The Influence of the Philosophy of Police Tactics on breaking down Social Barriers


  • Julien Niklaus Institut de Hautes Etudes en Administration Publique (IDHEAP)


This article seeks to analyze the influence of a philosophy of policing on the decomparmentalization of the society. Indeed, the police are in fact a mirror of the society in which they operate. They are therefore influenced by it, but also influence the latter. To do this, four philosophies (‘zero tolerance policing’, ‘compstat policing’, ‘hotspots policing’, and ‘community policing’) are systematically reviewed in order to show how these police tactics compartmentalize or not the society. If many publications try to explain the tendency of society to withdraw into itself owing to factors such as insecurity, individualism and social and cultural diversity, none of those shows how specific police philosophies participate – or not – in the construction of an ‘exclusive society’ and in the building of symbolic boundaries between individuals and different social groupings like the police. This article is based on theoretical elements, a review of current and classic literature on the topic while providing innovative research avenues in the field.

Author Biography

Julien Niklaus, Institut de Hautes Etudes en Administration Publique (IDHEAP)

Teaching Assistant, PhD Candidate Dept. of Public Management and HR National Representative (Switzerland) for the European Group for the study of Deviance and Social Control.