Partnerships and communities of practice: a social learning perspective on community safety

VENUE: Glasgow University, James Watt Bldg J361


This paper will outline a relational social learning perspective on community safety partnerships. Such perspectives acknowledge the importance of structural, organisational and cultural influences on actors (so important in this context where partners tend to be drawn from a diverse range of organisations that understand ‘crime’ and ‘community safety’ in different ways) but do not understand them in overly deterministic terms. By also giving emphasis to the everyday actions and activities of actors, social learning theories see them as being active and creative within recognised structural constraints. The paper will introduce Etienne Wenger’s ‘communities of practice’ perspective and will aim to show how it provides a useful lens through which to explore the problems, and the potential, of partnership working.

Speaker Bio: Dr Alistair Henry is a lecturer in criminology. His recent publications include Transformations of Policing (ed. with D. J. Smith) and ‘The development of community safety in Scotland: a different path?’ in Crime Prevention Policies in Comparative Perspective (ed. by Adam Crawford).  Alistair acts as knowledge transfer coordinator for the Police-Community Relations network of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, is associated with the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, and is co-chair of the Policing Working Group of the European Society of Criminology.


(Seminar contact: Sarah Armstrong, / ALL WELCOME