Journal Article

Diversity within Police Forces in Europe: A Case for the Comprehensive View

Anne R. van Ewijk

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 6, issue 1, pages 76-92
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Diversity within Police Forces in Europe: A Case for the Comprehensive View

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This article argues that the police are a particularly interesting public institution to study with respect to the incorporation of diversity within organizations. It is the first in presenting empirical data on diversity in a wide selection of police forces in Europe, which leads to the conclusion that the general level of diversity (defined in terms of gender, migrant background, and sexual orientation) is low and diminishes as police officers’ rank increases, although changes can be observed during the last decade. In a search for answers, the article offers a brief overview of academic literature in the field of police diversity policies, and identifies two important research gaps: most studies do not touch upon all three relevant policy areas (i.e. recruitment, retention, and promotion), and comparative studies are rare. Given these findings, a comprehensive view is proposed that might structure future comparative studies.

Journal Article.  7535 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Policing

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