A Short History of Police and Policing

ISBN : 9780198844600

Clive Emsley
240 Pages
135 x 216 mm
Pub date
Feb 2021
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The police are constantly under scrutiny. They are criticized for failings, praised for successes, and hailed as heroes for their sacrifices. Starting from the premise that every society has norms and ways of dealing with transgressors, A Short History of Police and Policing traces the evolution of the multiple forms of 'policing' that existed in the past. It examines the historical development of the various bodies, individuals, and officials who carried these out in different societies, in Europe and European colonies, but also with reference to countries such as ancient Egypt, China, and the USA. By demonstrating that policing was never the exclusive dominion of the police, and that the institution of the police, as we know it today, is a relatively recent creation, Professor Emsley explores the idea and reality of policing, and shows how an institution we now call 'the police' came to be virtually universal in our modern world.


Introduction: What's in a Name
1 From the Classical World to the Medieval
2 Monks, Bailiffs, Constables, and Others
3 Frome Concepts to Institutions
4 Shaping Institutions
5 Patrolmen, Detectives, and Policing by the Community
6 Beyond Europe
7 International Policing, Wartime, and Innovations
8 Another War
Another Peace

About the author: 

Clive Emsley is an Emeritus Professor at the Open University whose research has concentrated on the history of crime and policing in Western Europe. He has held posts as a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris VIII (Vincennes-St. Denis), in Calgary, Griffith in Australia, and Christchurch New Zealand. He was co-director of the second stage of the Old Bailey online project, and has published widely on the history of policing. His books include The Great British Bobby: A History of British Policing from the 18th. Century to the Present (Quercus Publishing, 2010), Crime and Society in England 1750-1900 (Routledge, 2010), and Exporting British Policing During the Second World War (Bloomsbury, 2017).

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