Module Details

HR296-5-FY-CO: Between Protection And Control: Policing Europe In The 19Th And 20Th Centuries

Note: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

Year: 2017/18
Department: History
Essex credit: 30
ECTS credit: 15
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: Yes

Supervisor: Dr Nadine Rossol
Teaching Staff: Dr Nadine Rossol
Contact details: Belinda Waterman, Student Administrator,

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

The module explores police activities between state protection and social control in 19th and 20th century-Europe. We will examine the multilayered relations between the state, the police and the public tracing continuities and differences in policing monarchies, dictatorships and democracies Themes covered will range from policing big cities in the 19th century and the popular fascination with crime stories over the tasks of police forces in the interwar period to the involvement of policemen in the Holocaust.
Policing activities are essential for any state and offer an insight into the relationship between state and society. Tasks of the police involved protecting states of 'unruly' citizens, expressed in working-class uprisings, as well as implementing societal norms of order when policing women, youngsters or alleged 'outsiders.' In addition to social control, police forces had to react to the ever increasing complaints on rising crime rates and police failures in this respect. Presenting new technology for tracing and identifying criminals was one way of the police to counteract fears and criticism.

The module is organised thematically and chronologically with its first half focusing on the 19th century and the second half on the 20th century. Several key questions will run throughout the module: Who was protected by the police and who was regarded as a criminal? Whose interests did police forces serve? What did police officers do in dictatorships? Were police forces primarily agents of state control or protectors of the population? How did police activities in dictatorships differ from those in democracies? By seeking responses to these questions, we will find how policing fundamentally shaped European societies in the last two centuries.

Learning and Teaching Methods

One-hour lecture and one-hour seminar per week.


50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark


One 2,000-word essay, one 3,000-word essay, one 1,000-word source critique.

Exam Duration and Period

3:00 during Summer Examination period.

Further information