Professor Bob Hoogenboom

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Department: Mannheim centre for criminology




Studying history at the Erasmus University I became interested in policing. My doctoral thesis was on the history of the Rotterdam police force in the period 1880-1940. During my study I worked for a while at the Home Office in the Directorate Policing as a stagiair. After graduation I worked as a police researcher at the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice before going back to academia.

First at Leyden University (Public Administration) and Law and Criminal Justice at Erasmus University. Next, I worked for 4,5 years in forensic accounting for Ernst&Young. Three years in the Caribean, and later in the Netherlands.

From 1988 with the exception of the three years abroad I lecture at the Police Academy (public administration, police studies and criminal investigations). In 2000 I was appointed at Nyenrode Business University as professor in forensic accounting (fraud/fraud investigation).

I combine this chair with a part time chair policing and security issues at the VU University in Amsterdam

Research interests

My main interest is in police studies but ever since my first research in in 1985 on regulatory agencies, and later on private security and private investigations I developed an interest in the rather limited nature of police studies missing out on what is nowadays conceptualized in terms of plural policing, governance of security and for instance hybridity.

Policing can be studied as an institution (the public police), and as a process. My interest is more and more the latter, but at the same time the research interest in the ongoing blurring of boundaries between the police and all sorts of security providers.

One common theme running through changes in policing both public and private but also within regulatory agencies is the intelligence function, and how this function is becoming an organizing principle for policing and security agencies. I strongly feel normal science in police studies, and criminology should broaden the research topics and research questions to grasp both theoretically and empirically in what way policing is changing. And, moreover what the possible consequences could be in terms of democracy, the rule of law and accountability.

External activities

I'm a member of the Netherlands Intelligence Study Association (NISA) in which (former) intelligence officers, law enforcement officers, military personnel and academics organize meetings on the history of intelligence, and discuss the intelligence function in contemporary society.


Recent books

  • The Governance of Policing and Security. Ironies, Myths and Paradoxes.  Palgrave/MacMillan, 2010

    This book explores policing, regulation, private security and intelligence to understand current transformations in policing. Policing today can no longer be understood only in terms of an organization (the police), but more and more in terms of multi-agency processes. This could be functional for national security interests, safety and security but detrimental to accountability and the democratic process.

    Bob Hoogenboom discusses notions of 'blurring of boundaries', 'unbounding' and 'hybridity' and pays homage to, and critiques, leading thinkers in the field. Hoogenboom argues that police studies and criminology are too fragmented and focused on the criminal justice system and not oriented enough towards 'undertows' in policing and security. Drawing from a wealth of academic sources but also literature and popular culture this book unpicks what these new forms of security mean for governance.

publisher's site

  • Bringing the Police Back In. Notes on the Lost & Found Character of the Police in Police Studies. SMVP Publication Dordrecht, 2009.


Recent articles

  • 'The World of Policing and Security is not Flat', in Verhage A. e.a. Policing in Europe. Journal of Police Studies volume 20110-3, pp 269-288.
  • 'The Jack bauer Culture: Imbalance between Publicity, Privacy and Secrecy', in M. den Boer and E. Kolthoff (eds.) Ethics and Security. Eeleven International Publishing. The Hague, 201o pp. 85-110.