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Until comparatively recently, most of the writing – and indeed research – on the police had focused on the situation in the United States and England and Wales. Indeed, it was only with David Bayley’s (1985) seminal text that any systematic cross-national approach was adopted. This lack of an international comparative dimension was surprising, given the centrality placed on comparative analysis by sociologists and political scientists. It was also a notable omission given that senior police administrators across the world, such as Raymond Fosdick in New York and Sir Charles Jeffries, a British colonial official, had long been aware of differences in the nature of police systems between societies and used their awareness to adopt new ways of policing (Mawby 1990).
Practitioners are still involved in international comparisons. However, more of the recent contributions have been made by academics. International comparative research has become an essential ingredient of the established academic agenda of police studies. One method of so doing, of which the following entries are excellent examples, is to compare specific policing issues cross-nationally. Another is to compare different police systems. However, ironically, the very fact that police systems and policing methods are discussed so regularly though the international – academic and practitioner – police families lends weight to the argument that in postmodern societies, convergence has led to a reduction in the contrasts between different police systems. Having previously compared Anglo-American police systems with four other models, the continental, communist, colonial, and Far Eastern systems (Mawby 1990, 1999a, 2011a), the issue is revisited here. Specifically, this research paper considers how far the continental, communist, and colonial systems, all examples of control-dominated systems, are still relevant to a contemporary critique of policing across the world.
Models Of Alternative Police Systems
There is a distinction between policing – as a process – and the police as an institution that might be responsible for many other services that are only tenuously related to maintaining order or preventing crime. Focusing on the police as a state-based organization, the nature of “the police” varies markedly between countries and over time (Bayley 1985; Findlay and Zvekic 1993; Mawby 1990, 1999a, 2011a). Distinctive models can be distinguished in terms of police legitimacy, structure, and function. Legitimacy implies that the police are granted special authority by those in power, whether this is an elite within the society, an occupying force, or the community as a whole. Structure implies that the police is organized, with some degree of specialization and with a code of practice within which, for example, the extent to which use of force is legitimate is specified. However, the extent of organization or specialization, and the types of force considered appropriate, will vary. Finally, function implies that the role of the police is concentrated on the maintenance of law and order and the prevention and detection of offenses, but there might be considerable differences in the balance between these and in the extent to which other duties are assigned to the police.
On these three criteria, the public police model that emerged on mainland Britain and the USA in the nineteenth century differed from the centralized, autocratic arm of state authority that preceded it on continental European. Equally, a control-dominated system can be identified with traditional policing in the colonies established by Britain and its European neighbors and communist Europe.
However, there are, arguably, as many differences between countries within a model as there are between alternative ideal types, a point made forcefully by Anderson and Killingray (1991, 1992) in the context of a colonial police system. Equally, there are often variations within a country. For example, in Canada marked variations exist between the centralized RCMP and local urban and provincial police.
The Canadian example is a useful one, because it challenges the assumption that the control-oriented models cited above are categorically different from Anglo-American police systems. While the latter might be identified with a democratic, community-oriented police system, the task of assigning any specific police system to a community-oriented model is contentious. Although this may be the type of democratic policing that many aspire to, and Western democracies have been keen to influence such police developments elsewhere (Bayley 2006; Marenin 1998; Pino and Wiatrowski 2006), it is difficult to nominate any one country as even approaching achieving it (Brogden 1999; Mawby 1990). This is evident if we disaggregate the core components of a community-oriented system.
Such a police system is one where the main function of the police is to provide a public service that addresses the wider needs of the community. Maintaining order is important, but the emphasis is more on crime as symptomatic of community problems than as an affront to authority. Such a model assumes that the police are accorded considerable legitimacy by local communities. The police are consequently generally organized and managed locally, and barriers between police and public are minimized. Community policing and problem-oriented policing typify this approach.
Anglo-American police clearly fall short of these ideals. In England and Wales, for example, often eulogized as the home of community policing, the modern police system emerged at least in part as a means of maintaining order in the midst of working class protest and was brutally deployed following the first World War to break the national miners’ strike, a strategy revisited when Margaret Thatcher’s government used the police to break the miners’ strike in the early 1980s (Fine and Millar 1985). And in many cases, police were recruited from rural areas to work in the cities, undermining the claim that they were local citizens in uniform. In the USA, where police systems have been traditionally locally based, personnel have been recruited locally, and officers have engaged in a wide range of “noncrime” responsibilities; the image of the police as a militaristic body charged with fighting the “war” against crime is equally pervasive. Increased militarization of the police to “fight” the “war” against terrorism has reconfirmed this. Elsewhere, Bayley’s (1991) early presentation of the Japanese police as community based and welfare oriented has been questioned (Aldous 1997; Leishman 1999; Miyazawa 1992). It may, therefore, be that the key strength of specifying a community-oriented model is as an ideal type, in the Weberian sense, so as to better evaluate police systems and changes within them.
