Over the past ten to fifteen years the police in many Western European countries have undergone a series of profound organisational changes. The police now appear to operate at a greater distance from citizens, they are more impersonal and decontextualized and have become more dependent on digitalised data systems.
These changes are captured through the concept of the ‘abstract police’ and in this international collection of essays, leading policing scholars use this concept to make sense of contemporary changes to police organisations.
Drawing on empirical evidence from a wide range of policing contexts, the individual chapters address major questions about current developments in policing:
- How are police organisations being shaped by the social, cultural, technological and political contexts in which they operate?
- How does the concept of the abstract police help understanding of the complex interplay between change and continuity in policing?
- Is the emergence of an abstract police the unintended outcome of processes of rationalization or a deliberate response to the new complexities of late modernity?