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Over the past three decades, the industrialized world has witnessed four resilient social trends: (1) the consistent erosion of union-membership; (2) an increase in income polarization and inequality; (3) a dramatic resurgence in popular protest; and (4) a steady rise in public and private policing employment. In this paper, we examine the relationship between these trends by theorizing and operationalizing the notion of the “industrial reserve army” and a series of related tenets in order to conduct an international (N = 45), empirical test of a nascent Marxian model of policing. By treating total policing employment as an empirical barometer of bourgeois insecurity we find that this insecurity is conditioned by two elements of Marxian political economy: (1) relative deprivation (income inequality) and (2) the rise of an industrial reserve army (manufacturing employment and unemployment). Second, while surplus value and labour militancy (strikes and lockouts per 100,000 population) rise along with union membership, the presence of higher rates of unionization appears to ameliorate the need for more policing in all but post-USSR countries. While unions assist in checking the immiseration of workers through labour actions, union membership is nonetheless inversely correlated to policing employment, giving credence to the Marxian idea that while unions help mitigate against the exploitation workers, they also act as “lieutenants of capital,” performing an essential policing function under capitalism.
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Policing the industrial reserve army:
An international study
George S. Rigakos &Aysegul Ergul
Published online: 12 October 2011
#Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011
Abstract Over the past three decades, the industrialized world has witnessed four
resilient social trends: (1) the consistent erosion of union-membership; (2) an
increase in income polarization and inequality; (3) a dramatic resurgence in popular
protest; and (4) a steady rise in public and private policing employment. In this
paper, we examine the relationship between these trends by theorizing and
operationalizing the notion of the industrial reserve armyand a series of related
tenets in order to conduct an international (N= 45), empirical test of a nascent
Marxian model of policing. By treating total policing employment as an empirical
barometer of bourgeois insecurity we find that this insecurity is conditioned by two
elements of Marxian political economy: (1) relative deprivation (income inequality)
and (2) the rise of an industrial reserve army (manufacturing employment and
unemployment). Second, while surplus value and labour militancy (strikes and
lockouts per 100,000 population) rise along with union membership, the presence of
higher rates of unionization appears to ameliorate the need for more policing in all
but post-USSR countries. While unions assist in checking the immiseration of
workers through labour actions, union membership is nonetheless inversely
correlated to policing employment, giving credence to the Marxian idea that while
unions help mitigate against the exploitation workers, they also act as lieutenants of
capital,performing an essential policing function under capitalism.
Trade-unions have always been the most effective representatives of the organized
labour movement to protect workers from the erosion of their wages and to control
changes made in working conditions and hours worked. For Marxist political
economists, the function of trade-unions was never limited to the immediate
Crime Law Soc Change (2011) 56:329371
DOI 10.1007/s10611-011-9327-0
G. S. Rigakos (*)
Department of Law, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
A. Ergul
Department of Political Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
material needs of workers; rather, trade-unions were viewed as the centers in which class
consciousness could flourish and through which a revolutionary movement could be
carried on. Marx and Engels, however, were quick to diagnose the weaknesses of trade-
union politics after witnessing the development and practices of the British trade-union
movement. Their skeptical but still hopeful vision of trade-unions was repeatedly
echoed by Marxist political economists of the following century.
After the Second World War, the dominant form of trade unionism recognized
the primacy of the liberal democratic state and accepted the capitalist organization
of production and private property. The revolutionary Marxist claims of
overthrowing the state through the destruction of the capitalist mode of production
were replaced by efforts to generate a dialogue and social pact among labour,
capital and the state [158]. To put it differently, the goal of trade-unions to mobilize
working class power for revolutionary purposes was abandoned in exchange for the
legal recognition of collective bargaining and thus the state of trade-unions became
crystallized as that of political actors representing an organized interest group within
liberal democracy. The internalization of the attitude of peaceful accommodation
with capitalist interestscaused a deradicalization and depoliticization of the trade-
union movement [158]. The effects of a paradigm shift from Keynesianism to neo-
liberalism, therefore, have deeply cut into both trade-union membership and political
Over the past three decades, the industrialized nations have witnessed four
resilient social trends: (1) a consistent erosion of union-membership; (2) an
increase in income polarization and income inequality; (3) a dramatic resurgence in
popular protest in both size and intensity; and (4) a steady rise in public and private
police employment. In this paper, we analyze the relationship between these trends
within the broad historical project of policing by concretizing the often abstract
Marxist concept of the industrial reserve army (IRA) and by interrogating Marxist
appraisals of trade-unions. Thus, in the first section, we examine the Janus-faced
character of the IRA in the capitalist system and discuss transformations in its size
and structural context as a result of the shift from Keynesianism to neo-liberalism,
a global decline in union membership, a western decline in manufacturing
employment and the simultaneous rise of manufacturing unemployment. While
this discussion provides a theoretical and empirical grounding for our operation-
alizing some of the central tenets of a Marxian political economy, in the following
section we examine the historically and conceptually intimate relationship between
police and capital as we treat policing employment as a barometer of bourgeois
insecurity. In the section following, we discuss the state of income inequality in the
world, particularly after the implementation of neo-liberal reforms including
privatization, trade liberalization and labour deregulation in our exploratory model,
since income inequality implicitly relates to unionization, political radicalism and
policing employment. In the light of our Marxian theoretical and conceptual
framework, we then present our methodology, formulate our hypothesis, describe
the sample and variables used, demonstrate our findings and finally present our
discussion. While we are indeed excavating Marxs original formulations in order
to inform a contemporary relationship between the IRA, policing, unions and so
forth, we continue to also rely on neo-Marxist interpretations and seek to couch our
analysis within the contemporary rise of neoliberal globalization.
330 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
The industrial reserve army
With the exception of his notions of commodityand surplus-value, perhaps no other
concept utilized by Marx in his critique of political economy has been more important
for understanding his labour theory of value than the calibrating yet potentially
revolutionary effects of the industrial reserve army(IRA). The IRA (or sometimes
surplus population
) helps moderate the costs of labour through a heightened
competition for jobs. Capitalists can thus get away with further intensifying the
exploitation of workers and depressing their wages. But the reserve army also
threatens the entire capitalist structure by acting as a reservoir for the desperate and
dispossessed proletariat who stand ready to seize the means of production. While
Marx [98] was quick to differentiate himself from the classic political economy of
Adam Smith who fetishizedthe production of vendible commoditiesas supremely
productive, he nonetheless follows a similar course by all but dismissing the service
sector economy from his analysis and repeatedly linking surplus-value”—the engine
of wealth creation under capitalismto manufacturing.
For Marxian political
economy, therefore, the IRA plays a key revolutionary role and is, by extension, an
indirect threat that the bourgeois state must secure itself against. Understanding and
measuring the IRA, that mass of workers made redundant by the rising organic
composition of capital, and the rate of exploitation they indirectly help foster are thus
central Marxian concerns. If we are to attempt to operationalize Marxsnotionofthe
industrial reserve army
we need to take stock of how he describes its function. In
Chapter 25 of Capital, Marx likens the IRA to a law-like, supply-and-demand,
regulator of labour costs for capitalists. The more efficient that production becomes
through the use of machinery (i.e. the tendency of the organic composition of capital
to rise) the more workers become redundant, the more plentiful their supply, the lower
the wages they are willing to work for, the more likely they are to be exploited in less
efficient industries until they are once again thrown out of work. Marx describes the
IRA in the following way:
The industrial reserve army, during the periods of stagnation and average
prosperity, weighs down the active army of workers; during the periods of
overproduction and feverish activity, it puts a curb on their pretensions. The
relative surplus population is therefore the background upon which the law of
the demand and supply of labor does its work. It confines the field of action of
this law to the limits absolutely convenient to capitals drive to exploit and
dominate the workers. ([98]: 792)
Lumpenproletariat is also often erroneously conflated with surplus populationand industrial reserve
army.See also Bovenkerks[11] thorough and illuminating critique of Marx and Engels use of the term
lumpenproletariatas a rhetorical device.
Scholars have debated the relative merits of Marxs inconsistent notions of productive and unproductive
labour for some time ([55]; [64]; [65]; [68]; [80]; [82]; [95]; [109]) but what is largely agreed upon is that
Marxs treatment of productive labour while initially expansive in critique and contradistinction to Smith
becomes increasingly narrow with further clarification and focuses more and more on the relative position
of workers to direct production [16].
Marx also calls the industrial reserve army the surplus population. He uses the two terms
interchangeably. We prefer to use industrial reserve armybecause in his descriptions of productivity
and Department 1he privileges the role of industrial production which also has implications for working
class consciousness.
Policing the industrial reserve army 331
His pronouncements here are quite clear and we can easily see how they might
translate to non-specialist labour in industrial production in the present-day,
especially in an international context [67]. Marx, however, further subdivides the
IRA into three additional groups: the floating, the latent, and the stagnant([98]:
794) with less applicability to contemporary industrial production. As he attempts to
deal with the specifics of English industrial production in the mid-nineteenth century
Marx [98] marshalls evidence that male employees are employed up to the age of
maturity, but not beyondcomprising a floating surplus where the female
population grows more rapidly than the male. He further finds that, in Manchester,
the average age at death of the laboring class was 17resulting in early marriages
and orphans and pauper children, the latter of which then making up a strata of the
IRA just above that of criminals and vagabonds: the lumpenproletariat ([98]: 7956).
On the face of it, therefore, it would be a dubious exercise given the specific social
context in which Marx makes his observations to attempt to link his three sub-groups
of the IRA to contemporary developments in industrial production. Nevertheless,
Marx elsewhere makes prophetic observations about the development of mass
urbanization [62], or the constant movement towards the townsin the wake of
agricultural industrialization which, for him, recasts the entire countryside into a
constant latent surplus population. He also adroitly points to the rise of a
stagnantpopulation consisting of those workers with extremely irregular
employmentbecause of the lack of available work but he clearly could not foresee
the massive rise of casual, non-industrial employment in the so-called developed
world [56]. We are therefore left with a concept that is quite useful and prophetic in
its general sense yet far less so in its specificity. In the end, we can only be certain of
two contemporary facets of the IRA in the general sense: first, that Marx sets his
analysis of the IRA in the context of industrial production (and Department I), and
second, that today, as in the nineteenth century the IRA consists of insecure labour
always at the risk of being made redundant by machinery and the prospect of
outsourcing [12,13,60]. The IRA, therefore, is the labour buffer through which the
proletariat either cycle or must nonetheless reckon as its growth saps workers
bargaining position and undermines their standard of living. It is for this reason that
we have opted to operationalize the IRA by examining industrial employment and
unemployment. The most important mechanism used by workers to offset this
exploitative relationship is collective bargaining. Not surprisingly, therefore, labour
unions in Marxist writing have received considerable analytic scrutiny.
The trade unions
While syndicalism sees the general strikeas the primary weapon to destroy
capitalism and reformism sees union wage demands as sufficient to better workers
living conditions without changing the social structure of power, Marxists have been
hopeful yet skeptical about the revolutionary role of trade unions. Marx and Engels
conceded that the emergence of trade-unions was simply aimed at preventing the
erosion of wages and monitoring working conditions and hours worked [104]. This
was not only necessary but also justifiable. Marx [102] argued that the whole
history of modern industry shows that capital, if not checked, will recklessly and
332 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
ruthlessly work to cast down the whole working class to the utmost state of
degradation.By checking this tendency, workers are only resisting the
depreciation of [their] labour.Thus, marketplace supply and demand in the last
instance conditions the political and economic success of trade unions. The real
gains of trade unions, however, were not the immediate material wage and work
concessions they secured but rather the power to unite workers: [t]he fruit of their
battle lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever-expanding union of the
workers.In defining the strength of the working class on the basis of their numbers,
Marx and Engels saw the association of workers as the forerunner of an approaching
decisive battle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.
When that decisive
battle repeatedly failed to materialize after the development of the British trade-
union movement in the second half of the nineteenth century, Marx and Engels took
their queue from William Thompson [147] and bemoaned the rise of a new labour
aristocracythat was distant from the proletariat both materially and ideologically
([42]: 81; [102]: 82). For Marx [101] trade-unions fail partially from an injudicious
use of their powerand because they generally limit themselves to guerrilla war
against the effects of the existing system, instead of simultaneously trying to change
it.Unions should instead [use] their organized forces as a lever for the final
emancipation of the working class, that is to say, the ultimate abolishment of the
wage system.By 1872, Marx [103] complained in his speech to the General
Council of the International Workers Association that [t]rade unions are praised too
much; they must in the future be treated as affiliated societies and used as centers of
attack in the struggle of labour against capital.Later Marxists, from Lenin to
Luxemburg, adopted similarly hopeful yet skeptical positions.
Lenin believed that trade-unions were inherently conservative because they were
spontaneouslyeconomically subordinated to bourgeois ideology. He famously
declared that class political consciousness can be brought to the workers only from
without, that is, only from outside the economic struggle, from outside the sphere of
relations between workers and employers([84]: 7879). This, of course,
necessitated a vanguard partytasked with leading the working class away from
the trivializing effects of unionism and toward a final revolutionary movement.
Trotsky identified the limits of unions in their structural assimilation into capitalist
state-power. This centralization of union power increased the intimacy between the
trade-union aristocracy, state power and the capitalist class in the form of a triangle
of control. For Trotsky [148] these new lieutenants of capitalacquire power
and use it to discipline workers on behalf of capital. Trotsky [149] argued
that [m]onopoly capitalism is less and less willing to reconcile itself to the
independence of trade unionscreating instead the reformist bureaucracy and the
labour aristocracy who pick the crumbs from its banquet table.Capturing this
recurrent Marxist critique of trade union conservatism, Trotsky aptly argued that
unions become transformed into [a] political police before the eyes of the working
class[our emphasis]. Nonetheless, like Lenin, Trotsky [149] did not give up on
trade unions altogether. Although rather than advocate for a vanguard partyfor
In this process, Engels characterized trade-unions as the military schools of class war, while Marx
depicted them in relation to their role in the transformation of the working class from class-in-itselfto
class-for-itself([69]: 67)
Policing the industrial reserve army 333
him, another bureaucratic apparatus”—he instead called for a mass movement through
the building of a wider working class radicalism.
Luxemburg [89] similarly analyzed
unions as an historically necessary evilbut, as they were then currently organized,
comprised of structures that were obstaclesto further development at a certain stage
of organization and at a certain degree of ripeness of conditions.In the end, as
brokers between capitalists and workers, union officials were prone to bureaucratism
and a certain narrowness of outlookbecause their goal was to ameliorate and resolve
class conflict as much as possible. This transforms trade-union politics into an end in
itself rather than a means to revolutionize the social relations of production [90].
Gramscis sociological analysis of trade unions mercilessly critiqued its existing
structures. He ([57]: 35) decried the fact that even in their own home, in the house
they have built tenaciously, with patient effort, cementing it with their blood and tears,
the machine crushes man (sic) and bureaucracy sterilizes the creative spirit…” Trade
unions, therefore, took on a managerial role within the logic of capitalism because of
their dialectic position as both an opponent and a component of accumulation ([3]:
334). Given the nature of its politicking, speculating and administering in a
competitive fashion the union for Gramsci [57]cannot be the instrument for a
radical renovation of society, it can provide the proletariat with proficient bureaucrats,
technical experts on industrial questions of a general kind, but it cannot be the basis
for proletarian power.In sum, the general position toward trade unions by Marxists is
that unions alone cannot be the vehicles for the radical transformation of the social
relations of production. By their very nature trade unions do not seek to unleash the
war between the bourgeoisie and the proletarian classes but rather act to keep the
peace: to behave, as Trotsky put it, as policing agents for capital.
Despite the fact that there have been attempts at a new internationalismamong
unions [162] coinciding with the rise of non-traditional social movements [81] this
has not forestalled a serious decline in union membershipamong industrialized
countries ([70]: 9). In recent history, unions have become perceived as tired, archaic
bureaucracies, largely irrelevant to the major issues of the contemporary world: a
view particularly common among those in their twenties and younger, who virtually
everywhere are far less unionized than their parents.Thus, for latter-day labour
analysts like Hyman [70], unions which embraced socialist or communist
ideologiesand claimed to extend their concerns to the peripheral workforcehave
proven more rhetorical than realas union priorities have been confined to core
group interests to the detriment of others.North has thus postulated that just as
Marx theorizes that the commodity acquires an enigmatic and fetishistic form when
produced under capitalist relationsan exchange of things rather than peopleso
does the union as an aggregation of workers secure their market relationship in the
form of labour as a commodity. He argues a group of workers is a group of
workers. And yet, when that group takes on the form of a trade union, it acquires,
through that form, new and distinct social properties to which the workers are
inevitably subordinated([116]: 13).
He argued: “…the laws of history are far stronger than the bureaucratic apparatus. No matter how the
methods of social betrayers differthey will never succeed in breaking the revolutionary will of the
proletariat. As time goes on, their desperate efforts to hold back the wheel of history will demonstrate
more clearly to the masses that the crisis of the proletarian leadership, having become the crisis in
mankinds culture, can be resolved only by the Fourth International([149]: 73).
334 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
While the strength of trade-unions reached a peak point in the post-War period
both in their social and political impact and in the overall membership, it was not
long before this process was systematically reversed. Industrial countries have been
witnessing a steady decline in trade-union membership rates over the last three
decades. Much of the progress previously made by the labour movement in
industrialized countries through confrontation and conflict with capitalists started to
become undone in the 1980s. As Ebbinghaus and Visser [39] report, in 1990 overall
union density in Western Europe fell from 40% to 34% in comparison to a decade
earlier. The highest union density rates were observed in the Scandinavian countries,
particularly in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark. These countries, also
known as Ghent countries, have union-managed unemployment insurance
schemes. In all four of them Wallerstein and Western [161] demonstrate that
unionization continued to grow although at a slower pace or remained more or less
stable since the 1990s.
A steady decline in union density was observed in Germany since the 1990s.
Although the process of deunionization was interrupted by the effect of the
unification of West and East Germany in 1991, it continued rapidly in the 1990s and
2000s. By 2003, Visser [152] demonstrates that the gross union density rate reached
its historically lowest level of 22.6%.
In France, union density started to decline in
the 1980s. It fell from 18.3% in 1980 to 10.1% in 1990, and hit its lowest level at
8.0% in 1998. One of the sharpest falls in unionization took place in the United
Kingdom, where union density dropped from 50.7% in 1980 to 39.3% in 1990, and
reached 29.3% in 2003. In Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, and Austria, deunionization
also has been continuous and consistent since the 1980s [152].
Eastern European countries also experienced declines in trade-union membership.
In Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic sharp downturns
in union density rates were recorded starting from the early 1990s.
deunionization process, of course, is not restricted to European countries. The
United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have also been suffering peculiar
declines in unionization.
Japan and the Republic of Korea have also seen a decline
Böckerman and Uusilato [10] claimed that union density reached its highest point (nearly 85%) in
Finland in 1993, but it declined by more than 10% in less than ten years.
For a detailed analysis of the decline of trade-union membership in Germany see Fitzenberger et al. [46]
Greece also has gone through a sharp decline in unionization. The union density rate fell from 39% in
1980 to 23% in 2005. Data is retrieved from OECD Statistics, Trade-Union Density (%) in OECD
Countries, 19602006. For a detailed analysis of trade-unionism in Greece see Seferiades [135].
In Hungary, the union density rate fell from 44.7% in 1993 to 17.38% in 2005; in Poland, it dropped
from 54.8% in 1990 to 15.8% in 2005; in the Czech Republic, it declined from 80.5% in 1993 to 21.6% in
2005; and, in the Slovak Republic, it fell from 49.8% in 1995 to 25.8% in 2005 (OECD, 19602007).
Similarly remarkable reductions took place in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Slovenia. For an empirical
analysis of (de)unionization and a discussion about the state of trade-unions in Eastern Europe [79].
In the USA, the decline of union density has been constant since the 1980s. It dropped from 19.5% in
1980 to 14.0% in 1996 and 2003 it was as low as 12.4%. In Canada, union density rate dropped from
34.7% in 1980 to 32.9% in 1990 and fell to 28.4% in 2003. In Australia, union density decreased from
49.5% in 1980 to 40.5% in 1990. The decline has remained steady in the following years, reaching 22.9%
in 2003. The deunionization process shows similar patterns in New Zealand, where the union density rate
was 69.1% in 1980, dropping to 51% in 1990 and 22.1% in 2002 [152]. In the United States and Canada,
the decline in unionization occurred mainly in the private sector while public sector unionization has
remained relatively constant in the USA and has increased in Canada. For more details see Blanchflower
(2006; [17]; [58]). For a discussion of the deunionization process in Australia see Leigh [83].
Policing the industrial reserve army 335
in unionization. Both countries have gone through steady and remarkable losses in
union membership since 1980.
In the existing literature, this global decline in union membership is explained
through (1) cyclical, structural, and institutional factors [39,85,161]; (2) individual
membership decisions (personal and workplace characteristics, social environment)
[46]; (3) product market competition [83]; and (4) changes in normative orientation
from collectivism towards individualism [39]. These changes, however, must be
viewed within the overarching context of the intensification of production in the
wake of a paradigm shift away from Keynesianism to neo-liberalism at the
beginning of 1980s. Deregulation, decentralization and extensive privatization are
the main characteristics of neo-liberalism and they have generated a shift toward the
decentralization of bargaining, labour market deregulation and the flexibilization of
production in capital-labour relations [38,76]. As a result, a hospitable Keynesian
postwar environment has been replaced with the enactment of discouraging, if not
hostile, labour legislation and new regulations concerning industrial relations since
the 1980s [118,161].
Newly elected conservative governments passed legislation to tame trade-
unionswhich they perceived as the cause of low productivity. Changes made to the
legal frameworks governing unions included the banning of closed shops, promoting
individual bargaining over collective bargaining, decreasing legal immunity
(available to unions for damages in their activities), discouraging recruitment and
strikes, and translating trade-union services into public goods [49,118].
The introduction of independent unemployment insurance funds (UI) in Ghent
countries like Finland and Sweden or the replacement of voluntary but publicly
supported unemployment insurance managed by unions with statutory regulations in
Norway and the Netherlands has also generated a decline in union density because
the connection between earnings-related unemployment benefits and union-
membership has gradually broken down [10,85].
The steady decline in global unionization rates has been coupled with a
precipitous decline in manufacturing employment, the sector that Marxist inter-
pretations identify as the source of productive labour par excellence and the prime
vehicle for both capitalist growth and its demise. Indeed, contemporary scholars
have continued to pour over Marxs sometimes contradictory assertions about mental
versus manual labour, productive versus unproductive labour, how service within
and outside the realm of circulation should be understood, and finally whether the
demise of capitalism might be better grasped, anticipated, or accelerated by
theorizing and empirically mapping workforce composition based on proximity to
production (e.g. [6,16,94]). In short, manufacturing employment and especially
manufacturing unemployment speaks directly to core Marxist maxims dealing with
value creation, class consciousness, and revolution.
In recent years, western countries have experienced a steady decline in the
manufacturing sectors share of overall employment, which has been accompanied
by the rapid employment growth of the services sector. This decline is predicted to
In Japan, the union density rate fell from 31.1% in 1980 to 25.4% in 1990 and to 19.7% in 2003. In the
Republic of Korea, the union density rate went down from 14.7% in 1980 to 11.2% in 2003 (OECD 1960
336 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
continue into the future ([3,8,12,47,48,119,156,169,170,172]).
From the
perspective of Marxian political economy, the decline in manufacturing follows
a (prophetically) recognizable script. Productivity in established markets becomes
very high. The increased use of sophisticated machinery, purchased with the
profits already made, precipitates a rise in the organic composition of capital.
Manufacturing unemployment rises. In order to compete for increasingly narrow
margins, other capitalists buy newer machinery or innovate using credit. Cheaper,
less efficient international competition exacerbates this problem. Credit continues to
flow, spawning the further intensification of production and allowing consumers to
borrow in order to buy more. The domestic service sector economy and the
circulatory spheres balloon to take up the required demand for the overproduction of
manufactured goods but this is not sustainable in the long term, eventually resulting
in a system-wide crash (see [6]). Thus, Pilat et al. [119] argue that although there has
been a continuous decline in manufacturing employment over the past three decades
in western countries, manufacturing production and value-added have continued
to grow as a result of high productivity.
Despite this high productivity rate, the
share of manufacturing in total economic activity and value-added have continued
to decline in formerly industrialized countries as a result of the outsourcing of
production to foreign manufacturers, the demographic effects of increased demand
for services, productivity growth, and fluctuations in exchange rates ([1,8,19,23,
119,172]). It is nonetheless important to note that while our sample of primarily
northern industrialized nations has seen a withering industrial base, overall global
manufacturing employment has actually increased with the rise of China and India
[77]. Capitalism, after all, is a global system.
In short, the effects of Keynesian welfarism were structurally significant for
workers, effecting changes in the relationship between labour and the state and
ushering in a new period of union de-radicalization and its complicity with capital.
Depending on each countrys sociopolitical history and its position in world
economic affairs, the subsequent rise of neo-liberalism resulted in important
ideological and structural changes throughout the global systemin part, through
international institutions such as the IMF and WTOwhich induced widespread
insecurity and further institutionally ossified the union system. In reviewing the
importance of the IRA in Marxist thought, we have attended to: (1) how Marxs
notion of productive labour, for economic and political reasons, privileges
manufacturing; (2) the fact that Marxists are skeptical about unions, labeling their
In most industrialized countries, the decline of the share of manufacturing in total employment has been
substantial since the 1970s [119]. In the United States, the share of manufacturing employment had begun
its descent around the 1950s, becoming particularly sharp since 2000 ([23,48]). In Germany, United
Kingdom and Luxemburg, the largest drop in employment shares had been experienced from 1985 to
2002 ([8,119]). In the spectrum of industrialized countries, Canada, Ireland, Italy and Spain are the
economies in which the absolute share of manufacturing has declined the least over the past two decades.
While overall manufacturing employment has fallen, not all sectors have fared equally ([19,119]).
Pilat et. al. [119] argue that the strong growth in manufacturing production and value-added are
witnessed particularly in Canada and the United States. In Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan
manufacturing value-added has grown very little while it has increased particularly quickly in Finland,
Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Poland and Sweden in recent years.
Policing the industrial reserve army 337
executives as lieutenants of capitaland political police; (3) a global trend in
declining unionization; and (4) a western decline in manufacturing as a per cent of
the total workforce and the concomitant rise of manufacturing unemployment. The
point of this review is to provide a theoretical and empirical grounding for our
imminent operationalization of these central tenets of Marxian political economy.
Our general hypothesis is that these qualitative and quantitative changes in the size
and structural context of the industrial reserve army produce insecurities that
condition and are conditioned by policing. Thus, while neo-liberalism created
insecurity within the labour movement, it simultaneously helped set the conditions
under which public and private security employment flourished. In the first instance
because security products and employees are central to intensifying labour
productivity in the form of surplus-value and second, because securitylike other
social institutionsis unapologetically unfettered, privatized [71], and commodified
[113,121,141] under neo-liberalism. It is to this historical and conceptual
connection between police and capital that we turn to next.
The policing industry
By about the early 1970s, private security employment (per 100, 000 population) in
North America had already overtaken public police employment [75,123]. Today,
conservative estimates place the ratio of public to private policing at about 4:1 in the
USA [30] and at least 2:1 in Canada [133,146]. Similar growth has been reported in
the U.K. [73], Germany [40], Greece [131], Poland [88], the Netherlands [150] and
the rest of Europe [33]. Despite the fact that public expenditures on policing grew
consistently in the aftermath of the OPEC crisis, private security employment
continues to rise sharply in most industrialized nations.