In stark contrast to a community-oriented system, a control-dominated system is one where the main function of the police is to maintain order and where the population generally fails to recognize the legitimacy of the state and its agents, the police. In such societies, the police may carry out a range of administrative tasks on behalf of the state but rarely provide a public service that addresses the welfare needs of the community. The police are, consequently, generally organized and managed centrally and have many paramilitary qualities. In some cases, the distinction between police and military is negligible.
Nevertheless, it can be argued that the democratization of post-communist and postcolonial societies and the cross-national interchange of ideas within the international police family have resulted in police structures and methods from one country being imported to others, leading to convergence. It is this argument that is more fully discussed in this research paper. The focus is on three police models that have traditionally been considered control oriented: the European continental system, communist police, and the colonial system. In each case, the original model is described before moving on to consider how specific police systems have changed and how far democratic, community-oriented policing is more evident.
The Continental Model: The Greek Police Example
Discussions of an alleged continental European policing system have a long history, and Fosdick’s (1969) account of continental police at the beginning of the twentieth century is the first of many attempts to identify key characteristics of the police systems of continental Europe (Mawby 1990). In terms of function, the role of the police in continental societies has traditionally tended to be wide-ranging, with a particular emphasis upon political control, termed “high policing” in the French context, in addition to crime control. Continental systems have also been associated with a range of administrative responsibilities, with relatively less emphasis on welfare or service functions. However, there is a marked difference between the French, Italian, and Spanish police on the one hand, as classic examples of this ideal type, and their counterparts in countries such as the Netherlands or Scandinavia.
The need for strong policing might imply that continental police systems would also be characterized as centralized and paramilitary, but this was not always the case. For example, Iceland and Switzerland have, respectively, district and canton-based systems, and the Netherlands reorganized in 1993 into 25 regional forces (Jones 1995). More characteristic of the traditional continental model is a structure where one centralized, militaristic force is counterbalanced by either a second or by local city forces. The French are traditionally identified with this model, where the national Gendarmerie-covered rural areas and urban areas were policed initially by local forces and latterly by the Police Nationale; the maintenance of at least two police forces allowing governments to ensure that no one institution achieved too much power. While the police in most continental countries carry firearms, it is also the case that in many countries, there is at least one centralized force that evidences significantly greater militaristic qualities. In France, for example, the Police Nationale traditionally came under the Ministry of the Interior, whereas the Gendarmerie has been a military force under the Ministry of Defence, with a two-tier entry system, barrack accommodation, and impressive armaments.
In the past, continental police systems were also distinguished in terms of their lack of public accountability, being directly responsible to the head of state. While this is less easily reconciled with the liberal democracies of postwar Europe, it is still the case that public accountability is more restricted in countries where the police are more centralized and militaristic. Moreover, the move toward democracy does not inevitably bring with it a more democratic police system. The Greek situation well illustrates this (Mawby 2011b).
An assessment of the Greek police as it developed after gaining independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830 suggests that the system was steeped in the continental European tradition. This was partly the result of external influence (especially from Britain, France, and Russia), partly the law and order problems prioritized internally.
The Chorafylake, formed in 1833, was modeled on the French Gendarmerie and charged with the task of supporting the army in protecting the fledgling state from insurrection. It remained the major policing agency for the next 150 years, adapting and being reformed to meet new challenges perceived to threaten public order. For example, it was also used to counter the emerging “threat” of communism and to assert Greek sovereignty in newly “acquired” territories (Rigakos and Papanicolaou 2003). However, the prioritization of high policing meant that the Chorafylake seemed unwilling or unable to deal with conventional crime problems, most notably in the expanding cities. As a result, municipal police forces were created in the late nineteenth century. They were disbanded in 1906 but then in 1920, a national force was reconstituted to cover the main cities and the island of Corfu. Known as the Astynomia Poleon, it was conceived as a civilian force, modeled on the London Metropolitan Police, with its own training system and a pay structure designed to present it as a more professional alternative to the Chorafylake. To a certain extent, the establishment of separate forces, a paramilitary Gendarmerie to police rural Greece and a civilian urban equivalent, paralleled developments in many other European countries. Both forces were armed and explicitly conservative and anticommunist, the latter tendency being reinforced in the immediate period after World War 2 as the police were positioned as a force against communism, both internally and externally, and specialist units, the Hellenic National Intelligence Service (KYP) and the LOK Special Forces, were created with alleged supported from the US. LOK was actively involved in the 1967 coup that led to the military dictatorship of the colonels (1967–1974) and a further shift toward paramilitary policing with the creation of the Greek Military Police. The return to a democratic system in the 1980s and the creation of a civilian police system thus emerged from the foundations of a centralized and militaristic police, mandated to uphold right-wing governments, with little or no broader accountability.
The structure of the new police was encapsulated in the 1984 Act with the Chorafylake and Astynomia Poleon merged into the new Hellenic Police. Unlike in post-communist societies (see below) though, there was no dramatic change to police personnel. However, as Rigakos and Papanicolaou (2003: 286) note, this new police system was intended to become a “genuine social service.” But the ensuing structure contained a hybrid mix of its forbearers, with innovations constrained by political and social expediency. Thus, while it was answerable to a new Ministry of Public Order, the Hellenic Police continued the centralized, militaristic tradition of the Chorafylake, being justified with reference to the universal mantra of a “war on crime” and the only slightly less common assumption that the military model was a safeguard against corruption.
In one sense, any justification for such a model appears weak. Thus, Greece had, and continues to have, a relatively low crime rate. The International Crime Victim Survey (ICVS), which included Greece for the first time in 2003/2004, ranked its rate for most crimes as well below average, albeit levels of fear were higher than in most other countries (van Dijk et al. 2008). It was, rather, the political threat, both communist and Turkish inspired (and more recently riots fuelled by the financial crisis), and concerns over cross-border contagion (illegal immigration and drug trafficking) that have been used to justify the need for strong policing.
Reflecting such concerns, a number of developments in the past 20 years have been aimed at toughening security responses, including:
• The reformulation of the Special Suppressive Anti-Terrorist Unit (EKAM), originally introduced in 1978, when the Hellenic Police was created
• The creation of the Border Guard Police Service (BGPS) in 1998 to tackle illegal immigration
• The formation of the Special Guard Service (SGS) in 1999 to protect sensitive sites from terrorist attacks
• The introduction of Criminality Prevention and Repression Squads (CPRS), with a particular focus on Romas and illegal immigrants
• The creation of the Department of Police Special Controls (DPSC) in 1995 with Special Controls Squads (SCS), mainly active in areas of social deprivation
There have, of course, been countertrends. Nevertheless, the Greece police has maintained its tradition as a powerful, centralized, and militaristic organization. It is against this backcloth that we need to contextualize the response to incidents such as the fatal shooting of Alexis Grigoropoulos in December 2008 that provoked riots both at the time and a year later and the confrontations on the streets of Greece’s major cities following the financial crisis in the Spring of 2010 and subsequently. More broadly, it is illustrated in the feelings of the Greek population, expressed in the ICVS, where the Greek police rate poorly (van Dijk et al. 2008).
Moving Out Of Communism: The USSR And The New Europe
The claim that there is, or was, a distinctive communist police system has also been the subject of debate. For example, it is plausible to argue that it was in many ways conceived out of the police models of continental Europe. There are also clear differences between the police systems of Russia, the “colonial power” of Central/Eastern Europe, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (Mawby 1990). As elsewhere, then, the extent to which countries’ police systems can be categorized into an ideal type is influenced by a host of variables such as social structure, prevailing culture, the influence of other countries and, in the case of communist countries, the nature of the previous regime and the distinctive form taken by the revolution.
The emergence of communism took starkly different paths in the USSR and PRC (Kowalewski 1981). While in China, decades of civil war culminated in the creation in 1949 of a rural-based popular government that was dependent upon peasant support and saw the Mass Line as a mechanism for forging conformity; in the USSR the revolution of 1917 was all but completed by 1920, leading to minority Bolshevik control of a country where grassroots support for the new regime was minimal. These conditions therefore paved the way for a highly centralized economy and state, with control exerted through a party elite and where the former Tsarist Secret Police provided a model for the new secret police, the cheka, which operated above the centralized militia.
