P01 - Policing, publics and public management

Corresponding chair:         

Jean Hartley  jean.hartley@open.ac.uk 

Panel Chair and Co-Chairs:

Albert Meijer,  Nicky Miller, Edoardo Ongaro, Eckhard Schröter, Paul Walley, Emma Williams  

This panel is developed in collaboration between the Open University’s Centre for Policing Research and Learning and the H2020 project COGOV, n. 770591.  All academics are invited to contribute to this pioneering panel. 

Panel topic and themes:

Policing until recently has been a relatively neglected public service in the public management, governance and organization studies fields yet it holds rich insights for wider understanding of this area.  By contrast, policing studies have tended to be dominated by criminology and while some attention has been given to leadership, relatively little attention has been paid to management, governance and organization studies.   

Yet policing studies have informed the development of several key concepts in public management e.g. coproduction (Ostrom, et al, 1978); public value (Moore, 1995); public service legitimacy through social media (Meijer and Thaens, 2013); organizational socialisation (van Maanen and Schein, 1977).  Furthermore, policing studies lie right at the heart of the relationships between citizens and the state, with questions of legitimacy, authority, governance and organizational performance central matters of interest.  These matters have become even more evident in these extraordinary times of the coronavirus pandemic, with police being key workers in high-profile, front-line service roles, and adapting to substantial and dynamic changes in the nature of crime, vulnerability and social order.  They interact very directly with various publics.

This panel invites papers about police and policing from a public management, governance and/or organization studies perspective to address both key gaps in the field and to enrich the wider field of public management through the study of this specialist public service.  Papers and other contributions may be theoretical or empirical.  Topics may include but are not restricted to demand management; decision-making in conditions of radical uncertainty; evidence-based practice; police working with politicians; collaborative governance; the professionalisation of police; organizational learning in policing; communications with the public through social media; legitimacy and authority in policing; flexible working for a front-line service; digital innovations in crime and crime-fighting; digital innovations in protecting the vulnerable in society.  We also invite papers about the changing nature of threat, risk and harm due to the pandemic. We intend to hold a particular round table on policing, publics and the pandemic, with speakers from countries with contrasting approaches to policing (e.g. policing by consent vs militaristic policing) to compare cross-national perspectives and explore the links to public management regimes. 

We welcome papers in a range of formats. 

In submitting an abstract, please indicate the type of submission as below:

Standard papers:  to be offered for presentation in the panel which will be ongoing through the conference.  All papers will be allocated a discussant, and in submitting a paper, each author indicates their willingness to be a discussant on another paper. 

Lightning talks: these are no more than 8 minutes in length and should be rich and intensive in style, based on strong theory or empirical research. 

Speed dating papers:  These aim to link early career researchers with more experienced researchers, and they will work in breakout rooms in pairs to discuss particular papers which are in development.  The matching will take place before the conference happens.  We feel this is an important innovation for IRSPM, given the pressures which the pandemic has created on early career researchers who may have fewer networks and resources to draw on to develop their research and their careers. 

Round table contributions:  We aim to hold two round tables. One is about policing, publics and the pandemic.  The other is the future research agenda for policing as a key public service examined from a public management perspective.  If you wish to be considered for this discussion please contact the panel manager directly, indicating your expertise for this topic.