Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

High Policing

  • Gary T. Marx
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_460


What is “high policing?” The term does not refer to the euphoria police may feel after an adrenalin generating challenge is met, nor does it refer to policing while high, although both might accompany the activities falling within the concept’s broad meaning. In its original meaning, it referred to the use of political intelligence to preserve the power of the ruler, in particular as this involved stealth, spying, espionage, and intrigue. Yet, like barnacles that become attached to a ship, over time the concept has evolved and layers of meaning have been added. The original ship is long gone, but parts of it endure in new forms and settings throughout society.

High policing can refer to the location of an agency such as those attached to the highest levels of governance, to an ethos involving intelligence collection and prevention of threats to what is now called national security, and to methodsof information discovery and subsequent action swathed in secrecy and deception,...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA