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Synopsis

Crisis and Control explains how neoliberal transformations of political and economic systems are militarising the policing of protest, based on a compelling empirical study of police agencies and practices from 1995 until the present.

Lesley J. Wood shows that the increasing role of the security and defense industries, professional police associations, anti-terrorism initiatives and ‘best practices’ in policing networks have accelerated the use of less lethal weapons, pre-emptive arrests, infiltration and barricading strategies against protesters.

The book uses Bourdieu and Boltanski to analyse court transcripts, police reports, policy, training materials and the conference programs of professional police organisations to argue that police agencies are neither omnipotent strategists, nor simple tools of the elite, but institutions struggling to maintain legitimacy, resources and autonomy in a changing field.

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