1st Edition

Private Security and the Modern State Historical and Comparative Perspectives

Edited By David Churchill, Dolores Janiewski, Pieter Leloup Copyright 2020
    284 Pages
    by Routledge

    282 Pages
    by Routledge

    Based on extensive research in several international contexts, this volume provides a nuanced assessment of the historical evolution of private security and its fluid, contested and mutually constitutive relationship with state agencies, public policing and the criminal justice system.

    This book provides an overview of the history of private security provision in its multiple forms including detective agencies, insurance companies, moral campaigners, employers’ associations, paramilitary organizations, self-protection and vigilantism. It also explores the historical evolution of private policing and security provision in a diverse set of temporal, national and international contexts and compares the interactions between public and private security bodies, structures, strategies and practices in different countries, cultures and settings. In doing so, the volume fills the existing gaps in historical knowledge about the emergence of private and public security organizations and provides a more robust understanding of changes in the division of responsibility for security provision, law enforcement and punishment between public and private institutions.

    This wide-ranging volume will be of great interest to scholars and students of history, criminology, sociology, political science, international relations, security studies, surveillance studies, policing, criminal justice and law.

    Foreword by Phillip Stenning.

    Introduction. David Churchill, Dolores Janiewski & Pieter Leloup.

    Part 1: Security Regimes in National Context

    Chapter 1. Jacqueline E. Ross: Undercover Policing and State Power in the United States and France from the Nineteenth to the Early Twentieth Century

    Chapter 2. Wilbur Miller: The ‘Right to Bear Arms’ and Self-Defence in the United States: Individualized Private Policing.

    Chapter 3. Pieter Leloup: Co-Operation or Competition? Discourses on the Role of the Private Security Sector in Belgium, 1934–90.

    Chapter 4. Adam White: Monopoly or Plurality? The Police and the Private Security Industry in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain.

    Part 2: Techniques and Cultures of Private Security

    Chapter 5. David J. Cox & Yasmin Devi-McGleish: ‘Pardon Asked’: Printed Apologies as a Form of Private Security and Popular Justice in Nineteenth-Century Britain.

    Chapter 6. Stephen Robertson: The Pinkertons and the Paperwork of Surveillance: Reporting Private Investigation in the United States, 1855–1940.

    Chapter 7. Chad Pearson: ‘The law or popular justice’: Owen Wister and the Legitimation of Employer Class Violence.

    Chapter 8. Francis Dodsworth: Protection: Selling Self-Defence in Twentieth-Century Britain and the United States.

    Part 3: Between Public and Private Security

    Chapter 9. David Churchill: The Politics of Security in Liberal Society: Responsibility for Crime Prevention in Mid-Victorian Britain.

    Chapter 10. Florian Altenhöner: No License to Know: Political Crisis and the Fragmentation and Privatisation of Surveillance in Germany, 1918–20.

    Chapter 11. Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones: What Burleson and Orwell Overlooked: Private Security Provision in the United States and the United Kingdom.

    Chapter 12. Dolores Janiewski and Simon Judkins: Fluid Boundaries: The Evolution of a Private–Public Security Network in California, 1917–52.

    Conclusion. David Churchill, Dolores Janiewski and Pieter Leloup.


    David Churchill is Associate Professor in Criminal Justice in the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, School of Law, University of Leeds, UK.

    Dolores Janiewski is Associate Professor in the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

    Pieter Leloup is a postdoctoral researcher (FWO) in the Department of Criminology, Penal Law and Social Law, Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP), Ghent University, Belgium.