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The new parapolice, risk markets and commodified social control

by Rigakos, George.

Abstract (Summary)
By conducting a case study of Intelligarde International, The Law Enforcement Company, this dissertation considers the increasingly important role of the parapolice for maintaining social order within late modem capitalism. The theoretical orientation for this investigation emanates from a consideration of risk society, governance, pluralist, and Mmian understandings of social control and the private police. A risk markets perspective is proffered which emphasises the processes of fear and cornmodification. previously undeveloped in these literatures. This thesis investigates first: how discipline and surveillance is achirved organisationally and sold extemally to risk markets, and second: how both secunty agents and those they are tasked with policing resist social control. This line of inquiry produces questions answerable through archival (including statistical) and observational data. Critical ethnography, field interviews (n=jO), an analysis of'occunence files (n=340), a 'bannings' database (n=2,6 17), personnel files (n=14 1). intemal correspondence (n= 15), and media reports were utilised in this investigation. In pursuing an ethnography of the Intelligarde parapolice, this dissertation departs fiom previous research that neglected to investigate the role and mobilisations of private security personnel from the perspective of line officen. Additionall y, new descriptive infotmation is made available about the crime control and order maintenance function of this parapolice organisation. Findings show that InteIligarde officers issued 2.6 17 ba~inç orders in 1996-97. and that they affected arrests or detained persons in 32.4% of al1 recorded occurrences. Camparisons with the Metropolitan Torontc Police demonstrate that the parapolice, on a per uniformed officrr basis. arp more likely to file papenvork on the public. are three times more likely to suffer liom proceedings being launched against them, and are five timrs more likely to be attacked in the course of their duties. These findings, along with observational and marketing data. establish the crime control function of the parapolice. The data also demonstrate the means by which the very techniques utilised for arnassing information about suspect populations and for controlling their own workforce is sold s 'product' to the client by Intelligarde managers. For almost every technique of hyperpanoptic management, there exists a means for its circumvention. Intelligarde ofticers employ many ingenious methods of 'ghosting' their presence within artificial. digital representations of their labour. As a resilt, managers are tasked with purchasing rven more comprehensive tools of surveillance or developing additional techniques to discipline their staff in a dialectic of control. On a much less nuanced level of resistance. the parapolice themselves are forced to confront groups of suspects who. on many occasions, physically attack and collectively defend ihemselves. Finally, the subculture of the parapolice (as with the public police) plays a vital role in defining occupational niles and organisational mobilisations in risk markets.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1999

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