The Politics of Police Governance

Scottish Police Reform, Localism, and Epistocracy


This book analyses police reform in Scotland, demonstrating the key role experts can play in strengthening democratic accountability of the police to the communities they serve.

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Making a unique contribution to the scholarship on democratic policing, this book adapts the concept of epistocracy to explore the role of knowledge and expertise in police governance and accountability.

A rigorous empirical analysis of the Scottish police governance arrangements following reform in 2013 is complemented with examples from other liberal democracies, situating the Scottish context in wider debates on democratic policing, localism, and the operational independence doctrine. The book provides a framework for knowledge-based working practices, showing how principles of democratic policing, such as equity and responsiveness, may be achieved in practice.

Ali Malik is a Lecturer in Criminal Justice at University of Leeds. He has previously led the policing degree apprenticeship programme at Northumbria University and served as Associate Inspector for HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland.

Author/Editor details at time of book publication.