Book launch : Privatising Justice: The Security Industry, War and Crime Control by Wendy Fitzgibbon (University of Leicester) and John Lea (Visiting Professor, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths).
On the 28th May 2020, we celebrated the publication of ‘Privatising justice: The Security Industry, War and Crime Control’ by Wendy Fitzgibbon (University of Leicester) and John Lea (Visiting Professor, Goldsmiths), published by Pluto this April. Since we were still in lockdown, we met virtually, joined by over 50 people, including participants from Denmark, Germany and Argentina. I chaired the event, Wendy and John offered a short summary of the book, followed by reflections and comments from Sandra Walklate, Eleanor Rathbone Chair of Sociology (University of Liverpool), and Dean Wilson, Professor of Criminology (University of Sussex).
Privatising Justice examines the outsourcing of coercive aspects of state power to private corporations. This focus enables them to think broadly about the connections between private security, probation and private industry in war. The book takes a broad historical view, taking into account fascinating insights into London’s privatised streets in the 18th century, the East India ‘company state’ and the history of probation, examining the changing relationship between the state and the outsourcing of coercive powers. These debates continue to be live. At the time of writing, control of probation is returning to state in England and Wales following a disastrous period of privatisation and private companies – such as G4S – are charged with managing track and trace, as well as quarantine (with mixed results).
The book can be found at the publisher’s website.
Dr Jennifer Fleetwood is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the Department of Sociology.