Intelligent Control

Intelligent Control: Developments in Public Order Policing in Canada

WILLEM DE LINT
ALAN HALL
Copyright Date: 2009
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/9781442689831
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  • Book Info
    Intelligent Control
    Book Description:

    Investigating the ways in which police practices have evolved in relation to labour strikes and protests,Intelligent Controlexamines the means by which police forces have developed more coercive and consent-based approaches to regulating social unrest.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8983-1
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. 1 Policing Labour / Policing Protest
    (pp. 3-18)

    Among the most powerful symbols of liberal democracy are a worker’s right to strike and a citizen’s right to engage in protest. Democratic or authoritarian political systems are often distinguished by police tactics in these situations, seen as reflecting the nature of the relationship between citizens, workers, and governing authorities. Accordingly, spectacles of riot police clubbing, pepper spraying, or arresting protesters or pickets are among the most widely appreciated bellwethers that liberal democracies are degenerating into authoritarian or police states.

    What, then, can we make of neo-liberal democracies? Have labour and human rights persisted in importance as nation after nation...

  5. 2 Interpreting Public Order Policing
    (pp. 19-52)

    In the last chapter we hinted that a more nuanced approach to the policing of public order might require further explanation, given the neo-liberal context of the ‘lean, mean state.’ If it is true that the ‘return to coercion’ thesis is found wanting, we still need to explain the rise of the paramilitarism and the intensification of intelligence-based policing. If the use of force is more restrained and selective, as della Porta, Waddington, and others suggest, how can we account for the restraint and selection? This chapter looks for tentative answers to these questions by providing a review of the...

  6. 3 Liberalism and Labour/Police Development
    (pp. 53-91)

    Before we can appreciate recent changes to Canadian public order policing within neo-liberalism and post-Fordism, it is necessary to offer a broader historical overview of the relationship between labour, industry, and policing within Canada. We do this by highlighting the key features of policing within Canada’s historical development as a liberal welfare state and a Fordist industrial economy. In particular, we document the early engagement of private security and intelligence in labour countering, and the gradual institutionalization of labour. We show that while labour protest is initially not well organized and put down violently by militia and special constables, changes...

  7. 4 The Emergence of Labour Liaison: The Crisis in Fordism and Welfare Liberalism?
    (pp. 92-147)

    In the previous chapter we argued that the development of the liberal state, police unionization, and union legitimacy had increasingly problematized the use of militia and police force in strike situations. By the late 1940s, a new legislative framework had effectively institutionalized labour conflict by responsibilizing and institutionalizing labour unions within a regime of industrial legality. But, as noted, while this greatly reduced the number of confrontations between police and labour through the 1950s and into the 1960s, police themselves were still formally approaching their role and their tactics much as they had through the first half of the century,...

  8. 5 The Refinement of Labour Liaison and the Seeds of Decline
    (pp. 148-194)

    In this chapter, we look at the finer points of the liaison approach in order to parse its constituent elements and consider it as a mechanism of control. The liaison approach roughly matches what della Porta and Reiter (1998) and McPhail, Schweingruber, and McCarthy (1998) have called ‘negotiated management.’ Displacing the prior ‘escalated force’ control model in which police adapted their use of force protocol to demonstrations, under negotiated management police under-enforce the law and increase the predictability of the event by ceding space and control to picketers or demonstrators (Noakes, Klocke, and Gillham, 2005). As in negotiated management, the...

  9. 6 Liaison in an Institutional Context
    (pp. 195-220)

    In previous chapters we explored the development of strike liaison policing as a consequence of emergent police professionalism, including concern for public relations, streamlining of the mandate, and powerful motivations among reform-minded officers to remedy a long-standing bane. We also attributed liaison to the wider context of post-Fordism, welfare state decline, and neo-liberal thematics, which both angered and weakened organized labour and many other social movements. In addition, we witnessed the emergence of sensitivity on the part of municipal police to the legitimacy of labour that is organized around routine work demands rather than wider political agendas. Attention to the...

  10. 7 A Season of Discontent
    (pp. 221-263)

    In the previous chapter we examined the application of the liaison approach to the broader realm of protest policing as well as the continued development of more sophisticated coercive tools that were used in selective ways. In an effort to show how these different developments have played out within the context of other public order situations in the 1990s, we now consider the extension of the liaison approach during the 1990s to the thorny problem of policing Native land claim occupations and large-scale protests. We show that while the liaison approach is adapted to Native protests, there are continuing tensions...

  11. 8 Intelligent Control
    (pp. 264-281)

    Our account of the history of public order policing in Canada over the course of the twentieth century has sought to recognize both changes and historical continuities in police ideas, tactics, and strategies. While our central analysis has focused on a relatively recent shift to a consensual liaison approach, we have also recognized a long-standing and persistent use of both consensual and coercive tactics on different groups in different situations. The overall direction of police strategy has been towards limiting direct police action (particularly the use of force) in both strikes and protest situations. A the same time, we have...

  12. 9 Conclusion
    (pp. 282-300)

    Liberalization and privatization have been central to our argument. As welfare liberalism took hold over the course of the twentieth century, police increasingly discovered, as Giddens (1985) argues, that flagrant and spectacular disclosures of coercive capacity yield diminishing returns. According to liberalized rule of law, too much discretion, particularly of authorities, is also constructed as problematic. The tightening of police legal and political accountabilities in the new public management was part of the effort to maintain liberal democracies as capable of absorbing a great deal of conflict and dissent without recourse to liberalism’s antithesis: authoritarianism. With increased emphasis on the...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 301-314)
  14. References
    (pp. 315-340)
  15. Index
    (pp. 341-365)