SP473      Half Unit
Policing, Security and Globalisation

This information is for the 2024/25 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Johann Koehler


This course is available on the MSc in Criminal Justice Policy, MSc in Human Rights and Politics, MSc in International Social and Public Policy, MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Development), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Education), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (LSE and Fudan), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Migration), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Non-Governmental Organisations), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Research) and MSc in Public Policy and Administration. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

All Social Policy Courses are ‘Controlled Access’. Please see the link below for further details on the allocation process.


Course content

This course focuses on global developments in modern policing, and on the issues and challenges those developments implicate. The course follows police scholarship's move from the study of policing in specific contexts to making sense of the police institution through an international and comparative lens. Further to that move, SP473 re-poses traditional questions surrounding the police role and function in the context of contemporary debates about security and globalisation: among other topics, these include the policing of transitional societies and emergent democracies, the privatisation of policing, policing public order, and the effects of social movements — such as the demand to defund the police — that call for radical change in policing and the provision of security.


All teaching will be in accordance with the LSE Academic Code (https://info.lse.ac.uk/current-students/lse-academic-code) which specifies a "minimum of two hours taught contact time per week when the course is running in the Autumn Term (AT) and/or Winter Term (WT)". Social Policy courses are predominantly taught through a combination of in-person Lectures and In person classes/seminars. Further information will be provided by the Course Convenor in the first lecture of the course.

The course will be delivered in AT.

Formative coursework

Students are invited to prepare two pieces of formative coursework:

  • The first piece of formative work will take the form of a short group presentation on 'policing developing democracies' that students will design and deliver before Reading Week.
  • The second piece of formative work will take the form of essay outline - in effect an outline answer to the longer summative essay, including a full introductory paragraph. 

Indicative reading

  • Andreas, P. and Nadelmann, E. (2006). Policing the Globe: Criminalization and crime control in international relations. Oxford University Press.
  • Bell, M. C. (2017). Police reform and the dismantling of legal estrangement. The Yale Law Journal, 126(7), 2054.
  • Bowling, B., Reiner, R., & Sheptycki, J.W. (2019). The politics of the police. Oxford University Press.
  • Bradford, B., Jauregui, B., Loader, I. and Steinberg, J., (Eds). (2016). The Sage Handbook of Global Policing. Sage.
  • Brodeur, J.-P. (2010). The Policing Web. Oxford University Press.
  • Koehler, J., & Cheng, T. (2023). Settling institutional uncertainty: Policing Chicago and New York, 1877–1923. Criminology, 61(3), 518-545.
  • Newburn, T. (ed). (2004). Policing: Key Readings. Willan.

Additional Reading:

  • Butler, J. (2020). The Force of Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind. Verso.
  • Foucault, M. (2003). Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975. Verso.
  • Johnston, L. (2006) Transnational security governance, in Wood, J. and Dupont, B. (eds) Democracy, Society and the Governance of Security. Cambridge University Press.
  • Mouffe, C. (2013). Agonistics: Thinking the world politically. Verso.
  • Sheptycki, J. (1998). ‘Policing, postermodernism and transnationalisation’. British Journal of Criminology.  38: 485-503
  • Thompson, E.P. (1977). Whigs and Hunters: The Origins of the Black Act. Allen Lane.
  • Fleetwood, J., & Lea, J. (2022). Defunding the police in the UK: Critical questions and practical suggestions. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 61(2), 167-184.
  • McElhone, M., Kemp, T., Lamble, S., & Moore, J. M. (2023). Defund–not defend–the police: a response to Fleetwood and Lea. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 62(2), 277-282.


Essay (80%) and coursework (20%).

Essay (80%) & Coursework (20%, either as a group presentation or a 1,000-word book review)

Student performance results

(2020/21 - 2022/23 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 35.4
Merit 55.6
Pass 9.1
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2023/24: 15

Average class size 2023/24: 15

Controlled access 2023/24: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication