Between Protection and Control: Policing Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
20 August 2019
Requisites for this module
The module explores police activities between state protection and social control in 20th century-Europe. We will examine the multi-layered relations between the state, the police and the public tracing continuities and differences in policing dictatorships and democracies.
Themes covered will range from policing during war time (WWI &WWII) century and the popular fascination with crime stories over the tasks of police forces in the interwar period to the involvement of policemen in the Holocaust and the policing of protests in liberal democracies.
Tasks of the police involved protecting states of 'unruly' citizens, expressed in working-class uprisings or strikes, as well as implementing societal norms of order when policing women, youngsters or alleged 'outsiders.' In addition to social control, police forces had to react to the ever increasing complaints on rising crime rates and police failures. This suggests that police forces could not only act as organisations implementing state demands but also had to respond to issues articulated by ordinary citizens.
Several key questions run throughout the module: Who was protected by the police and who was regarded as a criminal? Whose interests did police forces serve? What did police officers do in dictatorships? Were police forces primarily agents of state control or protectors of the population? How did police activities in dictatorships differ from those in democracies? What was the changing relationship between the police and the citizens?
By seeking responses to these questions, we will find how policing fundamentally shaped and still shapes European societies. Were police forces primarily agents of state control or protectors of the population? How did police activities in dictatorships differ from those in democracies? What was the changing relationship between the police and the citizens? By seeking responses to these questions, we will find how policing fundamentally shaped and still shapes European societies.
1. To understand the difficult triangle state/ police/ citizens.
2. To critically assess differences/continuities in policing dictatorships and democracies.
3. To evaluate the police’s role in implementing societal norms & creating outsiders.
4. To think about the police as an essential agent in any state and the dangers that this position can bring.
5. To critically examine the relationship between citizens and the police.
1. Students will understand the central role of the police force and its influence on state and society.
2. Students will be able to critically comment on the police’s function of protecting and controlling societies.
3. Students will understand the social, political and cultural dimensions of policing activities.
4. Enhance critical reading, writing and research skills by preparing for seminar discussions and completing the required written coursework.
General reading list:
1. Great primary sources are the online oral interviews with police officers who policed the riots in London in 1968. You’ll find them on the webpage of the Friends of the Metropolitan Police: https://www.metpolicehistory.co.uk/audio-clips.html.
2. And on the same webpage, you will find interview with police women and BME officers (got to the oral history section and then to Coppers’ story):
3. A ground-breaking book for policemen and their role in the Holocaust: Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men. Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (London, 2001)
4. On the differences and similarities of policing right-wing dictatorships:
Jonathan Dunnage, ‘Policing Right-Wing Dictatorships: Some preliminary comparisons of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Franco’s Spain’, in Crime, History and Societies, vol. 10, no. 1, 2006 (available online)
5. G. Blaney (ed.), Policing interwar Europe 1918-1940 (Basingstoke, 2007) many exciting chapters here but start with the introduction.
This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Essay 1 (2000 Words)
||Essay 2 (3000 Words)
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Nadine Rossol
Belinda Waterman, Department of History, 01206 872313
Dr Rachel Rich
Leeds Beckett University
Available via Moodle
Of 30 hours, 28 (93.3%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
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