Sociology Index

POLITICAL POLICING

Political Policing is the way in which the process of policing the community acts in the maintainance and reinforcement of deference to authority.

By living within a system of social order people are socialized (socialization) by political policing to accept that order and the way this is justified by legitimating ideas, like tradition, inspired leadership or representative democracy.

Political Policing can also mean more narrowly the way in which police activity, while superficially about maintenance of the criminal law, can be about the control or surveillance of particular social groups and communities.

Deviance in political policing of political activities may be either legal or behavioral. Both are generated to satisfy external demands without risking undeniable failure. Demand for results regardless of methods makes legal deviance inevitable and deviant behavior probable. Deviance in political policing is very unlikely to be inhibited significantly by legal reforms or public politics.

Political Policing in Hong Kong - Hualing Fu, University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law
Richard Cullen, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia 
Abstract: Modern states, democratic ones in particular, have grown to prefer the use of more subtle, or at least less visible, police surveillance to open confrontation in a courtroom, where the state itself may be scrutinised in public. Well-equipped national security agencies enable the state to respond to potential security threats before they mature. Hong Kong's political police unit, the Special Branch, was indispensable to Hong Kong's colonial political order. Although it was disbanded before the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, political policing and monitoring probably continue under the new legal order. This article examines the historical origin of political policing in Hong Kong, including the establishment of the Special Branch and its initial focus on communism in Hong Kong. It explores the relevance of political policing to contemporary society.

Organizational Deviance and Political Policing (From Organizational Police Deviance - Its Structure and Control - P 111-125, 1981, Clifford D Shearing, ed. - See NCJ-85562) - A T Turk 
This article seeks to clarify the meaning of deviance by and within organizations engaged in political policing. This article clarifies the meaning of deviance by and within organizations engaged in political policing, points out the structural sources of such deviance, and assesses the potential impact of various proposals for preventing or stopping this deviance. 
Deviance in political policing usually occurs either as demonstrable violations of legal rules or as blameworthy failures to accomplish organizational objectives. Any conception of legal deviance in political policing inevitably clashes with the fact that such organizations are invented to prevent radical political changes. Political policing agencies are assigned the specific task of detecting and neutralizing any present or potential deviations from the ground rules of conventional politics. Political policing can be labeled deviant if there are (1) demonstrable violations of legal rules and (2) blameworthy failures to accomplish organizational objectives. Legal deviance in political policing cannot be defined independently of the specific political context or apart from the political/legal consequences of disclosures. Any conception of legal deviance in this type of political policing inevitably clashes with the fact that such organizations were invented to prevent radical political changes. Political and military considerations often override legal or ethical ones. Thus, the same practice can be legal and illegal, depending upon what is required and the political consequences of disclosure. The article defines the goals of political police organizations based on what is known or reported about their activities and lists in order of decreasing probability policing actions that may be deviant under law if the organization cannot sustain a denial under internal/external review. Political, legal, and organizational proposals for curtailing deviance in political policing are outlined. The generous formal authorizations for political policing are supplemented by secret directives that spell out what may be only implicit in the authorizations.