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Righting the police: how do officers make sense of human rights?

Martin, Richard ORCID: 0000-0003-4113-4841 (2021) Righting the police: how do officers make sense of human rights? British Journal of Criminology. ISSN 0007-0955 (In Press)

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Human rights have become a dominant paradigm in police reform projects worldwide, cham-pioned by policymakers, legislators and campaigners alike. Such projects are often premised on, and evaluated according to, a conception of human rights as an autonomous, coherent and legit-imate body of norms. It is a paradigm made real through formal training, procedures and over-sight. This paper invites a different reading of human rights. Drawing on extensive interviews with junior officers, it reveals how human rights come to be emergent from, and embedded within, the minutia of their working lives. The presence and meaning of human rights are sus-tained through a series of ‘sensemaking’ narratives arising from the rich intermingling of legal and organizational representations of rights and officers’ own experiences. Subtle variations, in-consistencies and contradictions in officers’ sensemaking are revealed across a four-fold typology which disrupts the stability and coherency of the human rights paradigm, but also generaliza-tions made about police culture.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 Oxford University Press
Divisions: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2021 08:57
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2021 23:17

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