Ends and Means in Policing: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ends and Means in Policing

1st Edition

By John Kleinig


126 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780367025281
pub: 2019-02-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780367025311
pub: 2019-03-01
from $70.00

FREE Standard Shipping!


Policing is a highly pragmatic occupation. It is designed to achieve the important social ends of peacekeeping and public safety, and is empowered to do so using means that are ordinarily seen as problematic; that is, the use of force, deception, and invasions of privacy, along with considerable discretion. It is often suggested that the ends of policing justify the use of otherwise problematic means, but do they?

This book explores this question from a philosophical perspective. The relationship between ends and means has a long and contested history both in moral/practical reasoning and public policy. Looking at this history through the lens of policing, criminal justice philosopher John Kleinig explores the dialectic of ends and means (whether the ends justify the means, or whether the ends never justify the means) and offers a new, sharpened perspective on police ethics.

After tracing the various ways in which ends and means may be construed, the book surveys a series of increasingly concrete issues, focusing especially on those that arise in policing contexts. The competing moral demands made by ends and means culminate in considerations of noble cause corruption, dirty hands theory, lesser degradations (such as tear gas, tasers, chokeholds, and so on), and finally, those means deemed impermissible by the majority in Western culture, such as torture.

Table of Contents



  1. Ends
  2. The Ends of Policing
  3. Means
  4. Means in Policing
  5. The Question of Justification
  6. The Doctrine of Double Effect
  7. Persons as Ends
  8. Impermissible Means
  9. Other Problematic Means
  10. Dirty Hands and Noble Cause Corruption


About the Author

John Kleinig is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Criminal Justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and in the PhD Program in Philosophy, Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York. He is also an Adjunct Research Professor at Charles Sturt University, Australia. He is the author/editor of 22 books.

About the Series

Routledge Innovations in Policing

The Routledge Innovations in Policing explores innovations in the field of policing and offers the latest insight into the field through research, theoretical applications, case studies, and evaluations. Famous innovations developed over the course of the late twentieth century and into the turn of the twenty-first include approaches such as community policing, "broken windows" policing, problem-oriented policing, "pulling levers" policing, third-party policing, hot spots policing, Compstat, and evidence-based policing. Some of these approaches have been successful, and some have not, while new innovations continue to arise. Improving police performance through innovation is often not straightforward. Police departments are highly resistant to change, but through such research we expect to find further refinement of our knowledge of "what works" in policing, under what circumstances particular strategies may work, and why these strategies are effective in improving police performance.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology