Imagining Security

By Jennifer Wood and Clifford Shearing; Marianna Perry, CPP


***** Imagining Security. By Jennifer Wood and Clifford Shearing; published by Willan Publishing, (Web); 184 pages, $44.
Authors Jennifer Wood and Clifford Shearing re-examine the core concepts of security in the context of a 21st century world filled with new and urgent threats. They see an important intellectual shift underway and argue that a new “governance of security” will require “new ways of thinking and acting.”
The text presents historical perspectives on security beginning with the influence of 19th century British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel and “third-party policing,” in which “willing and unwilling partners come together to solve a crime problem.” Even though police in Britain wanted the cooperation of the community, they were still considered the “professionals” in crime prevention. Problem-oriented policing emerged to leverage police resources, and later restorative justice emerged to identify the “root causes” of crime.
Wood and Shearing discuss different law enforcement concepts—such as the broken-window theory, intelligence-led policing and situational crime prevention—laying the groundwork for their take on where the field of security is headed today: a shift from “community security’ to “human security.”
To define human security, the authors ask what causes insecurity. The answer, according to Wood and Shearing, are concerns about employment, income, health, and environment, in conjunction with fear of crime. They point to the 1945 United Nations Conference on International Organization, which defined security generally as freedom from fear and want. Managing those fears requires an integrated approach to a “human security framework for a coordinated set of pro­cesses for protecting and securing people,” they write.
As security professionals, we must rely on our historical experience and our wisdom to define and promote security in the 21st century, and keep an open mind to different ways of thinking that may help to solve security issues. This text will interest anyone curious about the broader context of social and economic conditions that may impact how we approach security.

Reviewer: Marianna Perry, CPP, is director of the National Crime Prevention Institute at the University of Louisville. She is a former trooper and detective with the Kentucky State Police, has provided loss control services to numerous Fortune 500 companies, and served as general manager for one of the region’s largest private security companies. She is a member of the ASIS International Crime and Loss Prevention Council.




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