SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 2.1

Anais, S. (2011). Ethical interventions: Non-lethal weapons and the governance of insecurity. Security Dialogue42(6), 537-552.

This article employs some of the theoretical and methodological tools devised by Michel Foucault to explore the political rationale suggested by the proliferation and use of a class of weapons collectively referred to as ‘non-lethal.’ The invention and continued use of non-lethal weapons has been treated in existing literature as an ethical crisis. This article connects the emergence of non-lethal weaponry to the mobilization of a sense of ethical crisis concerning the humane treatment of civilians and combatants in conflicts in the United States and beyond. Policies related to non-lethal weaponry, along with the practices that they engender, are also explored in relation to the notion of ‘partial citizenship.’ Offering a contribution to the genealogy of non-lethal weapons, this article traces their involvement in the policing by U.S. military agents of a variety of sites, actors, and contexts outside of the theater of war.

Article 2.2

Stalcup, M., & Hahn, C. (2016). Cops, cameras, and the policing of ethics. Theoretical Criminology, 20(4), 482-501.

In this article, we explore how cameras are used in policing in the United States. We outline the trajectory of key new media technologies, arguing that cameras and social media together generate the ambient surveillance through which graphic violence is now routinely captured and circulated. Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault, we identify and examine intersections between video footage and police subjectivity in case studies of recruit training at the Washington state Basic Law Enforcement Academy and the Seattle Police Department’s body-worn camera project. We analyze these cases in relation to the major arguments for and against initiatives to increase police use of cameras, outlining what we see as techno-optimistic and techno-pessimistic positions. Drawing on the pragmatism of John Dewey, we argue for a third position that calls for field-based inquiry into the specific co-production of socio-techno subjectivities.

Article 2.3

Maher, T. M. (2003). Police sexual misconduct: Officers' perceptions of its extent and causality. Criminal Justice Review28(2), 355-381.

This article reports on a survey of police officers in 14 different agencies in four countries in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Results from a self-administered questionnaire followed by an oral interview indicate that officers reported sexual misconduct to be common and reveal a broad consensus among officers that the more serious forms of this behavior should not be tolerated. Nevertheless, none of the departments’ studies was found to have a formal policy specifically proscribing sexual misconduct, and criminal justice officials have done little to help control the problem, suggesting that this problem may in part be fostered by the police subculture. The conclusion explores policy implications within law enforcement and suggests the need for increased attention from researchers and from criminal justice officials and personnel.

Article 2.4

Heffernan, W. C. (1982). Two approaches to police ethics. Criminal Justice Review7(1), 28-35.

Two kinds of problems are encountered in police ethics, and different approaches are needed for each. The first set of issues centers around integrity: taking bribes, giving perjured testimony, or inflicting serious harm on suspects through use of illegal force. These are instances of obvious misconduct. For that reason, the approach police officers need is not ethical analysis (in most cases that would be superfluous) but instead one that focuses on creating in officers the disposition to do what is right. By contrast, the second set involves hard choices in law enforcement, with ethical analysis thus needed to supplement our uncertain judgments of right and wrong. Furthermore, analysis can also help pre-service criminal justice students acquire the skills needed to make informed judgments of their own about the hard choices they will later encounter as police officers. Both approaches can be expected to play important roles in the education of police personnel as law enforcement continues its development toward professional maturity.