The Fabrication of Social Order

The Fabrication of Social Order : A Critical Theory of Police Power

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Anyone who considers questions of power cannot help but be struck by the ubiquitous nature, emotional force and political pull of the concept of order. In this book, Mark Neocleous examines the role of the police in the construction of this order.

After an initial exploration of the original relationship between police, state power and the question of order, he focuses on the ways in which eighteenth century liberalism refined and narrowed the concept of the police, a process which masked the power of capital and broader issues of social control. In doing so he challenges the way liberalism came to define policing solely in terms of the question of crime and the rule of law. This liberal definition created a limited and fundamentally misleading understanding of policing which remains in use today.

In contrast, Neocleous argues for an expanded concept of police, adequate to the expansive set of institutions through which policing takes place. These institutions are concerned not just with the maintenance or reproduction of order, but with its fabrication, especially the fabrication of a social order based on wage labour. This project, he argues, should be understood as the project of social security. Grasping this point allows a fuller understanding of the ways in which the state polices and secures civil society, and how order is fabricated through law and administration.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 28.19mm | 453.59g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745314899
  • 9780745314891

About Mark Neocleous

Timothy S. Murphy is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oklahoma. He is the translator of Negria (TM)s Books for Burning (2005) and Subversive Spinoza (2004)._x000B_Abdul-Karim Mustapha teaches at Wofford College. He is a member of the editorial boards of Multitudes and Rethinking Marxism. He is the author of Age of the Globe: On Philosophy and Periodization.
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Table of contents


1. 'Police Begets Good Order'

2. Liberalism and the Police of Property

3. Ordering Insecurity I: Social Police and the Mechanisms of


4. Ordering Insecurity II: On Social Security

5. Law, Order, Political Administration

Notes and References

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Review quote

'The virtue of this short but rich text is his clarity in exposing this constant role of police in the establishment of not only public order but the social order as such ... Neocleous's book is to be warmly welcomed as a rescuing of the discussion of police from a narrow focus on crime' -- Radical Philosophy 'One of the most brilliant and provocative works of 'critical theory' produced in years ... his refusal of liberal/reformist conceptions of the state and 'law and order' is exemplary' -- Freedom
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