Concerns over insecurity and questions of safety have become central issues in social and political debates across Europe and the western world. Crucial changes have followed as a result, such as a redefinition of the role of the state in relation to policing - a central theme of this book - and an explosion in the growth of private policing.
These developments have, in their turn, heightened feelings of insecurity and safety, particularly where populations have become increasingly mobile and societies more socially fragmented, culturally diverse and economically fragmented. Responses to insecurity now increasingly inform decisions made by governments, organisations and ordinary people in their social interactions.
This book makes a key contribution to an understanding of these developments, approaching the subject from a range of perspectives, across several different disciplines. The three parts of the book look at broader theoretical and thematic issues, then at cross-national and pan-European developments and debates in European governance, and finally explore specific examples of local issues of community safety and the broader implications these have. Leading figures in the field draw upon criminological, legal, social, and political theory to shed new light on what has become one of the most intractable problems facing western societies.