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journal contributionposted on 1996-05-01, 00:00 authored by P O'Malley, Darren Palmer
Two broad governmental rationalities may be discerned in the overall discourses of community policing since the 1960s. The first is a Keynesian, welfarist form which links police to the community via extended welfare-service and protective roles. This was associated with relations of expertise that subordinated the public in a dependent, client relation. The ascendancy of post-Keynesian political rationalities replaces this model with one in which the community appears as knowledgeable about local conditions, and (with some training) competent to form a partnership with police. Discourses of community policing thus have manifested an altered content of 'community' over this period. In the early years, community was the local site of state and social forms of intervention. In recent years the emphasis has been on images of the community as voluntary rather than imposed, private rather than state or public, co-operative rather than hierarchical. This image of 'community' is particularly attractive to post-Keynesian governance, as it eschews the social yet refers to relational forms capable of dealing with problems which cannot readily be left to individual efforts. This renders it both conceptually and practically a preferred successor to state and social forms of governing security.