360 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    360 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The eminent contributors to a new collection, Policing in France, provide an updated and realistic picture of how the French police system really works in the 21st century. In most international comparisons, France typifies the "Napoleonic" model for policing, one featuring administrative and political centralization, a strong hierarchical structure, distance from local communities, and a high priority on political policing. France has undergone a process of pluralization in the last 30 years. French administrative and political decentralization has reemphasized the role of local authorities in public security policies; the private security industry has grown significantly; and new kinds of governing models (based on arrangements such as contracts for service provision) have emerged. In addition, during this period, police organizations have been driven toward central government control through the imposition of performance indicators, and a top-down decision was made to integrate the national gendarmerie into the Ministry of Interior.

    The book addresses how police legitimacy differs across socioeconomic, generational, territorial, and ethnic lines. An analysis of the policing of banlieues (deprived neighborhoods) illustrates the convergence of contradictory police goals, police violence, the concentration of poverty, and entrenched opposition to the states’ representatives, and questions policing strategies such as the use of identity checks. The collection also frames the scope of community policing initiatives required to deal with the public’s security needs and delves into the security challenges presented by terrorist threats and the nuances of the relationship between policing and intelligence agencies. Identifying and explaining the diverse challenges facing French police organizations and how they have been responding to them, this book draws upon a flourishing French-language literature in history, sociology, political science, and law to produce this new English-language synthesis on policing in France.

    This book is a valuable resource for researchers and practitioners working in and around French policing, as well as students of international law enforcement.


    1. Policing in France
    Jacques de Maillard and Wesley G. Skogan

    Historical Background

    2. The Evolving Organization of Policing: From the Ancien Régime to De Gaulle and the Police Nationale
    Jean-Marc Berlière and René Lévy

    3. The Colonial Legacy of French Policing
    Emmanuel Blanchard

    4. The Dual French Police System: Centralization, Specialization, Competition
    Malcolm Anderson

    Organizational Features and Reforms

    5. Centralization and its Pathologies
    Christian Mouhanna

    6. Intelligence-led Policing in Criminal Investigations: Implementing Reform
    Clément de Maillard

    7. Specialization in Criminal Investigations
    Elodie Lemaire

    8. Oversight of the French Police
    Cédric Moreau de Bellaing

    Changing Institutional and Political Context

    9. The Expansion of Private Policing in France
    Frédéric Ocqueteau

    10. The Pluralization of Local Policing
    Virginie Malochet

    11. Security Partnerships in France
    Thierry Delpeuch and Jacqueline E. Ross

    Police Problems and Strategies

    12. Policing the Banlieues
    Fabien Jobard

    13. Identity Checks as a Professional Repertoire
    Fabien Jobard and Jacques de Maillard

    14. A Social History of Protest Policing in France
    Aurélien Restelli

    15. Domestic Intelligence and Counterterrorism in France
    Laurent Bonelli

    16. Border Policing in France
    Sara Casella Colombeau

    17. Police and the Public in France
    Sebastian Roché

    18. Community Policing Initiatives in France
    Jacques de Maillard and Mathieu Zagrodzki

    19. Policing and Gender in France
    Mathilde Darley and Jérémie Gauthier

    20. The Police and Sexual Violence
    Océane Perona


    Jacques de Maillard is Professor of Political Science at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin, and Director of CESDIP (a research center affiliated to the CNRS, the French Ministry of Justice, the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin, and the University of Cergy). He is a noted scholar in the area of police organization and management, local governance of crime, police reform, and private policing. He has conducted research in both France and the UK. He has been a visiting scholar at several American and British universities. His books on French policing include Polices Comparées (2017) and Sociologie de la Police: Politiques, Organisations, Réformes (2015).

    Wesley G. Skogan is Emeritus Professor of Political Science and a Faculty Fellow of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University in the USA. His research focuses on policing, community responses to crime, victimization, disorder, and fear of crime. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology and was a Senior Fellow of the Center for Crime, Communities, and Culture of the Open Societies Institute. He organized the Committee on Police Policies and Practices for the National Research Council and served as its chairman. He is the co-author (with Kathleen Frydl) of the committee report, Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence. Earlier he spent two years at the National Institute of Justice as a visiting fellow. In 2015 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Evidence-Based Crime Policy from the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy.

    "Policing in France is a useful and important read. It illustrates that the divide between Anglo-Saxon conceptions of policing by consent and Francophone conceptions of policing as a national security endeavor are abstractions—both traditions have much in common and face similar challenges in serving their communities. It should be on the shelves of any police library, in the offices of police strategists, and the topic of discussion in professional education for police commanders and executives worldwide."

    John P. Sullivan, Safe Communities Institute (SCI) at the University of Southern California, in Journal of Strategic Security 15:1