Policing European Metropolises: The Politics of Security in City-Regions, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Policing European Metropolises

The Politics of Security in City-Regions, 1st Edition

Edited by Elke Devroe, Adam Edwards, Paul Ponsaers


342 pages | 21 B/W Illus.

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Understanding the politics of security in city-regions is increasingly important for the study of contemporary policing. This book argues that national and international governing arrangements are being outflanked by various transnational threats, including the cross-border terrorism of the attacks on Paris in 2015 and Brussels in 2016; trafficking in people, narcotics and armaments; cybercrime; the deregulation of global financial services; and environmental crime.

Metropolises are the focal points of the transnational networks through which policing problems are exported and imported across national borders, as they provide much of the demand for illicit markets and are the principal engines generating other policing challenges including political protest and civil unrest. This edited collection examines whether and how governing arrangements rooted in older systems of national sovereignty are adapting to these transnational challenges, and considers problems of and for policing in city-regions in the European Union and its single market.

Bringing together experts from across the continent, Policing European Metropolises develops a sociology of urban policing in Europe and a unique methodology for comparing the experiences of different metropolises in the same country. This book will be of value to police researchers in Europe and abroad, as well as postgraduate students with an interest in policing and urban policy.


"This path-breaking project documents how local policing policies play out across 22 cities in nine nations. While powerful national and global forces push some metropolitan areas toward standardized responses to common problems, in other places local political and social realities have spawned unique approaches to the issues of terrorism, fiscal austerity, mass migration, emergent nationalism, youth delinquency and adult crime. In its scope and rigor, there has never been anything to match this powerful analysis."

Wesley G. Skogan, Professor of Political Science and Faculty Fellow of the Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, USA

"Mega-cities now dominate world geographies. Tied to shifting demographics, globalization and urbanization, mega cities have grown in complexity, now representing the highest concentration of peoples across the world. Understanding how such complexities are made secure and safe, by the police and others, is a new intellectual frontier. Policing European Metropolises is a significant intellectual and grounded theoretical contribution to understanding such complexities and expanding theories of Metropolitan Police Governance. A must read in a globalized world."

Jack R. Greene, Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, USA

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction

1. Processes of convergence and divergence in the policy formulation of policing strategies for European metropolises (Elke Devroe, Adam Edwards, Paul Ponsaers)

2. European National Police Systems and Metropolitan Realities (Elke Devroe and Paul Ponsaers)

Part II: Convergence: The Dominance of National States in Agenda Setting

3. France

Governing Metropolises: The false pretenses of metropolisation (Jacques de Maillard and Christian Mouhanna)

4. Portugal

Urban Security Governance in Portugal: Key-elements and challenges (Carla Cardoso and Josefina Castro)

5. Finland

Policing regime in transition in the Nordic countries: Some critical notes from the Nordic reality (Sirpa Virta and Jari Taponen)

6. Slovenia

Convergence and Diversity of Policing in Post Socialist Countries and its Reflection to Local Policing: The case of Slovenia (Maja Modic, Branko Lobnikar, Bernarda Tominc, Andrej Sotlar, and Gorazd Meško)

Part III: Divergence: Active City-Regions pursuing their own policing agendas

7. Italy

Urban Policing in Italy: Some reflections in a comparative perspective (Rossella Selmini)

Policing and Urban Control in Rome and Milan: A view from the southern edge of Europe (Marco Calaresu and Rossella Selmini)

8. United Kingdom

Metropolitan Policing Agendas in Britain: Divergent Tendencies in a Fragmenting State? (Adam Edwards, Sophie Chambers, Nick Fyffe, Alistair Henry)

9. Germany

Policing metropolises in a system of cooperative federalism: Berlin as the German capital and a City State compared to Cologne as the biggest city in North Rhine-Westphalia (Hartmut Aden and Berhard Frevel)

10. Belgium

Policing Antwerp and Brussels: Two of a kind? (Evelien De Pauw and Marleen Easton)

11. The Netherlands

Local strategies for global challenges: Comparing policing agendas in Amsterdam and Rotterdam (Ruth Prins and Elke Devroe)

Part IV: Conclusion

12. The European World of Metropolitan Policing: Interpreting patterns of governance, policy and politics (Adam Edwards, Elke Devroe, Paul Ponsaers)

About the Editors

Elke Devroe is Associate Professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, University of Leiden, the Netherlands

Adam Edwards is Reader in Politics and Criminology at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, UK

Paul Ponsaers is Emeritus Professor at the Department of Penal Law and Criminology, University of Ghent, Belgium

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Crime, Security and Justice

Contemporary social scientific scholarship is being transformed by the challenges associated with the changing nature of, and responses to, questions of crime, security and justice across the globe.  Traditional disciplinary boundaries in the social sciences are being disturbed and at times broken down by the emerging scholarly analysis of both the increasing merging of issues of ‘crime’ and ‘security’ and the unsettling of traditional notions of justice, rights and due process in an international political and cultural climate seemingly saturated by, and obsessed with, fear, insecurity and risk.  This series showcases contemporary research studies, edited collections and works of original intellectual synthesis that contribute to this new body of scholarship both within the field of study of criminology and beyond to its connections with debates in the social sciences more broadly.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology