CCJS Seminar: The (De-)Politicization and Framing of Private Security and its Regulation in Belgium, 1980-2020

CCJS Seminar by Dr Pieter Leloup on the (De-)Politicization and Framing of Private Security and its Regulation in Belgium, 1980-2020.

Abstract: During the last 40 years, the private security sector in Belgium and its related policies have changed considerably, with the industry becoming an accepted and important partner in domestic security governance. While the political context in which the sector has been developing is an important subject in criminological scholarship, the exact processes of politicization and de-politicization of the phenomenon has attracted much less attention. This paper examines the different approaches used by political actors to frame private security as part of policy-formulations and efforts to introduce (new) regulation. Empirical data are drawn from parliamentary records between 1980-2020. Focussing on the parliamentary arena allows us to analyse how an issue – i.e. the need for private security regulation – is discussed, perceived and framed by those in power. The findings of this study provide new insights on the forms, degrees and manifestations of (de-)politicization of private security, and its relation to (security) events over time. As such, it provides a deeper understanding of the political field and conditions in which the trajectory of private security has been unfolding in Belgium.

 Bio: Dr Pieter Leloup is an assistant professor of Criminology at the Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP), Faculty of Law and Criminology, Ghent University, and the Crime & Society (CRIS) research group, Faculty of Law and Criminology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. The principal focus of his work has been on historical patterns of (private) security provision and changing relationships between state and private security actors since the nineteenth century until today. His current research involves comparing private security between Continental European and Anglo-American countries, and the study of long-term private security developments, policy and regulation from the European Union’s perspective. He has been a visiting scholar and lecturer at the University of Sheffield, UK, and visiting scholar at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

This seminar is hosted by the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies. It is free to attend but registration is required in advance – please sign up here