Knowledge (s)kills action - a shared agenda for comparative research on and with the police

  • Pieter W. Tops

Abstract

A lot of police research has been conducted in the past decades and is now becoming ever more ‘normal’ and accepted. But what effects does this ‘scientification’ ultimately have on policing and the police organisation?

The paper describes how police research should contribute to the scientific base, meaning that it should help develop theory. At the same time, the author proposes that society should benefit from the knowledge that is produced, because police are a knowledge organisation, meaning police need to think about its position within the policing field. Furthermore, society should help develop police practice. This combination of practical orientation and theoretical rigour is what the author called “Pasteur’s quadrant”. This type of research described in the paper is also called use-inspired basic research and it bridges the gap between basic and applied research.

In brief, the author concludes that police research is characterised by a tension between knowledge kills action and knowledge skills action. The big challenge is to keep balance and to use interaction studies as an extremely useful research strategy.

Published
2017-07-01
How to Cite
Tops, P. (2017). Knowledge (s)kills action - a shared agenda for comparative research on and with the police. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (2), 15-19. Retrieved from https://bulletin.cepol.europa.eu/index.php/bulletin/article/view/196