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Ian Loader

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Professor of Criminology*

Ian Loader is Professor of Criminology and Professorial Fellow of All Souls College.  Ian arrived in Oxford in July 2005 having previously taught at Keele University and the University of Edinburgh, from where he also obtained his PhD in 1993. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.

Ian is the author of six books, the most recent of which Public Criminology? was published by Routledge in 2010 (with R. Sparks) and has recently been translated into Mandarin. He has also edited two recent volumes (on Emotions, Crime and Justice and The Penal Landscape) and has published theoretical and empirical papers on policing, private security, public sensibilities towards crime, penal policy and culture, the politics of crime control, and the public roles of criminology.

Ian is currently working on a project – termed ‘A Better Politics of Crime’ - concerned with different dimensions of the relationship between crime control and democratic politics. The first strand of work on this project was brought together in Public Criminology? The next key stage will be a monograph (co-authored with Richard Sparks) with the working title of Crime Control and Political Ideologies which is in the early stages of preparation. The project also includes a forthcoming co-edited volume on Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration (with Albert Dzur and Richard Sparks, Oxford UP) and a book on Justice and Penal Policy that arises from his involvement with the Howard League’s symposium on ‘What is Justice?’ (co-edited with Barry Goldson and Steve Farrall).

Ian is also co-editing the SAGE Handbook of Global Policing (with Ben Bradford, Bea Jauregui and Jonny Steinberg) which is due to appear in late 2015.

Ian is an Associate Editor of Theoretical Criminology and is on the Editorial Boards of Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice and IPS: International Political Sociology. From 2005-2013 he was on the Editorial board of the British Journal of Criminology.

Ian was a member of the Commission on English Prisons Today from 2007-2009, and now chairs the Research Advisory Group of the Howard League for Penal Reform. He is co-convener, with the Police Foundation, of the Oxford Policing Policy Forum and is an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Public Policy Research. From 2011-2013 Ian was a member of the Independent Commission on the Future of Policing and part of the Editorial team which produced the Commission's Report. From time to time he writes columns for The Guardian and makes other contributions to public debate about crime and justice.

Ian's Google Scholar profile



Publications

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Journal Articles

2014

I Loader and R Sparks, 'Beyond Mass Incarceration?' (2014) 23 The Good Society 114

I Loader, 'In Search of Civic Policing: Recasting the 'Peelian' Principles' (2014) 8 Criminal Law and Philosophy [...]

For over a century the so-called ‘Peelian’ principles have been central to the self-understanding of Anglo-American policing. But these principles are the product of modern state-building and speak only partially to the challenges of urban policing today. In fact, they stand in the way of clear thinking and better practice. In this paper, I argue that these principles ought to be radically recast and put to work in new ways. The argument proceeds as follows. First, I recover and outline the current ‘Peelian’ principles and argue that they lack the specificity, sufficiency and status required in order to do real work in the governance of policing. Secondly, I make the case for principles both as a regulative ideal guiding our aspirations for what policing can become and as a means of regulating police work in the here-and-now. I then develop a revised set of principles and indicate, in conclusion, how they can guide the formation of trust-producing and democracy-enhancing practices of civic policing.


I Loader, B Goold and A Thumala, 'The Moral Economy of Security' (2014) 18 Theoretical Criminology 469 [...]

In this paper we draw upon our recent research into security consumption to answer two questions: First, under what conditions do people experience the buying and selling of security goods and services as morally troubling? Second, what are the theoretical implications of understanding private security as, in certain respects, tainted trade? We begin by drawing on two bodies of work on morality and markets (one found in political theory, the other in cultural sociology) in order to develop what we call a moral economy of security. We then use this theoretical resource to conduct an anatomy of the modes of ambivalence and unease that the trade in security generates. Three categories organize the analysis: blocked exchange, corrosive exchange, and intangible exchange. In conclusion, we briefly spell out the wider significance of our claim that the buying and selling of security is a morally charged and contested practice of governance.


I Loader, A Thumala and B Goold, 'Tracking Devices: On the Reception of a Novel Security Good' (2014) 14 Criminology & Criminal Justice [...]

In this paper, we describe and make sense of the reception of a novel security good: namely, the personal GPS tracking device. There is nothing new about tracking. Electronic monitoring is an established technology with many taken-for-granted uses. Against this backdrop, we focus on a particular juncture in the ‘social life’ of tracking, the moment at which personal trackers were novel goods in the early stages of being brought to market and promoted as protective devices. Using data generated in a wider study of security consumption, our concern is to understand how this extension of tracking technology into everyday routines and social relations was received by its intended consumers and users. How do potential buyers or users of these novel protective devices respond to this novel security object? What is seductive or repulsive about keeping track of those for whom one has a duty or relationship of care? How do new tracking technologies intersect with – challenge, reshape or get pushed back by – existing social practices and norms, most obviously around questions of risk, responsibility, trust, autonomy and privacy? This paper sets out to answer these questions and to consider what the reception of this novel commodity can tell us about the meaning and future of security.


2013

I Loader, B Goold and A Thumala, 'The Banality of Security: The Curious Case of Surveillance Cameras' (2013) 53 British Journal of Criminology 977 [...]

Why do certain security goods become banal (while others do not)? Under what conditions does banality occur and with what effects? In this paper we answer these questions by examining the story of closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) in Britain. We consider the lessons to be learned from CCTV’s rapid – but puzzling - transformation from novelty to ubiquity, and what the banal properties of CCTV tell us about the social meanings of surveillance and security. We begin by revisiting and reinterpreting the historical process through which camera surveillance has diffused across the British landscape, focussing on the key developments that encoded CCTV in certain dominant meanings (around its effectiveness, for example) and pulled the cultural rug out from under alternative or oppositional discourses. Drawing upon interviews with those who produce and consume CCTV, we tease out and discuss the family of meanings that can lead one justifiably to describe CCTV as a banal good. We then examine some frontiers of this process and consider whether novel forms of camera surveillance (such as domestic CCTV systems) may press up against the limits of banality in ways that risk unsettling security practices whose social value and utility have come to be taken for granted. In conclusion, we reflect on some wider implications of banal security and its limits.


ISBN: 0007-0955

2012

I Loader and S Percy, 'Bringing the 'Outside' In and the 'Inside' Out: Crossing the Criminology/IR Divide' (2012) 13 Global Crime 213

2011

I Loader, A Thumala and B Goold, 'A Tainted Trade? Moral Ambivalence and Legitimation Work in the Private Security Industry' (2011) 62 British Journal of Sociology 283 [...]

The private security industry is often represented – and typically represents itself – as an expanding business, confident of its place in the world and sure of its ability to meet a rising demand for security. But closer inspection of the ways in which industry players talk about its past, present and future suggests that this self-promotion is accompanied by unease about the industry’s condition and legitimacy. In this paper, we analyse the self-understandings of those who sell security – as revealed in interviews conducted with key industry players and in a range of trade materials – in order to highlight and dissect the constitutive elements of this ambivalence. This analysis begins by describing the reputational problems that are currently thought to beset the industry and the underlying fears about its status and worth that these difficulties disclose. We then examine how security players seek to legitimate the industry using various narratives of professionalization. Four such narratives are identified – regulation, education, association and borrowing – each of which seeks to justify private security and enhance the industry’s social worth. What is striking about these legitimation claims is that they tend not to justify the selling of security in market terms. In conclusion we ask why this is the case and suggest that market justifications are ‘closed-off’ by a moral ambivalence that attaches to an industry trading in products which cannot guarantee to deliver the condition that its consumers crave.


I Loader and R Sparks, 'Criminology and Democratic Politics: A Reply to Critics' (2011) 51 British Journal of Criminology 734

2010

I Loader, B Goold and A Thumala, 'Consuming Security?: Tools for a Sociology of Security Consumption' (2010) 14 Theoretical Criminology 3 [...]

How does our understanding of private security alter if we treat security consumption as consumption? In this paper, we set out the parameters of a project which strives – theoretically and empirically – to do just this. We begin with a reminder that private security necessarily entails acts of buying and selling, and by indicating how the sociology of consumption may illuminate this central – but overlooked – fact about the phenomenon. We then develop a framework for investigating security consumption. This focuses attention on individual acts of shopping; practices of organizational security that individuals indirectly consume; and social and political arrangements that may prompt the consumption of, or themselves be consumed by, security. This way of seeing, we contend, calls for greater comparative enquiry into the conditions under which markets for security commodities flourish or founder, and close analysis of the social meanings and trajectories of different security goods. By way of illustration we focus on four such categories of good – those we term commonplace, failed, novel and securitized. The overarching claim of the paper is that the study of private security currently stands in need of greater conceptual and empirical scrutiny of what is going on when ‘security’ is consumed.


ISBN: 1362-4806

I Loader, 'For penal moderation: Notes towards a public philosophy of punishment' (2010) 14 Theoretical Criminology 349

I Loader, 'Is it NICE? The Appeal, Limits and Promise of Translating a Health Innovation into Criminal Justice ' (2010) 63 Current Legal Problems 72

I Loader and R Sparks, 'Wacquant and Civic Sociology: Formative Intentions and Formative Experiences' (2010) 10 Criminology & Criminal Justice 405

I Loader and R Sparks, 'What is to be done with Public Criminology?' (2010) 9 Criminology & Public Policy 771

2009

I Loader, 'Ice Cream and Incarceration: On Appetites for Security and Punishment' (2009) 11 Punishment and Society 241 [...]

In this paper, I set out a framework for investigating the relationship between contemporary consumer desires and practices and public demands for security and punishment. In so doing, I argue that punishment-centred public responses to crime, social disorder and terrorist threats (what has been termed penal excess) are today bound up with other, widespread social practices of excess. The paper takes the form of a reconstruction and critique of contemporary securitarian obsessions and proceeds as follows: I begin with a discussion of how the concept of excess (and its close cousins) has been and might potentially be applied to the social analysis of crime and crime control. I then make a case for understanding demands for security and punishment as an appetite and examine how the coupling of such appetites with identity, the market and the state can give rise to excessive, punitive, insecurity-reproducing penal practices. I conclude with some brief reflections on the ‘end’ of excess – both in terms of its corrosive, self-defeating effects and how one may seek to moderate or counteract them.


2006

I Loader, 'Fall of the 'Platonic Guardians': Liberalism, Criminology and Political Responses to Crime in England and Wales' (2006) 46 (4) British Journal of Criminology 561

I Loader, 'Policing, Recognition and Belonging' (2006) 605 The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 201

2004

I Loader and R Sparks, 'For an Historical Sociology of Crime Policy in England and Wales since 1968' (2004) 7 Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 5

2002

I Loader, 'Governing European Policing: Some Problems and Prospects' (2002) 12 Policing & Society 291

I Loader and W de Haan, 'On the Emotions of Crime, Punishment and Social Control' (2002) 6 Theoretical Criminology 243

I Loader, 'Policing, Securitization and Democratization in Europe' (2002) 2 Criminology and Criminal Justice 125

2001

I Loader, R Sparks and E Girling, 'Fear and Everyday Urban Lives' (2001) 38 Urban Studies (review issue on 'Fear and the City') 885

I Loader and N Walker, 'Policing as a Public Good: Reconstituting the Connections Between Policing and the State' (2001) 5 Theoretical Criminology 9

I Loader and A Mulcahy, 'The Power of Legitimate Naming: Part I - Chief Constables as Social Commentators in Post-War England' (2001) 41 British Journal of Criminology 41

I Loader and A Mulcahy, 'The Power of Legitimate Naming: Part II - Making Sense of the Elite Police Voice' (2001) 41 British Journal of Criminology 252

2000

I Loader, 'Plural Policing and Democratic Governance' (2000) 9 Social and Legal Studies 323

1999

I Loader, 'Consumer Culture and the Commodification of Policing and Security' (1999) 33 Sociology 373

1998

I Loader, E Girling and R Sparks, 'A Telling Tale: A Case of Vigilantism and its Aftermath in an English Town' (1998) 49 British Journal of Sociology 474

I Loader, E Girling and R Sparks, 'Narratives of Decline: Youth, Dis/order and Community in an English "Middletown"' (1998) 38 British Journal of Criminology 388

1997

I Loader, 'Policing and the Social: Questions of Symbolic Power' (1997) 48 British Journal of Sociology 1

I Loader, 'Private Security and the Demand for Protection in Contemporary Britain' (1997) 7 Policing & Society 143

I Loader, 'Thinking Normatively About Private Security' (1997) 24 Journal of Law and Society 377

1994

I Loader, 'Justice, Democracy and the Limits of Policing: Rethinking Police Accountability' (1994) 3 Social and Legal Studies 521

Books

2010

I Loader and R Sparks, Public Criminology? (Routledge 2010)

2007

I Loader and N Walker, Civilizing Security (Cambridge University Press 2007)

2003

I Loader and A Mulcahy, Policing and the Condition of England: Memory, Politics and Culture (OUP 2003)

2000

I Loader, E Girling and R Sparks, Crime and Social Change in Middle England: Questions of Order in an English Town (Routledge 2000)

1996

I Loader, Youth, Policing and Democracy (Palgrave 1996)

1994

I Loader, S Anderson, R Kinsey and C Smith, Cautionary Tales: Young People, Crime and Policing in Edinburgh (Avebury 1994)

Chapters

2015

I Loader, 'Foreword: Towards what kind of Global Policing Studies?' in J Beek, M Gopfert, O Owen and J Steinberg (eds), Rethinking Policing in Africa (London: Hurst 2015)

