chapter  2
8 Pages

A Theory of Counterterrorism Policing

Situated in the sociology of social control, this book’s empirical investigations of the policing of terrorism are based on the theory of bureaucratization. Following the work of Max Weber (1922), the bureaucratization theory holds that modern counterterrorist police efforts are autonomously conducted on the basis of professional standards regarding the means and objectives of counterterrorism (Deflem 2000, 2002, 2004a). The bureaucratization perspective recognizes that highprofile terrorist incidents, such as the events of 9/11, can lead to attempts by governments to redirect police efforts against terrorism in function of political objectives. Yet, because the bureaucratization of modern police institutions is at an unprecedented high level, police agencies can better resist such (re-)politicization attempts to continue counterterrorism activities on the basis of an understanding of terrorism based on professional expertise. Relatedly, the theory holds that national and, more generally, regional persistence marks counterterrorism policing efforts, even when those efforts explicitly involve cooperation among police of different nations and regions. This chapter clarifies the theory more fully.