Policing Barcelona

authors Amadeu Recasens i Brunet
  Paul Ponsaers
journal EJPS (ISSN: 2034-760X)
volume Volume 2
issue Issue 1: Policing European Metropolises – Guest Editors: Adam Edwards, Paul Ponsaers, Amadeu Recasens i Brunet, Antoinette Verhage
section Articles
publicatie datum 8 septembre 2014
langue English
pagina 110
keywords local security policy, public space, incivilities, plural policing, social disorder

Many authors observe an increasing pluralisation of the police function. This pluralisation implies a growing dependency between different actors in the security domain, especially on the local level. The current theoretical insights from the sociology of urban governance of security were developed dominantly within an Anglo-American and British context. This article aims to test whether these Anglo-American underlying assumptions are recognisable in European local geographical settings, more precisely in Barcelona.
The underlying question in this article is whether or not the local empirical situation in Barcelona differentiates along the same lines as the general theory suggests. The present article contributes to a European sociology of urban governance of security and our understanding of multi-layered social control theories (in)formalising in public space. The main questions we want to answer are consequently:
• Can a pluralisation of policing be observed in the metropolis of Barcelona and if so, is it a consequence of European trends or because of local changes or both?
• Do these changes suggest a growing attention towards public disorder (‘social disorder’, ‘incivilities’) maintenance, to the detriment of tackling (petty) crime?
• Are certain (so-called ‘anti-social’) behaviours increasingly sanctioned in an exclusively local (more precisely municipal) context? Is this sanctioned administratively by means of ‘by-law’ and no longer by means of traditional penal law?
These questions follow the logic mostly developed in Anglo-American and British context. What is the role of specific socio-political circumstances of the city and its regional and state context in the development of its current police model?