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Inventing community safety: an anglophone politics of security

Edwards, Adam Michael ORCID: 2008. Inventing community safety: an anglophone politics of security. Presented at: 8th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, University of Edinburgh, UK, 2-5 September 2008.

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This paper examines the performativity of community safety as a criminological idea that is inventive in its articulation of various crimes, incivilities and other ‘quality of life’ issues, bringing into being a varied and innovative politics of security. The paper demonstrates this inventiveness through reference to the competing uses to which this idea has been put in the Anglophone world to signify, inter alia, a progressive third way for collective safety, a repressive state apparatus, a neo-liberal governmentality, an arboreal vision of control and a warfare state. These uses demonstrate that community safety is a floating signifier with no fixed referent and a multiplicity of significations that emphasise its inherently political and normative qualities. Even so, the prefix ‘community’ distinguishes this politics from that encountered elsewhere in Europe where scepticism about cultural diversity allied to the promotion of solidarity through national-popular ideals of social order is signified by notions of ‘public’ security. What is lost and gained by the translation of public into community and security into safety?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
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Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 08:46

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