Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture

Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture
, 9(3) (2002)


"In Search of Security: An International Conference on Policing and Security"

February 19-22, 2003

Montreal, Quebec

Deadline for submissions: July 31, 2002

Policing and security throughout the world are in the process of transformation. This new era is one in which policing and security services are provided by a complex network of overlapping public and private policing bodies. There is now a range of private policing and security organizations that include, for example, private security firms, insurance companies, forensic accountants, and private in-house corporate security.

These private policing agencies have moved beyond simply protecting private property. They are actively engaged in order maintenance, as well as the investigation and prevention of crime in public spaces.

Clearly, public police are the primary service providers, but they no longer have a monopoly on the provision of policing services. Complex networks of policing that reflect a mix of public and private security providers are emerging.

"In Search of Security: An International Conference on Policing and Security" will take place February 19-22, 2003 in Montreal. We invite researchers, policy makers, public police, and private security professionals and members of NGOs to submit a proposal to present a paper or organize a session.

The purpose of "In Search of Security" is to bring together the worlds leading experts on policing and security to examine the complex relationship that is emerging between public and private police. The program will be designed to examine the provision of security from a variety of disciplines, and through both theoretical and empirical lenses.

Because "In Search of Security" will place security within an international context, a significant effort will be made to attract conference speakers and delegates from a variety of nations in order to understand policing as a global phenomenon:

To what extent is the public/private distinction still relevant? The (re)emergence of private policing is an opportunity to identify and address critical questions of contemporary governance of social relationships.

To what extent is security a "public good" or something that is valuable in a communal sense? What is the connection between security and the legitimacy of public power and authority? If the provision of security is a "public good," what are the limits on how authority over policing can be devolved to the private sector?


Is private security necessarily less democratic and less equitable than public security? Are there examples where private police work with disadvantaged communities to increase the overall level of security among community members?

The conference organizers are particularly interested in papers that advance our understanding of the issues pertaining to public/private policing by presenting results from empirical research or through thoughtful analysis of relevant public policy. Presenters whose work links research to practice and policy, connects public policing and private security, or presents international/comparative research and policy analysis are especially encouraged to participate.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal or would like more information about the conference, please contact the organizing commission (Email: or or view the conference flyer.