Private Police and Security Governance: Mapping Emerging Trends and Future Directions

Date01 February 2020
AuthorMahesh K. Nalla,Anna Gurinskaya
Published date01 February 2020
Subject MatterArticles
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
2020, Vol. 36(1) 101 –109
© The Author(s) 2019
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/1043986219890208
Private Police and Security
Governance: Mapping
Emerging Trends and
Future Directions
Mahesh K. Nalla1 and Anna Gurinskaya2,3
In this article, we outline a brief overview of the growth and trends in scholarly
literature devoted to the study of private policing and the private security industry in
crime and security governance over the past five decades. More specifically, we draw
attention to the scholarship addressing private policing and the shifts in the discourse
of the subject of security governance during this time both from theoretical and
thematic foci. In doing so, we identify potential future directions in which this field of
private policing studies is moving.
private security, private security guards, private policing, police legitimacy, security
The nature and role of the government as the sole agent of social regulation in the
governance of the state has been debated for many decades. The presence of multiple
actors to regulate and govern both public and private spaces is well documented in
recent decades. Post Keynesian political rationalities resulted in the dispersal of regu-
lation (O’Mally & Palmer, 1996) and the appearance of policing functionaries in vari-
ous forms that are referred to as “networked” (Crawford, 2006) or “nodal” (Shearing,
2001) governance. The first set of actors constitutes private security guards (PSGs)
and corporate security personnel performing varieties of tasks, sometimes in uniforms,
1Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
2St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia
3Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St. Petersburg, Russia
Corresponding Author:
Mahesh K. Nalla, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.
890208CCJXXX10.1177/1043986219890208Journal of Contemporary Criminal JusticeNalla and Gurinskaya

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