Police & Policing: The History of an Ill-defined topic: Prof. Clive Emsley

"Once upon a time most British histories would state that modern police were first created by Sir Robert Peel for London in 1829. Histories that were proudly Scottish might dispute this. French historians put l’acte de naissance (birth certificate) of modern police as Paris in 1667. Is this simply because the English, Scottish, French police were/are different? If so, what makes one ‘police’ different from another? And what preceded them? Was it really Dogberry and Verges in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing? And if Tudor police were so bad why does Friar Lawrence tell Romeo he must leave “before the watch be set”? We will start with what contemporary politicians and police officers mean by ‘police’ and ‘policing’, move back to the origins of the term and then trace the developments through the institutionalisation of police forces from the period of the Enlightenment to some of the more recent hopes and practices – such as the British aspiration to bring peace to Europe in the wake of the Second World War by creating Bobbies from German, Austrian and Italian police.."

Tutor: Prof. Clive Emsley

"Clive Emsley is Emeritus Professor of History at the OU. He was educated at the University of York and Peterhouse, Cambridge, joining the OU at its outset in 1970. He has held research and short teaching positions in Australia (Australian National University and Griffith University, Brisbane), Canada (University of Calgary), France (University of Paris VIII) and New Zealand (University of Canterbury, Christchurch). For ten years he was president of the International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice, a body funded by the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris. His books include Policing and its Context, 1750-1870 (1983), The English Police: A Political and Social History (2nd edition 1996), Gendarmes and the State in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1999), The Great British Bobby (revised edition, 2010), Exporting British Policing During the Second World War (2017).."