Mette Volquartzen – Eurocrim 2020

Trend or tradition?
Exploring the collaboration between the Danish police and military in a historical context (1968-2018)

Volquartzen Mette, Postdoctoral Researcher, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen.

Mette Volquartzen, University of Copenhagen

Abstract of paper presented at Eurocrim 2020:
It is widely acknowledged that the blurring boundaries between the police and the military in Western societies is a recent trend. It is clear, that a sector convergence is taking place especially due to a re-inforced threat from terrorism since the early 2000s. One outcome of this development is a growing requirement for more capabilities traditionally associated with military assets (weapons, equipment, tactics etc.)

However, by interpreting the blurring boundaries between the police and the military as a novelty, one overlooks specific national conditions, continuities and particularities of policing, which are necessary to include when analyzing historical trends. In this paper, I therefore apply a qualitative historical approach to the question and argue that militarization of the police and military armed assistance to the police in Denmark is a traditional phenomenon and not a new policing paradigm. It is rather part of a long‐term process of shifts in social attitudes towards soldiers doing police work, thus making it more public and visible.

Keywords: Plural policing, militarization of the police, constabularization of soldiers, sector convergence, governance of security.