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Reinventing Governance: A Study of Transformations in the Ontario Provincial Police

Wood, Jennifer
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Ph.D. dissertation, Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto, Canada. Downloaded 7 March 2005.

It is now widely accepted across academic and public policy circles that governance has been transformed in a variety of ways, and this is nowhere more apparent than in the area of security. A central component of this transformation process has been a profound re-thinking of the nature, roles and functions of the state. At the same time, non-state and/or quasi-state institutions and auspices have emerged as new governmental authorities, leading to an extensive pluralization of the governance of security in this province, this country and in other parts of the world.
This study examines the ways in which the state governance of security has been reinvented. It takes as its institutional site the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and more broadly, the Ontario Government. It examines particular strategic, institutional and managerial shifts in the OPP over the course of the last decade, and locates these shifts within a broader political and economic environment characterized by new governmental problems and imperatives. Of particular interest is the nature of the “new right” political agenda in this province and its effects on the organization of governance.
In contrast to traditional sociological accounts of public policing, this study is concerned with shifts in manageria1 discourse, and the ways in which managers have responded to a range of broad economic and political imperatives through various forms of organizational change. Methodologically, it draws from studies in “governmentality”, which have focused on shifts in “mentalities” of state governance, and the ways in which these mentalities have colonized and transformed particular governmental programs and practices. In particular, such studies have concluded that state governance has been transformed according to a new “neo-liberal” mentality. Author’s abstract.


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