Everyday Political Economies of Plural Policing

A list of our members is below. Click on their names to see full details.

Name University
Professor Jacques de Maillard University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin
Dr Adam White University of Sheffield
Logan Puck Salen State University
Ronald van Steden Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
David Churchill University of Leeds
Dr. László Christián National University of Public Service
Marc Schuilenburg VU University Amsterdam
Melissa Pepper University of Surrey
Stuart Lister University of Leeds
Synnøve Ø. Jahnsen Norwegian Research Centre
Thomas Friis Søgaard Aarhus University 


Professor Jacques de Maillard, University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin


Jacques de Maillard is Professor of Political Science at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin, deputy-director of the Cesdip. His interests lie in the questions of local governance of security and the comparative study of policing in Western countries. Concerning plural policing, his more specific interests concern the pluralisation of public policing in European cities (with an interest in the styles of policing, governance issues and political conditions of these policy developments). He has a particular interest in developing comparative research.


Dr Adam White, University of Sheffield


My research focuses on four interconnected themes: (i) the rise of the private security and private military industries in the postwar era; (ii) corresponding issues of governance, regulation and legitimacy in the security and military sectors; (iii) the conceptual and empirical connections between war and crime; and (iv) the changing nature of state-market relations. These interests are multidisciplinary, lying at the intersection of criminology, politics, international relations and socio-legal studies.  At the present time (2019), I working on the following projects: a comparison of police-private security relations in Mexico and the United Kingdom; a comparison of private security regulation in Belgium and the United Kingdom; and the demobilisation of private military contractors.


Logan Puck, Salen State University


I am interested in the relationship between private security firms and states in Latin America, particularly Mexico. I am particularly focused on how the Mexican state has attempted to control, direct, and compete with the private security industry and the ways in which companies have responded to these efforts. I am also interested in how the quality and reputation of public security institutions shapes private security firms' marketing strategies. I am currently in the process of co-authoring an article with Adam White comparing the similarities and differences between police – private security relations in Mexico and in the United Kingdom. Other research projects I am working on include an investigation of Mexican hybrid public-private police forces and their impact on democracy and an analysis of the role and impact of military fetishism on private security firms in Mexico.


Ronald van Steden, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Ronald is the coordinator of the Knowledge Hub Security and Social Resilience, which assists the Dutch government and its ministries on the national level, as well as municipalities, the police force and security regions on the local level in their approach to security problems. Ronald undertakes research in the areas of policing and security governance. The former area includes studies of plural policing (think, for example, of municipal law enforcement officers and voluntary police) and private security in the Netherlands and elsewhere. The latter area covers studies of collaboration between police, plural policing agencies, active citizens, such as neighborhood watches and  WhatsApp prevention groups, and other partners. Van Steden teaches in the master Governance of Security at VU Amsterdam. He is interested in the religious, moral and philosophical dimensions of policing and security too.


David Churchill, University of Leeds


My research focuses on the history of policing and security in modern Britain. Adopting a plural policing perspective, I have studied the roles of the public police and the civilian public in responding to property crime in Victorian cities, focus both on everyday practices of crime control and the cultural norms which underpinned them. This work has sought to challenge the longstanding view that the formation of the ‘new police’ in the nineteenth century effected the monopolisation of crime control by the state. I have also worked on the development of the security industry in the nineteenth century, focusing especially on security hardware (lock and safe) companies. This work has further documented the role of non-state agencies in responding to crime, as well as illustrating important shifts in perceptions of criminality and security that followed the emergence of new security technologies. I’m currently looking to extend this research on the history of security and the security industry into and through the twentieth century, to offer a long-term perspective on the commodification of security and its social consequences, including its evolving relationship with public policing.


David Wall, University of Leeds

David S. Wall is a Criminologist who conducts interdisciplinary research into CyberCrimes in the Cloud, Ransomware, Policing Cybercrime, and Organised Cybercrime and Cybersecurity. He is currently researching the impact of Big Data Crimes upon the cybersecurity threat landscape and is modelling the cybercrime ecosystem for various research projects. He works with economists, psychologists, lawyers, computer scientists and software engineers on AI and ML as well as various agencies across Europe and their various practitioner and policy communities. David has been a member of various Governmental working groups on Cybercrime and more recently he has worked with the UNODC Expert Groups on various cybercrime initiatives.


Julie Berg, University of Glasgow


My research interests include state and non-state policing, and plural or polycentric security governance. I am principally interested in the nature of plurality in security governance through the mapping out of state and non-state nodes within increasingly pluralized environments and the particular role of the private sector (for instance, private security and private intelligence) in these environments. In light of the emergence of new global harms or harmscapes, I am interested in how policing in its pluralized form adapts to these new harms. Furthermore, I am interested in the contextual factors that impact on plural policing (for instance, the shifting nature of public space, power relations, and public policing provision); the impacts of new and advanced technologies on collaborative and pluralized policing; as well as the impacts of plural policing on achieving inclusive and equitable security governance in line with a public or common good (with a particular focus on legitimacy, accountability, and democratic security provision). In line with these interests, I co-lead the Evolving Securities Initiative (ESI) global network, which comprises scholars and security professionals focusing on the generation of knowledge about existing and emerging harmscapes and associated security governance developments. I also run the ESI’s Glasgow Hub (ESI@GLA) which focuses on exploring the impacts of new risk harmscapes on security institutions, collaborative arrangements, and democratic policing. Further to this, I co-lead the Network on Intelligence and Security Practices in African Countries (NISPAC) which is an interdisciplinary community of scholars and practitioners focused on exploring the role of  security and intelligence services (state and non-state) in the African context, thereby addressing deficits in knowledge on this topic.


