Speaker: Jarrett Blaustein, Associate Professor, The Australian National University

Abstract: Drawing on a recent, exploratory case study of local policing during the 2019–20 Black Summer bushfires in Australia, this paper considers the potentially transformative impacts of environmental crises on policing landscapes, and how local policing activities, shaped by previous crises and adaptations, seemingly reduced vulnerabilities and enhanced community resilience, risk mitigation and emergency management capabilities in this instance.

It is argued that the concept of ‘regulatory stewardship’ may offer police agencies a useful framework for defining their roles and improving their capabilities as an integral component of increasingly complex disaster management networks.

In the long-run, the case study also reveals that police agencies will need to develop strategies for aligning their mandates and capabilities with progressive and potentially even transformative, systems-focused prescriptions for climate adaptation, lest they become extraneous to, or worse, a source of systemic vulnerability in relation to networked attempts to mitigate and manage the effects of our climate crisis.

Bio: Jarrett Blaustein is an Associate Professor and the Director of Education in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at The Australian National University and Associate Editor (Australia/NZ/Asia-Pacific) for Policing & Society.

Photo: Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash