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  • Author or Editor: Ali Malik x
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This chapter pulls together the conceptual and empirical themes examined in the previous chapters and proposes a framework for institutionalising epistocracy within the broader networked-governance landscape. The key characteristics of the framework include broad composition, delegated authority, autonomy, and deliberative proceduralism. The framework is informed by the rich empirical analysis of the Scottish Police Authority.

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This chapter charts the historical developments in police governance in Britain and situates them within the broader context of networked governance. It then provides a conceptual and philosophical justification for epistocracy in police governance by drawing on the examples of expert regulatory and security organisations within the EU. The chapter argues that direct forms of democratic governance pose conceptual and practical challenges, such as the threat of majoritarianism and partisanship. In the context of these limitations, an epistocracy within a democratic order may not only be justifiable but it may be more desirable than the previously tried and tested methods of democratic governance, which often reduce democratic policing to elections, consultations, and surveys.

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This chapter provides a summary of the research and underpinning methodology that informs key debates covered in the book. The chapter situates the discussions within the broader literature on police, policing, and security governance and places Scottish police reform in the wider context of police reform across central and northern Europe.

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Scottish Police Reform, Localism, and Epistocracy
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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.

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This chapter examines the early development of modern police forces and the concomitant local police governance structures in Scotland. This analysis serves to demonstrate the strong appeals to localism in Scottish policing and governance discourse. This commitment to localism is embedded in Scotland’s approach to policing, emphasising community-oriented policing and a broad social welfare role. The chapter analyses Scottish police reform in the context of police reform, restructuring, and reorganisation across Central and Northern Europe. While austerity became the catalyst for change, Scottish police reform was driven by weaknesses in local governance structures and the need for a more harmonised national policing framework.

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This chapter examines the status of the operational independence doctrine within Scottish policing. It charts the formative years of the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland, as they negotiated their respective roles, functions, and boundaries of influence. The reliance of the Scottish Police Authority on Police Scotland and the Scottish Government, and the recasting of its role as a collaborating partner, bears similarities to the established concept of regulatory capture in corporate governance. Recent reviews into controversies surrounding internal governance and complaints handling, led by Baroness Casey and Dame Angiolini, have highlighted the significance of external actors’ ability to hold policing to account, both for operational policing and decision making, but also for internal working practices – something that existing mechanisms of police governance have not been able to achieve.

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This chapter summarises the arguments made throughout the book and provides some concluding thoughts in the context of police governance in Scotland. It also offers some forward-looking suggestions in relation to the role of knowledge and expertise in police and policing governance. The framework of epistocracy provides ways in which knowledge-based governance can be envisioned in various other governance contexts.

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