In the wake of the collapse
of the Soviet system, the liberalization of markets in the former Eastern Bloc, and
the sudden glut of trained state security agents with strong ties to former communist
apparatchiks, Eastern European nations [87], the Ukraine and Russia [154] all saw
sudden booms in private security. In some cases, the state had little choice but to
attempt to legalize and regulate what was already fast becoming a system-wide
protection racket economy [134]. As key industries became privatized, the policing
apparatus set about protecting the state against the inherent insecurity of private
property relations ([112]: 44). This also meant widespread licensing and monitoring;
the formation of industry associations; and the increased global concentration of
contract private security provision. In 2002, for example, CoESS (the Confederation
of European Security Services), an umbrella organization for national private
security associations in Europe, was established with the objective of harmoniza-
tion of national legislationto foster open competition for security services in all
member states. Today CoESS is undergoing another expansion as it assesses the
inclusion of new member states, and even non-member states from the former
Eastern Bloc, Asia and Africa.
Prior to the formation of CoESS, Group 4 Falck of Denmark merged with G4S of
Britain and adopted the latters name, making it the worlds largest security service
For countries where such longitudinal data has been available.
338 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
provider. The company had already announced ten takeovers in Germany by 2001.
In 1999 Securitas AB, their only substantial international competitor employing over
210,000 people worldwide, purchased Pinkerton in the USA which increased
Securitasemployee pool by another 117,000.
Not to be outdone, G4S bought
Wackenhut in 2002, a leading US security company that operates dozens of private
prisons. Today, G4S operates in 110 countries, and employs over 600,000 security
guards from Lesotho to Luxemburg and is the largest security provider in the world.
As an exemplar of the ubiquitous nature of contemporary security provision, G4S
runs detention facilities in Australia, mining operations in Indonesia, and rock
concerts in London. Security services now police all circuits of capital from primary
production to sites of mass consumption.
Across the globe, trade liberalization, and contracting outpolicies under neo-
liberalism have helped the security industry prosper. Security firms are now engaged
in policing functions that only decades previous would have been viewed as a public
responsibility: patrols of outdoor business districts and massive urban commercial
and residential complexes; the guarding of penal institutions, nuclear facilities,
seaports, airports, and even police stations (e.g. [5,14,71,73,124,126,137,159]).
Marxist analysts have long been aware of the role played by the public and private
police in suppressing workers organizations (e.g. [61]), responding to strikes and
lock-outs [24,164], and even their pivotal function for inculcating a wage-labour
system at the height of mercantile capitalism [106,111,112,129,130,143]. In more
recent years, they have pointed to the rise of private security in spaces of
consumption ([40,140,142]), the emergence of aggressive forms of parapolicing
[124], and have theorized how the security commodityitself operates in a
capitalist system [113,121,122,141]. In this sense, the provision of policing both
historically and in the present day is conceived of as a social control project that
extends to a multiplicity of public, private and hybrid agencies (e.g. [125]), an
observation also known to scholars working in other theoretical traditions (e.g. [71,
At the same time, scholars have rediscovered the genealogical connection
between policing as we understand it today and its importance for disciplining
labour and fabricating a social and economic order as early as the mid seventeenth
century [111,128]. Enforcing the wage labour system was essential for capitalisms
hegemony [106,114]. The police project, therefore, has a long history, emerging as a
civilizing sciencein the works of Cameralist thinkers such as Justi [155] and von
Sonnenfels [139] and eventually as an essential system of order maintenance for the
discipline of the indigent, the poor, and the working classes in the works of
Colquhoun [21,22]. The binding element in all of this enlightenment discourse is
(ADS Sicherheit Group, Top Control Group), Hungary (Bantech Security Rt.), Austria (SOS), Finland
(SPAC), Czech Republic (BOS: Bankovi Ochranna Sluzba, a.s.), France (OGS, EuroGuard), Poland (BRE
Services), and Norway (Unikey AS). These acquisitions were quite large. EuroGuard employed 4,200,
ADS 1,200 and BOS 1,200.
Immediately after the takeover, two regional market leaders were also acquired in the U.S.: First
security Corp. and American Protective Services Inc. This was followed by the purchase of Smith Security
Inc., Doyle Protective Service Inc., and APG Security. In 2000, Securitas acquired Burns, thus making it a
major player in the largest security market in the world overnight. In 2001, Securitas bought Loomis
Amored car, a company with over 220 offices across the United States, employing another 2,200 officers.
Policing the industrial reserve army 339
the conceptual connection made between commerce, security and a disciplined
workforce [117,130]. In the English context, this conceptual connection is
personified in the magistrate, police reformer and first chief Constable of the
Thames River Police, Patrick Colquhoun [21] who advocated a General Police
System(see [129]) aimed at enforcing the wage system, the elimination of
lumping rates, and the systematic pursuit of theft and losses on the docks through
a centralized, professional police force. Even today, Colquhouns early nineteenth
century order instructing his police to ban wide jemmies, loose clothing and deep
pockets and search all workers on their way to and from the docks are figuratively, if
not literally, present in almost all contemporary security guardsstanding orders. The
first bona fide, salaried police force in London, therefore, was actually privately
funded: four-fifths of their costs were paid by the West India merchants who
elevated the River Thames into the most important trading and commercial artery of
the nineteenth century.
Colquhouns plans did not go unopposed. The Thames
River police office was sacked by angry dock-workers just as the infamous Bow
Street office had two decades earlier, but the new police persevered [26]. From the
London docksides of the early nineteenth century to the American industrial unrest
of the early twentieth century (see [7,24,164]), public and private policing worked
together to help intensify production, enforce wage control and battle unionization
Neo-liberalism, therefore, may have helped liberate what has always been an
integral and seminal part of capital accumulation internationally: the deep
interpenetration between police and commerce. While contemporary analysts have
persuasively argued that the proliferation of private security can be linked to the
development of mass private property [136],
the advancing logics of a risk society
and the retreat and recrudescence of state policing [142], it must also be
remembered that these social developments can also be seen as manifestations of
longer-term, now unfettered tendencies of police and capital. Nonetheless, the rise of
private security (both in terms of overall employment and the production of vendible
commodities such as alarms, surveillance cameras and the like), our increasing
reliance on social surveillance and our heightened sense of unease [50,59] have not
significantly threatened overall employment in public policing which has also
continued to increase alongside the private sector [123] especially after 911. In the
wake of 911 and the global financial crisis of 2008 onwards, security providers,
both public and private, have seen no abatement in demand or resources. The growth
of domestic security employment takes on a renewed salience in light of structural
changes under neo-liberalism that have significantly affected union membership and
activism. When viewed within the broad historical project of police, the
contemporary rise of public and private policing, the relationship between the two
and their relationship to union membership, activism and the IRA can empirically
and theoretically inform Marxian political economy.
Earlier forms of organized police such as the Bow Street Runners under the Fielding brothers were
important fore-runners [41]. In order to sell the success of his Thames River Police experiment,
Colquhoun [20] published his Treatise on the Police of the River Thames, supplying a cost-benefit
analysis, in statistical terms, for the cost-saving and disciplining role of his new police.
For a balanced critique see Jones and Newburn [74]
For a critique see Rigakos [122,124]
340 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
In a pronouncement that would set the framework for scholarly discussions about
inequality for generations, Adam Smith defended the emergent class distinctions that
sprang from early capitalism by unapologetically arguing that the accommodationsof
an industrious and frugal peasantalways exceed[ed] that of many an African king,
the absolute master of the lives and liberties of ten thousand naked savages([138]: 18).
