Ian Loader is Professor of Criminology and Professorial Fellow of All Souls College. Ian arrived in Oxford in July 2005 having previously taught at the University of Edinburgh (1990-1992) and in the Keele Criminology Department (1992-2005) He is also an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Ian is a Fellow of British Academy and the Royal Society for the Arts.
Ian is the author of six books, including Public Criminology? (Routledge, 2010, with Richard Sparks), and six edited volumes, including Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration (with Albert Dzur and Richard Sparks, Oxford UP, 2016) and The SAGE Handbook of Global Policing (with Ben Bradford, Bea Jauregui and Jonny Steinberg, 2016). Ian 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 three-year study entitled ‘Place, crime and insecurity in everyday life: A contemporary study of an English town’ funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The study – conducted with Evi Girling (Keele), Richard Sparks (Edinburgh) and Ben Bradford (UCL) – investigates how people living in one English town, Macclesfield in Cheshire, talk about and act towards a range of threats that they regard as impinging upon their safety (their personal bodily integrity, their property, their locality, their wider habitat). In the mid-1990s, three members of the research team addressed earlier versions of these questions through a study of people's fears and feelings towards crime and social order in Macclesfield in Cheshire. The outcomes of this work were published in a book, Crime and Social Change in Middle England (2000). The team is revisiting Macclesfield, a quarter of a century later, to undertake a new study of people's everyday experiences of in/security against the backdrop of rapid social, political and technological change (notably, the digital revolution, migration, austerity, and Brexit).
Ian is also currently working on a monograph with the working title of Ideologies in Crime Control to be published by Oxford University Press. The book forms part of a long-term project Ian has pursued with Richard Sparks – termed A Better Politics of Crime - which is concerned with different dimensions of the relationship between crime control and democratic politics. For more information about this project listen here. Ian also continues to research and write on policing and private security.
Ian is Editor-in-Chief of the Howard Journal of Crime and Justice. He also serves on the Editoral Boards of Policing, International Political Sociology and Delito y Sociedad.
Ian is a member of the Advisory Board for the Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales.
- Deaths in police custody present a set of enduring and troubling puzzles. Why do such deaths seldom result in prosecutions or adequate redress? Why are victims’ families so under-resourced and typically met with a conflicted mix of empathy and hostility? Why do acknowledged problems remain unresolved despite review after review making the same criticisms and seemingly consensual recommendations? Why is the state’s failure to fulfil its duty of care towards those it detains met with public indifference? In this paper, I argue that that we can shed new light on these questions if we theorize and investigate police power using the metaphor of sacrifice. Thinking about police power through this lens enables us to identify and illuminate a conflict between the liberal rationality that appears to govern responses to custodial deaths and the illiberal values and affects that constitute what I term the deep structure of deaths in police custody. By re-examining reports of recent enquiries into the issue I outline four recurring elements of this deep structure and show how they clash with surface liberal rationalities. The systemic reduction of custodial death requires, I conclude, that we name and contest the quasi-sacred conception of police authority that holds the police vital to the production of order and control and its agents to require protection when things ‘go wrong’.
Journal Article (43)
Internet Publication (2)
Edited Book (9)
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.