Dr. László Christián, National University of Public Service


The primary aim of the National University of Public Service ( is the high-level training of the future and present staff of public administration, law enforcement, national defence and national security services on Bachelor, Master and Doctoral level. My Department for Private Security and Local Governmental Law Enforcement is responsible for training full-time and part time-students within the undergraduate (BA) specialisation in Private Security with further specializations in Information Security and Local Governmental Law Enforcement. Our Security Manager Master program is just under accreditation now. Effective cooperation takes place with the professional chamber (the Chamber of Bodyguards, Property Protection and Private Detectives) and with the leading private security companies, primarily in the form of job offers, summer work placements and scholarship programmes.

In 2018/2019 we establised an international research group: The role of private security and local governmental law enforcement in 21st century law enforcement. The objective of the research group entitled is to comprehensively examine the field of private and municipal policing regarding its domestic situation with an international outlook. (International guest professors: Prof. Mahesh Nalla, Dr. Andrej Sotlar)

We conduct a survey in this academic year (2019/2020), which focusing on private security legislation and practice from the aspect of security managers in Hungary.

Research interest: local security, municipal police, private security, volunteers in law enforcement, plural policing.


Marc Schuilenburg, VU University Amsterdam


Marc Schuilenburg teaches at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, at the VU University Amsterdam. He studied Law and Philosophy at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam. He defended his PhD thesis on the workings of public-private security assemblages in urban landscapes. In the field of Criminology his expertise and areas of interest include politics and crime control, governance of security, social order and theoretical criminology.


Melissa Pepper, University of Surrey


My research interests are largely focused around citizens in policing – in particular, volunteers – and the role they play in a pluralised policing landscape. I have recently submitted my PhD thesis, supervised by Professor Karen Bullock and Dr Daniel McCarthy at the University of Surrey, titled Doing More for Less in Changing Times: Exploring the Motivations, Contributions, and Experiences of Police Support Volunteers. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the study explores the motivations of Police Support Volunteers (PSVs), their contributions, the importance they attach to ‘being useful’, the experiences they have alongside officers and staff, and the extent to which they feel recognised and valued for their time in a large, urban constabulary in England. The study also considers the police organisation itself - the infrastructure in place to support, manage, develop, and involve PSVs – features that are recognised as central to volunteer experiences. I have previously conducted research with some of the youngest volunteers in policing – the Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) – exploring their motivations and contributions, and opportunities that the cadet programme presents for young people to experience positive personal encounters with police officers. I have worked in government social research – in the Home Office and currently the London Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) – for 17 years. In these roles I have contributed to research and analysis across a range of policy areas including domestic abuse, sexual violence, harmful practices, hate crime, substance misuse, drug premises closures, and community engagement.


Stuart Lister, University of Leeds

My research into plural policing has focused on three particular aspects. First, the diversification of visible patrol, a development which seen an increasing mix of public, private and municipal providers of policing operating in public spaces. Secondly, the pluralisation of the public police, particularly evident in the increasing role of police auxiliaries (such as Police Community Support Officers) in the delivery of policing, and the growth of arrangements to out-source police functions to the private sector. Third, the governance of plural networks of policing, with a particular focus on the individual and collective accountability of diverse forms policing.


Synnøve Ø. Jahnsen, Norwegian Research Centre


My interest in plural policing has grown out of my interest in gender and migration, and more specifically out of research projects on policing of prostitution and human trafficking, outlaw motorcycle gangs and exploitation of migrant workers, areas in which crime prevention through public/private partnership arrangements has been central in national as well as international policy developments. My empirical research includes ethnographic fieldwork among Norwegian and Australian police forces, hereunder multi-agency task forces and intelligence units. My current research projects focuses on the Norwegian police reform, the implementation of intelligence-led policing and coordination within the area of work-related crime. 


Thomas Friis Søgaard, Aarhus University 


In the post-industrial city, nightlife districts have gained economic, social and governmental prominence. While a sprawling night-time economy offers new opportunities for cities to reinvent themselves as places of consumption, nightlife district are also associated with public drunkenness, disorder, violence and young adults’ experimentation with illegal club drugs. Furthermore, nightlife districts are regularly frequented by individuals associated with organized crime. To address these problems and issues, the policing of nightlife districts is undergoing significant changes, including the emergence of local coalitions between public authorities, venue owners and bouncers. Within these networks, public and private actors are expected to collaborate and take responsibility for nightlife safety. In my research, I make use of ethnographic approaches, including participant observation and interviews, to explore plural policing developments in the Danish night-time economy. I use this research as a springboard for exploring broader tendencies in the formation, dynamics and changes of plural policing in the context of the western night-time economy. More specifically, my research has focused on how the formation of plural policing complexes are sometimes instrumental in the policing and exclusion of individuals identified by police as ‘gang’; how plural policing bodies are involved in the enforcement of patron banning orders, and in the policing of recreational users of illegal drugs; and how cross-institutional knowledge sharing, trust building and power-struggles shape the street-level policing of nightlife scenes.