His defense of the inequities of capitalism was based on the idea that absolute poverty
is reduced wherever capitalism flourished. The lowest rungs of the social hierarchy are
always better off under capitalist relations than under any other mode of production.
Marx and Engels [104], of course, agreed that capitalism had accomplished wonders
far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals.And that
capitalism had conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of
nations and crusades. At the same time, however, Marx [99] pointed out that poverty
was relative rather than absolute. He argued that our wants and pleasures have their
origin in societyand so we therefore measure them in relation to societynot in
relation to the objects which serve for their gratification. Since our gains and
possessions are of a social nature, they are of a relative nature.To illustrate, he
offered the following example:
A house may be large or small; as long as the neighbouring houses are likewise
small, it satisfies all social requirements for a residence. But let there arise next to
the little house a palace, and the little house shrinks into a hut. The little house now
makes it clear that its inmate has no social position at all to maintain, or but a very
insignificant one; and however high it may shoot up in the course of civilization, if
the neighbouring palace rises in equal or even in greater measure, the occupant of
the relatively little house will always find himself more uncomfortable, more
dissatisfied, more cramped within his four walls. ([99]: 33)
While living conditions may have improved for the lowest rungs of society, they
improved much more significantly for the bourgeoisie whose source of wealth was
directly tied to the exploitation of workers.
Today, advocates of global free marketcapitalism believe neo-liberalism is the
stimulus of growth and development. They advocate openness to trade and
investment in order to spur economic growth that in turn raises income levels and
the standard of living. Developing countries that open their markets and liberalize
their economies therefore grow faster which in turn leads to the narrowing of income
differences with the rest of the world [63]. In post-Soviet systems, for example, neo-
liberal reformers have concluded that in countries where privatization, trade
liberalization, and labour deregulation policies were adopted quickly and aggressively,
GDP grew the fastest and people saw the greatest changes in their standard of living [4].
Scholars on the other side of the spectrum, however, have demonstrated that income
inequality has continued to rise, rather than decline, under neoliberal reforms [18,34,
53,107,120,144,157]. They find that world income inequality has actually increased
over the past two to three decades both between and within countries [107,157].
Neoliberal scholars have argued that global income inequality between nations has been declining since
around the 1980s ([168]; [35]; [45]; [36]; [115]).
Policing the industrial reserve army 341
inequality within countries was stable or declining from the early 1960s to the early
1980s, but it has increased sharply and continuously across the globe [51,52,157]. It
is at this point that the ghosts of Smith and Marx most decidedly haunt the present.
The proportion of the worlds population living in extreme poverty, critical scholars
must concede, has fallen precipitously in the last three decades especially with the
economic rise of China and India. In this way, Smith is clearly vindicated: unfettered
capitalism does indeed elevate the lowest out of absolute poverty and they are much
wealthier today than they were before. But in 2010 as in 1850, the issue for Marxists
remains relative deprivation. On this measurecomparing the richest to the poorest
income polarization has increased markedly. The income gap between people living in
the top fifth of the richest countries and those living in the bottom fifth was 30:1 in
1960,60:1in1990,and74:1in1997[66]. In 2005, the Human Development Report
stated the worlds richest 500 individuals have a combined income greater than that
of the poorest 416 million.In the same year the 2.5 billion people, or 40% of the
worlds population, that lived on less than two dollars a day accounted for 5% of
global income while the richest 10%, almost all of whom lived in high income
countries, accounted for 54% of global income [163]. According the World Institute
for Economic Research [31], the richest two per cent of adults in the world owned
more than half of global household wealth while the poorer 50% of the worldsadults
owned barely 1% of global wealth.
These disparities will likely become even more pronounced following the
economic crisis of 20082009. From a Marxian perspective understanding the
effect of relative deprivation on the immiseration of the multitudes [60] and how this
income inequality relates to unionization, radicalism and state and corporate
insecurity is vital. If indeed bourgeois societyssupreme conceptis securityas
Marx forewarns, then what can we say of the empirical relation between policing
employment and inequality?
Method and hypothesis
Our general hypothesis is that quantitative and qualitative transformations in the size
and structural context of the IRA produce insecurities that condition and are
conditioned by policing. Our immediate analytic concern is to move from the
abstract to the concrete by operationalizing our hypothesis through an exploration of
the associations between what we identify as nine key variables that are constituent
indicators of the relationship between policing and labour. To this end, our aim is to
offer an exploratory analysis and preliminary relational map between these
component variables in the hopes of providing an empirically informed theoretical
contribution to a Marxian political economy of policing. As Marx [97] himself
prescribed in his method of political economy: the concrete is the concrete because
it is the concentration of many determinationswhich necessitates our apprehension
of a rich totality of many determinations and relations.This means moving from
the abstract to the concrete and back to the abstract because society must always be
kept in mind as the presupposition.
Our analysis employs an international, comparative approach for examining the
empirical relationships between nine variables that emanate from our interpretation
342 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
and theoretical concretization of a Marxian political economy of policing: (1) public
police employment, (2) private security employment, (3) combined policing
employment, (4) union membership, (5) strikes and lock-outs, (6) manufacturing
as a per cent of the workforce, (7) manufacturing unemployment, (8) inequality, and
(9) surplus-value.
We test the relationship between these variables for 45 primarily
northern industrialized countries for the snap-shot year 2004.
Our statistical
analysis consists of correlations and comparisons of means. We restrict ourselves to
this level of statistical analysis for two reasons. First, there is no epistemic basis for
classifying a dependent variable among these measures according to the tenets of
Marxian political economy. In fact, our theoretical analysis has demonstrated that
these relationships are conditional and relational. Second, this is an exploratory
study and so it is more than sufficient at this stage to work toward building a model
based upon relational connections.
Sample and variables
In this section, we briefly overview our data sources. A more detailed account
by country and year is provided in the Appendix.Public police and private
security statistics utilized in our international comparative analysis were derived
from three main sources: (1) the European Sourcebook of Criminal Justice
Statistics (2006); (2) the Panoramic Overview of the Private Security Industry in
the 25 Member States of the European Union (2004) by the European Commission
for the Confederation of European Security Services (CoESS)
; and (3) the report
on SAWL and Private Security Companies in South Eastern Europe (2005) by the
South Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light
Weapons (SEESAC).
Two sets of data regarding union-membership are typically used in the existing
literature: overall unionization and union density (e.g. [85,152]). Overall
unionization is the percentage of the population belonging to a union. Union
density is the percentage of the active workforce belonging to a union. To calculate
overall unionization, we have used data from the World Values Survey (WVS) which
has been conducted in a number of successive wavesincluding 1981, 19901991,
We also considered other test variables including overall unemployment and unemployment by sectors
including service, public service, and agriculture, and GDP spent on the military, property crime, and
violent crime. These could also be less directly related to an empirical examination of policing the
industrial reserve army but did not immediately fit our analytic model. We tested them in any case and
none of these variables were statistically related to policing, surplus value, or inequality.
For our international comparison it was sometimes necessary to transpose annual data from other years
(usually a one-year deviation) in order to create a complete dataset. Where this occurred we have noted it
in the Appendix. Indeed, this also explains why our snapshot year is 2004. World-wide surveys such as the
WVS database and national accounting statistics from emerging and post-Soviet economies make
obtaining up-to-date statistics almost impossible for non-EU and non-NAFTA nations. Current police
employment statistics are also sometimes considered a national security matter in certain countries (e.g.
Turkey and Greece).
Albeit, this is still an hypothetico-deductive test of a Marxian approach to the study of policing.
The CoESS Report for 20062007 regarding the number of employees of private security companies
was also referred to in this study.
Policing the industrial reserve army 343
19951996, and 19992001 in order to investigate socio-cultural and political
changes in world values. In this paper, only the results of the most recent survey are
The unionization variable utilized in this analysis is based on the
following question from the WVS: do you belong to labour union?We have also
calculated union-membership as a percentage of the population by using data from
the OECD Stat Extracts,
European Industrial Relations Observatory Online
population data from the World Development Indicators. We use these data as a
substitute for missing reports from the WVS. It is important to note, therefore, that it
is not the union density rate
but rather union membership on the whole that we rely
on in our comparative analysis because, from the perspective of Marxian political
economy, there is no theoretical rationale for excluding students or workers not
currently employed. Indeed, there is probably a contrary need to use an even broader
unionization rate calculation to capture the importance of the supposed counter-
revolutionary effect of an unproductive lumpenproletariat: that rabble [11] which
does not actually seek work. Such a calculation could incorporate the prison
population or even some military jobs in the denominator to account for the
economic effect of all surplus labour on employment insecurity.
For the purposes
of this analysis we use the more appropriate measure of union membership as a
percentage of the population.
Thedataforstrikes and lock-outs, manufacturing employment as a
percentage of the workforce and manufacturing unemployment were mostly
obtained from the International Labor Organization (ILO) online (LABORSTA
Internet). The ILO Department of Statistics maintains up-to-date international
databases on behalf of the United Nations, trains national accounting agencies in
member states and coordinates international statistical standards. We re-calculate
strikes and lock-outs as a rate per 100,000 population in order to make international
The most widely used measure of income inequality in existence today is the
Gini coefficient. Developed by the Italian statistician Corrado Gini [54], the
coefficient is the ratio of the area under a line of equality where one axis is the
cumulative share of income and the other axis is the cumulative share of people from
the lowest to the highest. The coefficient produces a range from zero to one and is
Another WVS wave took place from 20032005, however, only Kyrgystan, Hong Kong and Morocco
were asked the unionization question.
The data retrieved from OECD Stat Extracts included the countries listed: Australia, Austria, Belgium,
Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy,
Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey,
UK, Japan, Republic of Korea, USA.
The data retrieved from eironline include: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, and Slovenia.
To calculate union density, what Visser [152] defines as the ratio of union membership to potential
membershipone must consider: gross union density and net union density. The gross density rate is
defined as the total union membership including the unemployed, students and retired workers as a share
of either wage or salary earners in employment or of civilian labour force, which includes the
unemployed[85]. The net union density rate is the ratio of the employed union members (total
membership less unemployed, retirees, and students) to the number of active wage and salary earners.
In any case, to allay any concerns we have also run the most recent OECD net union density statistics
for 2000 (the closest coterminous year) and the gross union density statistics for 2004 (these results are not
reported). These density measures repeatedly reinforce the results of our analysis using the WVS data.
344 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
often multiplied by 100. The higher the Gini coefficient, the higher the rate of
income inequality. If G=0, then everyone receives the same percentage of income
a completely egalitarian society. If G= 100 then one person has all the incomea
completely unequal society. There are many limitations to the Gini coefficient as a
measure of inequality ([9,15,25,37,86,105,108,132,145,171]). From a Marxist
perspective these include: (1) the measures inability to calculate net worth
including wealth of land and other assets; (2) its exclusion of familial wealth and
future inheritance; (3) its statistical indifference to dramatic regional variations
within nations; (4) its tendency to obscure gross inequities in component income
brackets; and (5) the measures ignorance of wealth based on barter, credit and work
in kind. Despite these limitations, the Gini coefficient is still the best available
measure of income inequality and has been used for almost a century to track
national and international trends in inequality. With few exceptions (see Appendix)
we employ the World Income Inequality Database (WIID) compiled by the World
Institute for the Development of Economic Research (WIDER) online. We use a
three-year average Gini coefficient leading up to 2004.
Perhaps no other Marxist economic concept has received as much analytic
attention as surplus-value. This is perfectly understandable given that it is the
fundamental measure of exploitation, the source of wealth for the bourgeoisie, and
the engine of the capitalist mode of production. Surplus-value is the unpaid labour-
time capitalists extract from the proletariat in order to accrue surplus. It is realized in
the final sale of the commodity. It approximates but is not the same as profit. As
Marx [96] puts it surplus-value originates from the fact that the commodities are
exchanged at their value, for the labour-time contained in them, which however is in
part unpaid for.Measuring surplus-value, however, is no easy task. Bourgeois
economic statistics do not directly capture what Marx meant by the rate of surplus-
value in his calculation:
SV ¼volume of surplus produced
variable capital expended labourðÞ
While there have been diligent attempts to proximate the rate of surplus value
using existing economic measures ([2,2729,91,93,110,151,165167]) the
simplest and most widely applicable measure adopted by Marxian scholars [29,91,
92], especially for facilitating international comparisons is:
SV ¼gross value added total manufacturing workersearningsðÞ
total manufacturing workersearnings
We also adopt this calculation. The measures that comprise our formula are
derived from: (1) a custom data retrieval of gross value-added from the World Bank
(Development Indicator); and (2) a secondary calculation of annual earnings of
manufacturing workers based on data derived from the ILO (LABORSTA Internet)
utilizing total employment by economic activity (i.e. manufacturing), wages in
manufacturing, and hours of work in manufacturing. These calculations were then
made comparable by converting all foreign currencies into U.S. dollars. We used a
four-year average leading up to and including our snap-shot year of 2004 (Tables 1,
2,3and 4).
Policing the industrial reserve army 345
Table 1 Correlations-all countries
Total Public
and Private
as% of pop.
Avg. Strikes
& Lockouts
as% of total
emp 2004
Avg. Manuf.
