Policing in France  book cover
1st Edition

Policing in France

ISBN 9780367135249
Published August 3, 2020 by Routledge
360 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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

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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.