2014

I Loader, 'Security, Anti-Security, Positive Security' in M Schuilenburg, R van Steden and B Oude Breuil (eds), Positive Criminology: Reflections on Care, Belonging and Security (The Hague: Eleven Publishers 2014)

2013

I Loader, 'Introduction: Mapping the Penal Landscape of England and Wales' in A Dockley and I Loader (eds), The Penal Landscape: The Howard League Guide to Criminal Justice in England and Wales (London: Routledge 2013)

I Loader and R Sparks, 'Knowledge Politics and Penal Politics in Europe' in T Daems, S Snacken and D van Zyl Smit (eds), European Penology? (Oxford: Hart 2013)

I Loader and R Sparks, 'Unfinished Business: Legitimacy, Crime Control and Democratic Politics' in J Tankebe and A Liebling (eds), Legitimacy and Criminal Justice: An International Exploration (Oxford Oxford University Press 2013)

I Loader, 'Why do the Police Matter? Beyond the Myth of Crime Fighting' in J Brown (ed), The Future of Policing (London: Routledge 2013)

2012

I Loader and R. Sparks, 'Beyond Lamentation: Towards a Democratic Egalitarian Politics of Crime and Justice' in T. Newburn and J. Peay (eds), Policing: Politics, Culture and Control (Oxford: Hart 2012)

I Loader and R Sparks, 'Situating Criminology: On the Production and Consumption of Knowledge about Crime and Justice' in M. Maguire, R. Morgan and R. Reiner (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (5th Edn) (Oxford University Press 2012)

2011

I Loader and R Sparks, 'Braithwaite, Criminology and the Debate on Public Social Science' in S Parmentier, I Aertson, J Maesschalck, L Paoli and L Walgrave (eds), The Sparking Discipline of Criminology: John Braithwaite and the Construction of Critical Social Science and Social Justice (Leuven University Press 2011)

I Loader and R Sparks, 'Criminology's Public Roles: A Drama in Six Acts' in M Bosworth and C Hoyle (eds), What is Criminology? (Oxford University Press 2011)

I Loader, 'Playing with Fire?: Democracy and the Emotions of Crime and Punishment' in S Karstedt, I Loader and H Strang (eds), Emotions, Crime and Justice (Hart 2011)

2010

I Loader, 'Journeying Into, and Away From, Neo-Liberal Penality' in M McCarthy (ed), Incarceration and Human Rights (Manchester University Press 2010)

2008

I Loader and N Walker, 'Liberty, Security and the Responsible State' in D Leighton and S White (eds), Building a Citizen Society: The Emerging Politics of Republican Democracy (Lawrence & Wishart 2008)

2007

I Loader and R Sparks, 'Contemporary Landscapes of Crime, Order and Control: Governance, Risk and Globalization' in M Maguire, R Morgan and R Reiner (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (4th Edn) (Oxford University Press 2007)

I Loader, 'The Cultural Lives of Security and Rights' in B Goold and L Lazarus (eds), Security and Human Rights (Hart 2007)

2006

I Loader and N Walker, 'Locating the Public Interest in Transnational Policing' in A Goldsmith and J Sheptycki (eds), Crafting Transnational Policing (Hart 2006)

2005

I Loader and R Sparks, 'For an Historical Sociology of Crime Policy in England and Wales since 1968' in M Matravers (ed), Managing Modernity: Politics and the Culture of Control (Routledge 2005)

I Loader and N Walker, 'Necessary Virtues: The Legitimate Place of the State in the Production of Security' in J Wood and B Dupont (eds), Democracy, Society and the Governance of Security (Cambridge University Press 2005)

2004

I Loader, 'Policing Unlimited?: Security, Civic Governance and the Public Good' in K van der Vijver and J Terpstra (eds), Urban Safety: Problems, Governance and Strategies (IPIT 2004)

I Loader, 'Policing, Securitisation and Democratisation in Europe' in T Newburn and R Sparks (eds), Policing, Securitisation and Democratisation in Europe (Willan 2004)

2002

I Loader and R Sparks, 'Contemporary Landscapes of Crime, Order and Control: Governance, Risk and Globalization' in M Maguire, R Morgan and R Reiner (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (3rd Edn) (Oxford University Press 2002)

2000

I Loader, E Girling and R Sparks, 'After Success?: Anxieties of Affluence in an English Village' in T Hope and R Sparks (eds), Crime, Risk and Insecurity: Law and Order in Political Discourse and Everyday Life (Routledge 2000)

