The Policing of Terrorism: Organizational and Global Perspectives, by Mathieu Deflem (Routledge, 2010)

Mathieu Deflem
www.mathieudeflem.net

Published by Routledge, New York, 2010.

0-415-87540-4 (paperback) 
0-415-87539-0 (hardback) 
0-203-86038-1 (ebook)

This book is available from publisher Routledge, elsewhere online, or used


"Mathieu Deflem is, in our opinion, a leading voice when it comes to studying terrorism from a criminological perspective." -- Peter Lehr & Gillian Duncan, Terrorism Bibliography 

This book offers an analysis of the policing of terrorism in a variety of national and international contexts. Centered on developments since the events of September 11, 2001, the study analyzes police aspects of counter-terrorism in the United States and additionally extends its range comparatively to other nations and to the global level of international police organizations. Situated in the criminology of terrorism and counter-terrorism, this book offers a look into the contemporary organization of law enforcement against terrorism, which will significantly influence the conditions of global security in the foreseeable future.


CHAPTERS

PREVIEW: WHY THERE IS NO WAR ON TERROR

This book analyzes the central organizational and global dimensions of the policing of terrorism from a criminological viewpoint. For reasons that are too obvious to mention, terrorism has in recent years moved to the center of public attention and has become an important subject matter across a wide range of social institutions, including politics, law, the military, as well as police and criminal justice. As a result of the significance of terrorism in contemporary society, various aspects of terrorism and counter-terrorism have become central topics of scholarly research. However, there are still aspects in the field of terrorism studies that have as yet not received due attention. Among them, the policing of terrorism presents an as yet relatively unexplored and often not properly understood topic of research. To fill this gap in the literature on terrorism, this book develops an analysis of the most important characteristics and dimensions of the policing of terrorism in a variety of national and international settings.

CHAPTER 1. THE CRIMINOLOGY OF TERRORISM AND COUNTER-TERRORISM

To usefully situate the policing of terrorism, this chapter reviews the themes of terrorism and counter-terrorism and their study from a criminological perspective. The field of terrorism studies broadly encompasses both terrorism, as a particular activity involving the infliction of harm for specified purposes, and counter-terrorism, involving practices and institutions concerned with defining and responding to terrorism. It is the special province of a criminological viewpoint to focus on terrorism as a form of crime or deviance and on counter-terrorism as social control.

CHAPTER 2. A THEORY OF COUNTER-TERRORISM POLICING

Situated in the sociology of social control, this book’s empirical investigations of the policing of terrorism are based on the theory of bureaucratization. Following the work of Max Weber, the bureaucratization theory holds that modern counter-terrorist police efforts are autonomously conducted on the basis of professional standards regarding the means and objectives of counter-terrorism. The bureaucratization perspective recognizes that high-profile terrorist incidents, such as the events of 9/11, can lead to attempts by governments to re-direct police efforts against terrorism in function of political objectives. Yet, because the bureaucratization of modern police institutions is at an unprecedented high level, police agencies can better resist such (re-)politicization attempts to continue counter-terrorism activities on the basis of an understanding of terrorism based on professional expertise. Relatedly, the theory holds that national and, more generally, regional persistence marks counter-terrorism policing efforts, even when those efforts explicitly involve cooperation among police of different nations and regions. This chapter clarifies the theory more fully.

CHAPTER 3. COUNTER-TERRORISM POLICY AND LAW

Terrorism is responded to in various ways by multiple institutions. This chapter reviews recent developments in counter-terrorism policy and law in the United States. Specifically addressed are the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, and related intelligence activities. In popular discourse and the media, these policy and legal components of the U.S. counter-terrorism approach have aroused much discussion and debate. While the value of such normative contemplations cannot be denied, the scholarly approach adopted in this book chooses a different route, which is geared strictly towards an examination of empirical developments as they have in recent years taken place. It is hoped that this approach can also restore some realism and logic to the debate over the ideal course of relevant policy and law.

CHAPTER 4. HOMELAND SECURITY: THE ROLE OF FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT

The previous chapter has shown that coordination is a central concern in U.S. counter-terrorism policy. An examination of the most important policing components of counter-terrorism may reveal the extent and manner in which such coordination efforts have practically been realized since September 11. In this chapter, I first offer an overview of the long-standing involvement in counter-terrorism by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the lead investigative agency in the U.S. Department of Justice. Next, I examine the major organizational and functional aspects of counter-terrorism operations by selected security organizations in the DHS structure, specifically U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Also discussed is the counter-terrorism role of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), the main security and law enforcement branch of the U.S. Department of State.

