Amadeu Recasens i Brunet
Professor dr. Amadeu Recasens i Brunet is a Catalan expert in security policy. He is associated Professor at the l’Escola de Criminologia de la Universitat d’Oporto (Portugal). Recasens is member of the scientific committee of GERN (Group Européen de Recherches sur les Normativités) and author of several publications on security policy. (corresp:

Paul Ponsaers
Professor dr. Paul Ponsaers is senior professor emeritus at Ghent University, Faculty of Law, department Penal Law and Criminology, Belgium. Ponsaers is president of the Flemish Centre for Policing Studies and managing editor of the quarterly ‘Cahiers Politiestudies’. He specialises in the field of policing, on which he published several articles. He is editor of this special issue. (corresp.:
  • Abstract

      Many authors observe an increasing pluralisation of the police function. This pluralisation implies a growing dependency between different actors in the security domain, especially on the local level. The current theoretical insights from the sociology of urban governance of security were developed dominantly within an Anglo-American and British context. This article aims to test whether these Anglo-American underlying assumptions are recognisable in European local geographical settings, more precisely in Barcelona. The underlying question in this article is whether or not the local empirical situation in Barcelona differentiates along the same lines as the general theory suggests. The present article contributes to a European sociology of urban governance of security and our understanding of multi-layered social control theories (in)formalising in public space. The main questions we want to answer are consequently:

      • Can a pluralisation of policing be observed in the metropolis of Barcelona and if so, is it a consequence of European trends or because of local changes or both?

      • Do these changes suggest a growing attention towards public disorder (‘social disorder’, ‘incivilities’) maintenance, to the detriment of tackling (petty) crime?

      • Are certain (so-called ‘anti-social’) behaviours increasingly sanctioned in an exclusively local (more precisely municipal) context? Is this sanctioned administratively by means of ‘by-law’ and no longer by means of traditional penal law?

      These questions follow the logic mostly developed in Anglo-American and British context. What is the role of specific socio-political circumstances of the city and its regional and state context in the development of its current police model?

Please sign in to access the article

Did you receive an activation code but no access yet? Please activate your code here.

Forgot your password? Request new password.

Purchase access

You can purchase online access to this article. You will receive 24 hrs access @ € 17,50 (excl. VAT).

24 hrs access € 17,50 (excl. VAT)

Activate your code

If you have an access code, please activate it here.