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Seumas Miller

In: The SAGE Handbook of Global Policing

Chapter 2: Political Theory, Institutional Purpose and Policing

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Political Theory, Institutional Purpose and Policing
Political Theory, Institutional Purpose and Policing
Seumas Miller
INTRODUCTION

Theories of policing can usefully be categorised as either descriptive or normative. A normative account is an account of what policing ought to be about, not what it has been or is about. Moreover, with respect to normative theories of policing we can distinguish between a normative theory of the institution of the police within a polity and, in particular, of the proper ends and distinctive means of the institution of the police in liberal democracies, on the one hand, and a theory about specific police methods or strategies, on the other. So a normative theory of the institution of the police is not a theory of, so to speak, best practice ...

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