1999

I Loader, E Girling and R Sparks, 'Landscapes of Protection: The Past, Present and Futures of Policing in an English Town' in P. Carlen and R. Morgan (eds), Crime Unlimited: Questions for the Twenty-First Century (Palgrave 1999)

1998

I Loader, E Girling and R Sparks, 'Crime and the Sense of One's Place: Globalization, Restructuring and Insecurity in an English Town' in V Ruggerio, N South and I Taylor (eds), The New European Criminology: Crime and Social Order in Europe (Routledge 1998)

I Loader, 'Criminology and the Public Sphere: Arguments for Utopian Realism' in P Walton and J Young (eds), The New Criminology Revisited (Macmillan 1998)

Edited books

2013

I Loader and A Dockley (eds), The Penal Landscape: The Howard League Guide to Criminal Justice in England and Wales (London: Routledge 2013)

2012

I Loader and S Percy (eds), Special Issue of Global Crime on 'Reordering Security' ( 2012)

2011

I Loader, S Karstedt and H Strang (eds), Emotions, Crime and Justice (Hart 2011)

2010

I Loader and M Bosworth (eds), Special issue of Theoretical Criminology on 'Re-inventing Penal Parsimony' ( 2010)

2002

I Loader and W de Haan (eds), Special issue of Theoretical Criminology on 'Crime, Punishment and the Emotions' ( 2002)

Others

2014

I Loader, 'Police Scandal and Reform?: Can we Break out of More of the Same?' (2014) Left Foot Forward

2013

I Loader, 'Why PCCs must go: A better way to do local policing' (2013) Left Foot Forward

2012

I Loader, 'Police commissioners will make the men in uniform more responsive to the public they serve ' (2012)

I Loader, 'Why community engagement matters?' (2012) Opening Address to Police Foundation Annual Conference

2011

I Loader and R Muir, 'A Manifesto for Progressive Police and Crime Commissioners' (2011) New Statesman ('The Staggers' blog)

I Loader, 'Penal Policy Takes a Regressive Turn' (2011) New Statesman ('The Staggers' blog)

2010

I Loader, 'Criminology in a hot climate' (2010) Public Lecture, British Library

I Loader, 'Redrawing the blue line' (2010) The Guardian

2009

I Loader, 'How, and why, to stop banking on prisons (2009 Perrie Lecture)' (2009) Prison Service Journal

I Loader, 'Why penal reform should be a Conservative issue' (2009) Conservative Home

2008

I Loader, 'Restraining Order' (2008) Progress

I Loader, 'Straw's embrace of penal excess ignores public will' (2008) The Guardian

I Loader, 'The Great Victim of this Get-tough Hyperactivity is Labour' (2008) The Guardian

2007

I Loader, 'This Internment Lobby Risks Harming not Just Liberty, But Security Itself' (2007) The Guardian

I Loader, 'We Lock People up with No Thought and to Little Effect' (2007) The Guardian

2006

I Loader, 'Re-Balancing the Criminal Justice System?: A Response to Tony Blair' (2006)

Reviews

2011

I Loader, 'Where is Policing Studies? (Review Essay)' (2011) 51 British Journal of Criminology 449

2010

I Loader, 'Sir Ian Blair: The Burkean Top Cop' (2010) 81 Political Quarterly 459

2008

I Loader, 'The Anti-Politics of Crime (Review Essay)' (2008) 12 Theoretical Criminology 399

2007

I Loader and L Zedner, 'Police Beyond Law? (Review Essay)' (2007) 10 New Criminal Law Review 142

2004

I Loader and N Walker, 'State of Denial?: Rethinking the Governance of Security' (2004) 6 Punishment and Society 221

Reports

2011

I Loader and R Muir, 'Progressive Police and Crime Commissioners: An Opportunity for the Centre Left' (London: Institute for Public Policy Research ('IPPR Original') 2011)

I Loader, T Lanning and R Muir, 'Redesigning Justice: Reducing Crime Through Justice Reinvestment' (London: Institute for Public Policy Research 2011)


News

Shaping the Policy of Elected Police and Crime Commissioners

Shaping the Policy of Elected Police and Crime Commissioners

Research by Ian Loader, Professor of Criminology, has played an important part in shaping debate about the role and future of elected Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales […]

Interests

Teaching: Criminology and Criminal Justice; Criminology

Research: Policing and security; penal policy and culture; public sensibilities towards crime, order and justice; crime control and democratic politics; criminology and social and political theory.

Other details

Director of Graduate Studies (Taught Programmes): Criminology

Correspondence address:

Centre for Criminology
Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford OX1 3UQ

other affiliation(s):

All Souls College





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