Policing as forestry? Re-imagining policing in Belgium

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Authors: Lippens, R. and Van Calster, P.

Journal: Social and Legal Studies

Volume: 11

Issue: 2

Pages: 283-305

ISSN: 0964-6639

DOI: 10.1177/096466390201100206

This article has two aims. First, it argues that social and political change, to a large extent, occurs and develops within the boundaries of the imaginary - the realm of 'visibilities', of affect, of the senses and of emotion. 'Visibilities', images and imageries often offer the bounding backdrop on, or within, which discursive or symbolic formations of social and political change occur and develop. This article also situates the ongoing debates on police reform in Belgium within social and political changes that are taking place in that country. Reading recent legislation on police reform as an expression, as well as a becoming of 'policing as forestry', we try to unearth the imaginary boundaries - the visibilities, the images and imageries - that structure at least part of the affective and emotional space within which discursive or symbolic expressions and becomings materialize in policies and legislation. As such, this article hopes to contribute to the study of (the emotionalities of) police reform, while it also hopes to show how policing - the symbolic and material practice of ordering and of organization - takes place against the backdrop of an often diffuse, though bounded, space of the imaginary. This article presents itself, simultaneously, as (1) an analysis of recent Belgian police reform and police reform legislation; (2) an archaeological evocation of Belgium's recent social and political imaginary; (3) an elaboration of a new image of policing - policing as forestry - which may be able to subsume previous (allegedly incommensurable) models of policing. The Think Tank would endorse professor Huyse's analysis of events. Here's what he recently said on television: every post-war Belgian government Minister should be banned to Siberia, every gendarme should be kicked out of office, all judges and lawyers should take their exams all over again, and, last but not least: from now onwards, a forester should be heading Belgium's new unitary police force. (Taken from a satirical section in Campuskrant, one of Belgium's university campus newsletters, 14 May 1998 issue).

This data was imported from Web of Science (Lite):

Authors: Lippens, R. and Van Calster, P.

Journal: SOCIAL & LEGAL STUDIES

Volume: 11

Issue: 2

Pages: 283-305

ISSN: 0964-6639

DOI: 10.1177/096466390201100206

The data on this page was last updated at 05:13 on February 15, 2020.