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Working title of PhD: Policing the Pandemic: Understanding the impacts of Covid-19 on the police, the public, and police-community relationships

Full time/Year Commencing: 2022

PhD Supervisors: Dr Shane Horgan, Dr Andrew Wooff (Edinburgh Napier) & Dr Andy Aydin-Aitchison (Edinburgh University)

Synopsis of PhD:

Practices of knowledge-production paint partial pictures of the world which tend to be void of its material and nonhuman features, or fail to convey their agentive qualities. This is true of much criminological literature on the Covid-19 pandemic thus far. Though a wealth of data exists in Scotland – enabling scrutiny of when, where, and to whom police officers chose to enforce the lockdown regulations – such features are construed as part of a mutable backdrop.

Adopting a sociomaterial approach, this project will explore how and to what extent the Covid-19 pandemic shapes people’s experience of and sensibilities about policing in two contrasting places in Scotland. It aims to map how an entangled web of discursive phenomena comes to matter amidst the concrete particulars of everyday life, and will consider the possibilities this creates for the future of policing.

Firstly, it will examine the experiences of police officers responsible for implementing the emergency response to the pandemic, as well as the experience of those being policed. It will do so by conducting walking interviews, as well as engaging participants in the creation of visual- and soundscapes. Secondly, it will explore the implications of this for trust in the police, institutional legitimacy, and compliance with the law. Lastly, it sets out to propose recommendations for planning responses to future public health crises.



Edinburgh Napier University

Research Themes

Policing and Security

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