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Chapter

Cover The Politics of the Police

3. Out of the blue: the establishment and diffusion of the modern police from the French Revolution to the twentieth century  

Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James Sheptycki

The chapter outlines the development of modern police institutions around the world from the eighteenth century until the early twentieth. The discussion unfolds under five headings. The first is policing in Europe prior to the French Revolution and in the wake of the Napoleonic Empire. Next the evolution of the police under the common law in England up to the early nineteenth century is discussed. The third heading concerns the independent evolution of policing in the USA from independence to the First World War. European colonial and imperial police are the fourth consideration. Lastly, efforts to build modern police institutions in Iran, Japan, China, and Russia are considered. The chapter discusses a number of recognizable models for thinking about the politics of the police. It also considers contemporary concerns about the relationship between democratic and totalitarian policing, high and low policing, between police force and service.