Clearly a major role of the police was to deal with crime. However, the extent to which crime control was the main role of the police is questionable, with the police playing a key political role in maintaining the regime. The cheka’s mandate was to control the border and to prevent internal counterrevolutionary activity, a mandate it accepted with such ruthlessness that it was disbanded in 1922, although its replacements – the GPU, MGB, and, later, the KGB – were also counterintelligence organizations with considerably more power than the militia. Meanwhile the militia played a major part in political control through the regulation of passports and identity cards, through which it had a direct influence on restricting population movement.
The political role of the police was not the only way in which the functions of the police were wide-ranging. However, whereas in China, these included welfare and social service roles; in the USSR the emphasis was on administrative responsibilities. The centralized nature of policing was also evident. Any degree of local autonomy that existed in theory appears to have been purely fictional. Furthermore, the USSR’s militia was essentially militaristic, being routinely armed with a rank structure equivalent to the military and recruits drawn from either the party or the armed forces. This acknowledgement of party membership was crucial to an understanding of the legitimacy of the police in communist societies. The interrelationship of party and police was perhaps the most significant feature of the system. In both the USSR and PRC, the police included a disproportionate number of party members, but in addition the party independently exerted considerable influence on police practices. In the USSR, with an early emphasis on a written constitution, the militia was in theory accountable to the law, although the security forces have traditionally operated above the law. However, the influence of the party on the entire criminal justice system meant that the concept of separation of powers was entirely absent. Similarly, attempts to involve the public in the policing process seemed to result in either additional party control through the creation of police aides (at best) or a complex informer system (at worst).
Clearly the emphasis changed as the balance of power shifted and new priorities gained ascendancy. For example, Lenin’s preference for apportioning some power to factory committees illustrated an example of locally based crime control that was dismantled in Stalin’s ruthless pursuit of a totalitarian central regime, but reemerged under Khrushchev, with the introduction of comrades’ courts, the campaign against Parasites and the People’s Guard.
The police systems of Warsaw pact countries were closely modeled on that of the USSR and thus unsurprisingly incorporated political and administrative responsibilities, a strong centralized secret police and a centralized, militaristic uniformed police. Being accountable to the party, there was little popular mandate. In post-communist societies they were commonly acknowledged to have been “repressive” systems (Mawby 1999b).
It is also notable that during the mid-1980s, as these regimes faced more overt public opposition, the repressive political role of the police became more pronounced. In Czechoslovakia, the police were associated with brutality in the period leading up to 1989. In the GDR the police played a key role in protecting the Honiker government in the early 1980s, while in Poland the police attempted to repress Solidarity.
Just as political reform in the former USSR and Eastern Europe has been varied, so changes to the police have differed in scale. On the one hand, it appears that change in Russia and many of its former states has been minimal (Pustintsev 2000; Beck and Chistyakova 2002; Galeotti 2003). On the other hand, police reform in some, but by no means all, of its Central/Eastern European “colonies” was accorded priority in the embryonic periods of the new regimes. However, the move from a communist to a democratic police system has not been plain sailing in these societies in transition (Zvekic 1996, 1998).
Given the importance of the police in sustaining the “old” system, it is scarcely surprising that the new democratic regimes of Central and Eastern Europe should have prioritized changing them, and in the early days of the new regimes, changes to police systems were considered crucial (Mawby 1999b). However, while the most radical changes occurred in East Germany, where its police were absorbed into West Germany’s, elsewhere changes were less radical. Changes to police personnel appear to have been widespread in the early phase of development. But the function, structure, and legitimacy of the police have been affected rather less. Some changes have taken place, but they have perhaps not been as radical as was envisaged at the time of the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. This reflects both the difficulty of radically changing established institutions and the changing priorities in post-communist societies, where governments have identified an escalating crime problem.
Social, economic, and cultural changes added to the pressure on criminal justice systems in general and the police in particular. Economic inefficiency, collapse of living standards, and social dislocation bred a criminogenic environment, and rising levels of crime were well illustrated in official statistics. Victim survey data, while being relatively recent, also suggest that from comparatively low rates under communism crime rates in societies in transition rapidly caught up with those in the West. Certainly, public anxiety increased (Zvekic 1996, 1998; Mawby 1999b), albeit the most recent data suggest that both crime rates and public anxiety have been reduced (van Dijk et al. 2008). The ICVS also suggests that in some former Warsaw pact countries public attitudes toward the police have improved, although they still remain relatively negative.
While these factors tended to put a break on police reform, the influence of Western Europe, especially as societies in transition sought EU membership, and the USA is also important. Political alliances with the West, through Interpol, EU membership, and joint training operations have drawn post-communist societies closer to the West, and especially closer to Western Europe and the USA (Marenin 1998). In the latter case, however, US concern to emphasize the “war” against crime, and especially terrorism and the international drug problem, has taken priority over any emphasis upon democratizing and decentralizing the police.
Colonial Policing: UK And US Colonialism
A third police system that has been consistently recognized in the literature is the colonial model. In many respects it corresponds to the continental model – not surprising given that much of the administrative and legal structure of European states was based on earlier Roman institutions, where the Romans were themselves colonists. This also serves to remind us that the British were not the only colonists (Cole 1999). However, there has been relatively little research on the police of colonial Spain, Portugal, and France or indeed of the colonial model adopted by the USA in its “unincorporated territories,” such as Puerto Rico, which came under US control in 1898 following the Spanish-American War.
Focusing on the British Empire, it is arguable that the Westminster government created a different type of police system for its colonies, one that was more appropriate for the control of a subjugated population. The model it used was the one first established for Ireland, where the police could not rely on public consent, which was then introduced, with modifications, throughout Britishcontrolled Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.
Colonial police may be characterized as, in terms of structure, relatively centralized and militaristic (e.g., armed and living as units in barracks), in functional terms, giving more priority to public order tasks, but also having a number of administrative responsibilities, and deriving their legitimacy from their colonial masters rather than the indigenous population. There has, however, been considerable debate over the distinctiveness of a colonial model. On the one hand, Brogden (1987) has argued that the differences between British and British colonial policing have been exaggerated. On the other hand, Anderson and Killingray (1991, 1992) claimed that the differences between colonial systems exceeded the similarities.
What is clear is that the British government saw the establishment of a strong police apparatus as central to the establishment of control and legitimacy across its empire. To enforce control, the police were formed according to a militaristic model, although not necessarily armed, nor was the police system necessarily centralized: in India the provinces or states had their own police forces although the Indian Police Service was responsible for the recruitment, training, and deployment of senior ranks; in Nigeria, at least two forces operated in different parts of the country. However, clearly the police acted on behalf of the British government and had little local mandate, frequently operating with draconian powers. A further illustration of the lack of local influence was the common practice of recruiting staff from either the British military or from elsewhere in the empire, ensuring that the police did not establish close relationships with the indigenous population. The police were part of the administrative structure, and their roles reflected this. They were involved in ensuring that local government ticked over quietly. While crime control might have been important, especially where it involved British nationals as victims, maintaining order and eliminating dissent were pivotal (Arnold 1986). The police were engaged in putting down political protest, including labor disputes, while in Hong Kong, guarding against the threat of communism was central to their mandate (Anderson and Killingray 1991; Travers and Vagg 1993). While crime and disorder issues within the indigenous community received little priority, this meant – ironically – that in some countries, such as Hong Kong, communitarian forms of selfpolicing were tolerated.
The fact that the British government experienced similar problems throughout its empire provided an important push toward conformity. This was strengthened, though, with centralized administration and control through the Colonial Police Service, based in London, central training for officers, the formation of the Inspector General of Colonial Police in 1948, and the practice of transferring senior officers between different countries.
However, just as there were differences in emphasis between different parts of the empire, so the model shifted at different points in time. In particular, in the conflict building up to independence, which in many cases culminated in armed insurrection, the response of the British government was to accentuate the key features of the model. So, for example, police numbers were increased, central control was strengthened, police arms were improved, and links between police and military were enhanced (Anderson and Killingray 1992). That this should happen at a time when the legitimacy of the British government and its police was being challenged is scarcely surprising. What is equally important to stress, though, is that it makes problematic the transition from a colonial to a democratic, community-based police system. Moreover, given the inevitability of conflict and disorder after independence, the social control functions of the colonial police came to be valued by the new regimes. In consequence, the strategy, for example, in India (Arnold 1986), seems to have been to replace the (British) officer class but preserve core features of the system. Thus, even with significant political change, police systems often continued as before, an issue illustrated in Northern Ireland (Independent Commission on Policing in Northern Ireland 1999).
