities, and organisations to think about their everyday lives in terms of crime prevention and act accordingly - Means by which security is sought inevitably influence perceptions of risk - By increasing awareness of risk, they tend also to increase concern about crime and the anxiety that entails - Sense of danger can discourage ordinary activities and diminish quality of life - Its impact depends also on individuals’ ability to take preventive actions advised - Even within the bastion of personal safety, the home, subjective security may be undermined by crime prevention endeavours - Raised awareness of the risks of burglary, information about unknown interlopers in the neighbourhood and so on that come with neighbourhood watch membership appear to increase levels of fear - The private security industry has an obvious interest in maintaining levels of insecurity at sufficient levels to ensure a continuing market for their products, even as these very products promise security and protection o Marketing of personal alarms, security lights, etc have been termed commodification of security - The social perception of threat becomes a function of the security mobilisation itself, not crime rates - Personal segregation is predicated upon risks “out there” - Think of SUV’s and Cellphone’s for example * - The more provision for security is made, the more people regard as normal or necessary, and the greater their anxiety when it is not available - However, certain level of concern or wariness is actually beneficial in encouraging people to take measures to reduce their risks of victimisation Security is Posited as a Universal Good but in Fact Presumes Social Exclusion - Although security, in the objective sense of protection from threat, is posited as a universal good, it is predicated upon that which threatens and its pursuit entails the identification, targeting, and exclusion of those deemed to threaten - Labelling effects of conviction and stigmatising and incapacitative qualitie
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