- Benjamin Bowling, Benjamin BowlingProfessor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Kings College London
- Robert ReinerRobert ReinerEmeritus Professor of Criminology, The London School of Economics and Political Science
- and James SheptyckiJames SheptyckiProfessor of Criminology, York University, Toronto, Canada
This chapter synthesizes a theoretical view of police and media which considers not only media content, but also how different kinds of media technologies function as tools in the hands of different kinds of institutional actors. It also considers police-media relations in the light of neo-liberal market conditions. Relations between police and media have traditionally been conceptualized between two poles of argument, on the one side the orthodox/hegemonic and on the other the revisionist/subversive. However, the social fragmentation of ‘postmodern conditions’ at the cusp of the millennium troubled this binary. A common question in thinking about the police and media concerned the manufacture of consent and the creation of socially integrative conditions for policing by consent of the governed. This chapter argues that social conflict and dissensus are functional symptoms of neo-liberal social order in which security has become a commodity. The social disintegration accompanying an over-mediatized society does not inhibit market relations, but it does make policing more difficult.