Still policing the crisis?

Clarke, John (2008). Still policing the crisis? Crime Media Culture, 4(1) pp. 123–129.



Writing this has been a troubling experience. Returning to a text 30 years on in this way combines intellectual, political and personal reflections in an unsettling way. These range from a powerful attachment to processes of collective or collaborative intellectual work that Policing the Crisis (PTC; Hall et al., 1978) embodied and enhanced to a rather depressed sense of how many things the book got right about the trajectory of the British social formation in the mid 1970s (other futures might have been preferable). And above all, there is a sense of what the book stands for in the emergence of cultural studies as an institutionalized academic field. As a way of trying to digest these different responses, I have tried to address three sorts of questions: why PTC mattered, where it belongs and why it continues to have echoes in the present.

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