Criminal Justice Theory: An Introduction

By Roger Hopkins Burke | Go to book overview

4 Policing modern society

All modern societies use some form of state-sponsored professionalised police force in order to control crime and to contribute to public order but as Gary Marx (2001) observes the organisational conditions under which they operate vary greatly between liberal democratic and non-democratic societies, even though there are similarities in the control function of policing. He identifies the following three components as essential to a definition of a police force in a liberal democratic modern society. First, it is subject to the rule of law embodying values respectful of human dignity, rather than the wishes of a powerful leader or political party. Second, it can intervene in the life of citizens only under limited and carefully controlled circumstances. Third, it is accountable to the general public for its actions.

Marx (2001) observes that it is an ongoing common myth that it is only the police force or service that stands between total chaos and social order in a democratic society. Social order has multiple sources which include socialisation to norms, a desire to have others think well of us, reciprocity, self-defence and the design of the physical environment. He nevertheless acknowledges that the police are an important factor with their significance increasing with the heterogeneity and size of a society as well as with the more recent globalisation. A defining characteristic of the police is their mandate to legally use force and to deprive citizens of their liberty and we might observe that this power is bound to generate opposition from those who are subject to it and it also offers great temptations for police abuse and maltreatment on behalf of the authorities controlling them. Thus, law enforcement in modern democratic societies requires a delicate balancing act between ‘hard’ and `soft’ strategies, as we will observe later in this chapter.

The meaning of the word ‘police’ has changed over the past five centuries and has its origins in the term ‘polity’ which means the form of government of a political body. In Europe in the fifteenth century it referred broadly to matters involving life, health and property and there was no distinct police force or service. Policing was done intermittently by the military, and society was largely ‘unpoliced’ except at a very local community level. It was with the formation of modern states with clear national borders, beginning in the eighteenth century, that the term police began to refer to the specific functions of crime prevention and order maintenance. It was then only a small step to identify the word police with

-84-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Criminal Justice Theory: An Introduction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Criminal Justice Theory i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • 1- Introduction - Modernity and Criminal Justice 1
  • 2- Explaining Crime and Criminal Behaviour 29
  • 3- The Philosophy of Law and Legal Ethics 58
  • 4- Policing Modern Society 84
  • 5- The Legal Process in Modern Society 111
  • 6- Punishment in Modern Society 144
  • 7- Youth Justice in Modern Society 172
  • 8- Conclusions - The Future of Criminal Justice 194
  • Notes 215
  • References 222
  • Author Index 249
  • Subject Index 256
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 267

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.