Constituting Security in the Penal and the Social Realms

  • Deborah H. Drake
Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)


The problem of security – defined as both an objective state and a subjective feeling – and the solutions that individuals, institutions, nation states and global powers pursue to solve it is of central concern to all humankind. It is a complex problem that can be considered at micro‐, meso‐, and macro‐ sociological levels. This chapter, somewhat ambitiously, attempts to consider all three, at least to some extent. It negotiates and unpacks aspects of this complex problem through various ideological lenses. The overarching concern of the chapter is the potentially hegemonic power of ideologies of security and the many covert and stealthy ways these ideologies have begun to infiltrate social and political life. In order to illustrate this, the chapter begins by considering the way security is constituted in the penal realm. The implications of the rise of security in maximum‐ security prisons in England that has been systematically developed over the previous three chapters are drawn into full view here. An examination of the prison clearly elucidates the potential power of the concept of security.


Death Penalty Imprisonment Rate Social Trust Political Legitimacy Security Agenda 
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Copyright information

© Deborah H. Drake 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah H. Drake
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Policy and CriminologyThe Open UniversityUK

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