Journal Article

The Engineering of Social Control: Policing and Technology

Gary T. Marx

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 1, issue 1, pages 46-56
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
The Engineering of Social Control: Policing and Technology

Show Summary Details


Increased reliance on science and technology is central to contemporary developments in policing. The engineering of social control is not new. What is new is the scale, greater precision, continual invention and experimentation, and global connections. Technical means of social control saturate modern society, colonizing and documenting ever more areas of life. This article considers six ways of controlling the environment: target removal, target devaluation, target insulation, offender weakening or incapacitation, exclusion and offense/offender/target identification. Social and ethical implications involving goal conflicts, unintended consequences, displacement, neutralization, and escalation are considered.

Journal Article.  5580 words. 

Subjects: Policing

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.