To mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the International Master in Security, Intelligence and Strategic Studies (IMSISS), the Jean Monnet Network on EU Counter-Terrorism (EUCTER), the DCU’s Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction (IICRR), and the Irish Network for Middle Eastern and North African Studies (INMENAS) brought together distinguished scholars working on different aspects of security in the MENA, Ireland and the EU, for the roundtable “The legacy of 9/11: Community policing in Ireland and Turkey”.
The goal of the roundtable was to reflect on the implications of the events of 9/11 for policing practices, looking into Ireland and Turkey’s approach to community policing and police reforms in the context of the Global War on Terror and following the increasing securitization of the international environment.
During the panel, scholars’ contributions highlighted similarities and divergences in the way in which national police forces in these two countries have undergone reforms and in how they practise community policing.
- In both Turkey and Ireland, police reforms have gone in the direction of increasingly embedding police practices in social and community life, although such efforts reflect different national histories and needs.
- In Turkey, in particular, police reforms were initially introduced as part and parcel of Turkey’s candidature for EU membership and were meant to democratize the police and limit human rights violations.
- In post-9/11 era Turkey, the subsequent police reforms pivoted on community policing have consolidated the police’s control over social life, resulting in an expansion of the police’s functions—from counter-insurgency to the management of international aid logistics and migration—and a reduction of its democratic accountability.
- In Ireland and Northern Ireland, the peace process had the goal of dismantling the architecture of securitization in place and police reforms aimed at addressing the existing social and political tensions. As efforts were directed at domestic reform, the events of 9/11 had a limited impact.
- While desecuritization and procedures for reporting police violence and malpractices have been implemented in Ireland and Northern Ireland, they register a partial success. In fact, they highlight how the many cleavages existing in both societies (e.g. class, race, ideology) determine different attitudes toward the police forces, which have managed to win the trust and support of some but not all. In fact, the expansion of the police’s functions—which, in Ireland and Northern Ireland, as much as in Turkey, include an increasing spectrum of procedures and programmes—has manifested in the increased vulnerability of lower social classes, migrants, sex workers and political activists.
Full recording of the roundtable is available here
Hayal Akarsu is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Utrecht University. Previously, she was a Lecturer in Anthropology at Brandeis University. She obtained her PhD in 2018 from the University of Arizona. Her ethnographic investigation of police reforms in Turkey explores the connections between policing, human rights, transnational flows and governance, and lived experiences of security and insecurity.
Vicky Conway is Associate Professor of Law at Dublin City University. Dr Conway is a leading researcher on policing in Ireland with an emphasis on the intersection between social change, police culture and police accountability. In 2020 she started the ‘Policed in Ireland’ podcast (@policedpodcast) to create a space to hear the lived experience of being policed in Ireland.
John Doyle is the Director of the Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction (IICRR) and Professor of International Conflict Resolution at Dublin City University. His research interests include comparative nationalist and ethnic conflict, Northern Ireland, conflict in South Asia and Irish foreign policy. He is Editor of the ‘Irish Studies in International Affairs’ journal. Among his publications is Policing the Narrow Ground: lessons from the transformation of policing in Northern Ireland (2010).
Christian Kaunert is Professor of International Security at Dublin City University. He is also Professor of Policing and Security, as well as Director of the International Centre for Policing and Security at the University of South Wales. He directs the Jean Monnet Centre of
Excellence and Director of the Jean Monnet Network on EU Counter-Terrorism (www.eucter.net).
Erika Biagini is Assistant Professor in Security Studies at Dublin City University. Her area of expertise lies at the intersection of Islamism, gender and politics. Erika is a member of the Advisory Board of the journal ‘Middle East Law and Governance’ and Editor of the Middle East Law and Governance Blog. She is also a member of the Irish Network for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, the Middle East Studies Association and the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies.