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Internal Security Beyond Borders

Public Insecurity in Europe and the New Challenges to State and Society

Olivier Brenninkmeijer

To many Europeans, security appears to be less stable today than it was a decade ago. Challenges to internal security are changing in nature and scope to such an extent that they increasingly affect public perceptions of safety. The ones which are considered most critical are juvenile delinquency, hooliganism, violence at public events, the rise of anti-foreigner sentiments in Europe, international organised crime, transnational banditry and the exploitation of migrants by traffickers and smugglers.
This book provides an overview of the challenges to internal security that have become burning issues in public debate. It argues in favour of a more comprehensive understanding of what internal security entails and what should be kept in mind when looking at crime statistics or when discussing offending behaviour by foreigners. Furthermore, two chapters discuss the prevention of public insecurity while the final chapter addresses the situation in a single country, namely Switzerland. The study concludes that public concerns about insecurity need to be taken more seriously and that to meet future security needs, it is necessary to look beyond the traditional confines of police jurisdiction and national territory. Instead, security efforts should address international as well as local challenges that influence subjective feelings of security and affect actual conditions of public safety. In other words, internal security is no longer an internal affair of individual countries. It has become an international concern that requires both local, as well as Europe-wide and global, attention.
Contents: Internal Security in its new Context – Sources of Insecurity – Challenges to Internal Security – Crime Statistics, Victimization and Perceptions of Insecurity – Migration, Immigration and Internal Security – Foreign Offenders and Public Insecurity – The Prevention of Insecurity – Preventing Crime and Feelings of Insecurity: The International Dimension – The Case of Switzerland.