Police Reform from the Bottom Up: Officers and Their Unions as Agents of Change

Police Reform from the Bottom Up: Officers and Their Unions as Agents of Change

Police Reform from the Bottom Up: Officers and Their Unions as Agents of Change

Police Reform from the Bottom Up: Officers and Their Unions as Agents of Change


What role can and should police unions and rank-and-file officers play in driving and shaping police reform? Police unions and their members are often viewed as obstructionist and conservative, not as change agents. But reform efforts are much more likely to succeed when they are supported by the rank-and-file, and line officers have knowledge, skills and insights that can be invaluable in promoting reform. Efforts to involve police unions and rank-and-file officers in police reform are less common than they should be, but they are increasing, and there is a good deal to learn about policing, police reform and participatory management from the efforts made to date. In this pioneering volume, an international, cross-disciplinary collection of scholars and police unionists address a range of neglected questions, both empirical and theoretical, about the place of police officers themselves in the process of reform -- what it has been, and what it could be. They provide a fresh view of police reform as occurring from the bottom up rather than the top down. This book will be highly useful for practitioners and scholars who have a serious interest in the possibilities and limits of police organisational change. This book is based on special issues of Police Practice and Research and Policing and Society.


I am delighted to write the Series Editor’s Preface to the IPES, International Police Executive Symposium, and the Routledge Co-Production, a Book Series, based on the Special Issues of Police Practice and Research: An International Journal (PPR). It is an eloquent testimony to the well-known and growing importance as well as global popularity of PPR that a prestigious publishers, Routledge, wrote to me recently to ‘confirm that the special issue journals we have agreed upon from Police Practice and Research shall be turned into a book series as a joint publication with IPES: International Police Executive Symposium’. They added that ‘We are very much looking forward to publishing the special issues of your journal as a book series’.

Police Practice and Research (PPR) is affiliated with the International Police Executive Symposium (IPES) www.ipes.info. PPR is a peer-reviewed, international journal that presents current and innovative academic police research as well as operational and administrative police practices from around the world. Manuscripts are submitted by practitioners, researchers, and others interested in developments in policing, analysis of public order, and the state of safety as it affects the quality of life everywhere. The journal seeks to bridge the gap in knowledge that exists regarding who the police are, what they do, and how they maintain order, administer laws, and serve their communities in the world. Attention is also focused on specific organizational information about the police in different countries and regions of the universe.

A specific goal of the editors is to improve cooperation between those who are active in the field and those who are involved in academic research, as such a relationship is essential for innovative police work. To this end, the editors encourage the submission of manuscripts co-authored by police practitioners and researchers that will highlight a particular subject from both points of view.

PPR publishes special issues on contemporary topics of universal interest. Scrutinizing the titles of the last few special issues will clearly show that these issues are edited by stalwarts in the field. In recent days among others there were special issues such as ‘New Possibilities for Policing Research and Practice’ (Les Johnston and Clifford Shearing); ‘Community Policing, East, West, North and South’ (Peter Grabosky); ‘Police Reform from the Bottom-Up: Police Unions and Their Influence’ (Monique Marks and David Sklansky); ‘The Evolving Relationship Between Police Research and Police Practice’ (Gary Cordner and Stephen White) and the latest worthy addition is . . .

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