Fighting Fetishes

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In contemporary governance there is a ‘police fetishism’. This is what Robert Reiner has argued, pointing to the ‘ideological assumption that the police are a functional prerequisite of social order so that without a police force chaos would ensue’ (2010). As Ben Bowling and James Sheptycki have furthermore added, this is equally true when looking at transnational forms of policing and criminal justice (2012). Taking this as its starting point, this paper explores how such fetishization is not only driving world-wide criminal justice policies but also dominating the very minds of its transnational actors. Using an ethnographic study of Europol as an example, this may thus help us understand why actors of transnational policing produce dramatic representations and indeed think of their work in combative terms – doing so even though their workaday realities are often much different.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheoretical Criminology
Publication statusSubmitted - 2021

ID: 239955559