This is also evident in the Caribbean. In Jamaica, for example, which gained independence from Britain in 1962, the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) continued the colonial police tradition. In the context of political unrest and corruption, a significant illegal drug trade, high homicide rates, and the establishment of the rigidly defined geographical zones known as garrisons, safe havens controlled by organized crime, paramilitary policing has been evidenced through joint police-military operations and special units such as the Mobile Reserve and the Crime Management Unit (CMU) (Harriot 2000, 2003). In Puerto Rico, despite significant political changes, high crime rates, especially homicide, and the existence of public housing projects that are virtually no-go areas, have been used to justify a continued military-style police system, symbolized through the Mano Dura Contra el Crimen (Hard Hand against Crime) (Dinzey-Flores 2011) and the brutal shooting by a police officer of community leader, Miguel A. Ca´ceres Cruz in 2007. External intervention, particularly by the USA, has been significant in many parts of the Caribbean, with funding and expertise provided in an attempt to move toward more effective, and possibly more democratic, forms of policing (Bayley 2006; Bowling 2010; Pino and Wiatrowski 2006). However, while Wilson et al. (2011) report some evidence of improvement in
Trinidad and Tobago, perhaps the key message here is the difficulty of introducing significant changes, particularly in the context of internal and cross-border crime and disorder issues.
The evidence discussed here suggests that control-dominated police systems are still evident across the world and that it is still relevant to talk about the continental, communist and colonial models, albeit the key features of these have been modified to varying degrees. The question then arises as to why there has, apparently, been resistance to change.
Two broad generators of change can be identified: internal pressure and external influence. Internal changes may be predicated by regime change. This is particularly well illustrated in the case of former Eastern Bloc countries and postcolonial societies but also applies to the Greek example. In each case, the transformation of the traditionally control-dominated police into a community-oriented police was commonly advocated by aspiring leaders. However, a perceived threat to law and order led to a dismantling of police reform agendas, for example, in Eastern Europe (Mawby 1999b), with subsequent reforms less radical than had been anticipated (Beck et al. 2006), while in the case of postcolonial societies, new governments also sometimes retained old police systems in order to establish and assert their authority (Anderson and Killingray 1992). The Greek and Caribbean examples also illustrate the extent to which governments’ “identification” of major crime problems and political threats has been used to justify the continuation of a militaristic police.
The broader processes leading up to regime change are illustrated in Fig. 1. During the death throes of colonial and communist societies, regimes under threat acted to preserve the status quo by enhancing the militaristic features of the police, for example, by police-military cooperative ventures, the creation of elite, specialist public order police squads, and increases to police hardware. The result was that such systems contrasted even more with a community-oriented system. The possibility of a steady transition from control to community oriented thus faced even more obstacles.
In this situation, the importance of external influences becomes crucial. External influence is particularly important in postmodern societies where similar influences are prevalent across national boundaries and where examples of innovative developments in one society are readily available as examples of best practice elsewhere. Formal pacts add a further impetus to change. For example, the emergence and expansion of the European Union has involved greater cross-border cooperation and, consequently, increased pressure toward the harmonization of policy. Allied to this, Europol was ratified in 1999 as the EU organization for cross-border coordination between national law enforcement agencies, providing collation, analysis, and dissemination of information, and a European Police College (CEPOL) was established in 2001. A further source of external pressure involves Western democracies, with their alleged democratic police systems, offering a supportive role in the transformation. As noted above, the USA has been influential in the Caribbean, while it also founded a police college in Budapest, providing training for key staff from societies in transition. The UK has fulfilled a similar role, establishing the Knowhow Foundation to provide support in its former colonies and later extending the scheme to Central and Eastern Europe.
However, it is easy to identify tensions here without acceding to Brogden’s (1987) dismissals of the differences between Anglo-American and control-dominated systems. Western democracies have a long history of sacrificing democratic principles when other interests are perceived as paramount, and this equally applies to police reform (Bayley 2006; Pino and Wiatrowski 2006). One aspect of this relates to organized cross-border crime, including drug trafficking, people smuggling, and money laundering, where the “war” against crime may be advocated in advance of democratic policing ideals. Examples of this are evident in the content of US training priorities at its Budapest college and in US policy in the Caribbean. Of even more significance is the political threat. As Aldous (1997) demonstrated for postwar Japan, US policy oscillated between prioritizing the democratization of the police through decentralization and encouraging a strong police as barrier against the communist threat, the latter point being reiterated in South Korea (Lee 1990). Similar fears concerning the spread of communism within Europe can be identified vis a vis US support for hard-line policing in Greece. In the light of such examples, the influence of US policy on the democratization of Islamic states in the aftermath of the Arab Spring should be greeted with caution. While internal pressures toward democratic policing are by no means inevitable, external influences are often ambiguous. The assumption that police systems across the world are inevitably converging toward a democratic, community-oriented ideal is thus highly questionable. Variations between the police systems of different countries are still evident, with the continental, communist, and colonial models still relevant for any analysis of variations between the police systems of different countries.
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