CHAPTER 5. TERRORISM AND THE CITY: THE ROLE OF LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT

Counter-terrorism policing reaches not only outwards from federal agencies to other nations and the international organization of law enforcement, the policing of terrorism also extends inward into the organization of American society at the level of state, county, and municipal governments. To sketch a more comprehensive picture, therefore, a closer look is in order of some of the local components of counter-terrorism policing in the United States... The discussion begins with a review of relevant developments in New York City in order to reveal the impact of terrorism on policing in the city which, more than any other place in the United States, was impacted by the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. This chapter next turns to other developments in local counter-terrorism policing to estimate broader trends of local counter-terrorism policing.

CHAPTER 6. THE GLOBALIZATION OF COUNTER-TERRORISM POLICING

Although the attacks of September 11 took place on American soil, the events of that day also resonated on a global scale. This chapter addresses major aspects of national systems of counter-terrorism from around the world. Necessarily selective, this analysis focuses on important issues and themes that unite and differentiate national experiences in counter-terrorism. The national systems of counter-terrorism are reviewed in terms of the totality of their components and their interconnectedness. From this review, it should be possible to tease out the police dimensions in national systems of counter-terrorism in relation to their variable political, legal, and other relevant components and, thereby, to draw some sensible conclusions on the global counter-terrorism experience since September 11.

CHAPTER 7. POLICING WORLD TERRORISM: THE ROLE OF INTERPOL

Although the nations of the world each have distinct histories with respect to terrorism, the events of 9/11 have served as a critical catalyst for global police reform in matters of counter-terrorism. On the international level, these developments can also be observed by the changes that have taken place in matters of international police cooperation at both the bilateral level, directly among police of different nations, and at the multilateral level, as organized through international police organizations. In this chapter, an analysis is presented of the organization and practices of counter-terrorism that have been instituted by the International Criminal Police Organization, the organization better known as Interpol.

CHAPTER 8. POLICING TERRORISM IN EUROPE: THE ROLE OF EUROPOL

Besides Interpol, other international police organizations also focus on terrorism-related investigations, the development of which has been considerably impacted since the events of 9/11. Among the regional organizations aimed at fostering international police cooperation is the European Police Office (Europol), the police organization that was established to promote cooperation among the law enforcement agencies of the European Union... Primarily geared at instituting an efficient system of information sharing among police, Europol conceives of its counter-terrorism functions on the basis of professional standards of policing.

CHAPTER 9. UNDERCOVER COUNTER-TERRORISM IN ISRAEL

It is not difficult to acknowledge that terrorism issues have special relevance to the state of Israel. Given the country’s unique origins and geo-political development, terrorism and counter-terrorism have moved all aspects of Israeli society as in no other place in the world. The policing of terrorism in Israel therefore presents a special case in the world of counter-terrorism. For it can be expected that the nature and development of the state of Israel have brought about strong political characteristics of counter-terrorist police work that stand out among comparable law enforcement organizations in other industrialized democratic states. This chapter focuses special attention on the organization and operations of one special Israeli counter-terrorism force: the Yamas units in the Israeli Border Guard Magav, the combat branch of the Israeli Police.

CHAPTER 10. TERRORISM AND WAR: POLICING IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN

The institution of democratic police systems in Iraq and Afghanistan is a very difficult process. This chapter shows that militant and insurgent activities in Iraq and Afghanistan have been purposely aimed at hindering the development of civilian police institutions. As such, the military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan not only responded, in more and less direct ways, to the terrorism of 9/11, they have also brought about an entirely new set of conditions of terrorist violence, part of which is directly targeted at the police in both countries... Civilian police forces are ironically a preferred target of terrorist activities in contemporary Iraq and Afghanistan, precisely when these police institutions are needed, even more than under peacetime conditions, to be effectively involved in counter-terrorism.

CONCLUDING REFLECTIONS: TAKING THE POLICING OF TERRORISM SERIOUSLY

Researching the policing of terrorism, this book sought to fulfill two central objectives. First, it aimed to uncover the patterns and dynamics of the policing of terrorism in a variety of socio-historical settings. Approached from an organizational and global perspective, the findings in this book show that the momentous events of September 11 served as an important catalyst in shaping current conditions of counter-terrorism policing in a wide range of societies. At the same time, variations are also revealed across nations in terms of locally specific conditions. Second, this work sought to make the case for the criminological study of important developments of counter-terrorism. More specifically, this study aimed to show the strength of an approach to the policing of terrorism that is rooted in the sociology of crime and social control to offer a complement to the contributions that are made by other disciplines in the broader field of terrorism studies. 



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