Avg. Gini
Avg. Surplus Value
Public Police Pearson Correlation 1 .134 .828
.039 .024 .179 .302 .283 .062
Sig. (2-tailed) .382 .000 .800 .882 .256 .083 .066 .708
Private Security Pearson Correlation .134 1 .665
.281 .200 .342
.242 .089
Sig. (2-tailed) .382 .000 .061 .216 .027 .011 .117 .590
Total Public and
Private Policing
Pearson Correlation .828
1.190 .120 .331
.344 .095
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .212 .461 .032 .006 .024 .564
Unionization as% of
Pearson Correlation .039 .281 .190 1 .438
.145 .135 .221 .127
Sig. (2-tailed) .800 .061 .212 .005 .359 .445 .154 .440
346 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
Avg. Strikes &
Lockouts 19902004
Pearson Correlation .024 .200 .120 .438
1.171 .131 .035 .436
Sig. (2-tailed) .882 .216 .461 .005 .310 .474 .836 .009
Manufacturing as%
of total emp 2004
Pearson Correlation .179 .342
.145 .171 1 .631
.188 .172
Sig. (2-tailed) .256 .027 .032 .359 .310 .000 .234 .302
Avg. Manuf. Pearson Correlation .302 .430
.135 .131 .631
1.002 .202
Sig. (2-tailed) .083 .011 .006 .445 .474 .000 .991 .275
Avg. Gini coefficient
Pearson Correlation .283 .242 .344
.221 .035 .188 .002 1 .112
Sig. (2-tailed) .066 .117 .024 .154 .836 .234 .991 .498
Avg. Surplus
Value 20002004
Pearson Correlation .062 .089 .095 .127 .436
.172 .202 .112 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .708 .590 .564 .440 .009 .302 .275 .498
Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)
Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed)
Policing the industrial reserve army 347
Table 2 CorrelationsExcluding former USSR countries
Total Public
and Private
as% of pop.
Avg. Strikes &
as% of total
emp 2004
Avg. Manuf.
Avg. Gini
Avg. Surplus Value
Public Police Pearson Correlation 1 .041 .626
.295 .128 .389
.249 .140 .058
Sig. (2-tailed) .807 .000 .072 .472 .021 .192 .415 .744
Private Security Pearson Correlation .041 1 .804
.258 .376
.186 .090
Sig. (2-tailed) .807 .000 .047 .141 .026 .004 .278 .612
Total Public and
Private Policing
Pearson Correlation .626
.274 .497
.084 .105
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .008 .117 .002 .002 .626 .555
Unionization as%
of pop.
Pearson Correlation .295 .324
1 .421
.187 .111 .285 .118
Sig. (2-tailed) .072 .047 .008 .013 .281 .566 .092 .508
348 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
Avg. Strikes &
Pearson Correlation .128 .258 .274 .421
1.160 .078 .027 .448
Sig. (2-tailed) .472 .141 .117 .013 .390 .700 .883 .013
Manufacturing as%
of total emp 2004
Pearson Correlation .389
.187 .160 1 .711
.118 .219
Sig. (2-tailed) .021 .026 .002 .281 .390 .000 .500 .221
Avg. Manuf.
Pearson Correlation .249 .513
.111 .078 .711
1.082 .120
Sig. (2-tailed) .192 .004 .002 .566 .700 .000 .673 .553
Avg. Gini
Pearson Correlation .140 .186 .084 .285 .027 .118 .082 1 .114
Sig. (2-tailed) .415 .278 .626 .092 .883 .500 .673 .520
Avg. Surplus
Value 20002004
Pearson Correlation .058 .090 .105 .118 .448
.219 .120 .114 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .744 .612 .555 .508 .013 .221 .553 .520
Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
Policing the industrial reserve army 349
Table 3 CorrelationsFormer USSR countries only
Total Public
and Private
as% of pop.
Avg. Strikes &
as% of total
emp 2004
Avg. Manuf.
Avg. Gini
Avg. Surplus
Value 20002004
Public Police Pearson Correlation 1 .317 .948
.669 .565 .301 .176 .423 .450
Sig. (2-tailed) .489 .001 .100 .242 .512 .777 .345 .447
Private Security Pearson Correlation .317 1 .600 .207 .620 .344 .288 .639 .179
Sig. (2-tailed) .489 .155 .656 .190 .449 .638 .122 .773
Total Public and
Private Policing
Pearson Correlation .948
.600 1 .632 .690 .367 .040 .561 .390
Sig. (2-tailed) .001 .155 .128 .129 .418 .949 .190 .516
as% of pop.
Pearson Correlation .669 .207 .632 1 .775 .024 .691 .436 .483
Sig. (2-tailed) .100 .656 .128 .070 .959 .196 .328 .410
350 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
Avg. Strikes &
Pearson Correlation .565 .620 .690 .775 1 .339 .684 .908
Sig. (2-tailed) .242 .190 .129 .070 .511 .203 .012 .780
as% of total
emp 2004
Pearson Correlation .301 .344 .367 .024 .339 1 .673 .296 .525
Sig. (2-tailed) .512 .449 .418 .959 .511 .214 .519 .363
Avg. Manuf.
Pearson Correlation .176 .288 .040 .691 .684 .673 1 .501 .908
Sig. (2-tailed) .777 .638 .949 .196 .203 .214 .390 .092
Avg. Gini
Pearson Correlation .423 .639 .561 .436 .908
.296 .501 1 .108
Sig. (2-tailed) .345 .122 .190 .328 .012 .519 .390 .863
Avg. Surplus
Value 20002004
Pearson Correlation .450 .179 .390 .483 .174 .525 .908 .108 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .447 .773 .516 .410 .780 .363 .092 .863
Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
Policing the industrial reserve army 351
Table 4 Comparison of Means by BLOC - Excluding Other
BLOC Public
Total Public and
Private Policing
as% of pop.
Avg. Strikes &
Manufacturing as%
of total emp 2004
Avg. Manuf.
Avg. Gini
East Bloc Mean 363.0725 417.4223 780.4948 10.8778 .7248 31.5556 1.1623 29.5667
N 999 9 6 9 8 9
Std. Deviation 82.04101 219.93424 227.48035 3.53934 1.12993 7.51850 .41357 8.40536
Anglo-American Mean 259.6557 327.4879 581.9406 10.8614 1.7159 22.8333 .3488 34.7167
N 777 7 7 6 5 6
Std. Deviation 41.28643 104.01037 135.12301 2.67969 1.62594 2.63944 .07612 6.50397
EU North Mean 272.4723 180.8944 453.3667 25.6260 2.2761 24.3000 .4894 27.5600
N 101010 10 9 10 6 10
Std. Deviation 79.22912 115.38404 161.98622 19.41212 4.24746 3.36815 .13857 3.02479
EU South Mean 443.8832 195.6466 639.5298 9.0017 2.3667 27.2000 .4852 31.5000
N 666 6 6 5 6 6
Std. Deviation 20.97774 58.09322 51.99640 7.89131 .48988 3.96232 .15495 4.11437
USSR Mean 620.6292 311.3540 920.6746 12.4886 1.1468 24.2857 .9404 41.4286
N 777 7 6 7 5 7
Std. Deviation 414.35933 132.60761 461.69616 8.65632 1.22023 8.86405 .35872 5.18032
Total Mean 379.9402 287.4748 664.4514 14.6569 1.7037 26.2162 .7197 32.3421
N 393939 39 34 37 30 38
Std. Deviation 217.78272 164.27240 286.99343 12.51643 2.38947 6.48989 .41928 7.38653
352 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
We conduct our analysis on two levels. We first examine the correlation
of our
variables at a global level, including all data points for all countries in which they are
available. Second, we subdivide our sample into six parts based on regional
variations. These divisions are based on sociopolitical and geographic consider-
ations. Most importantly, former Stalinist states in the Baltic region significantly
differ in their political and juridical history from Anglo-American countries, as do
Northern European countries from former Eastern Bloc states. Table A (of the
Appendix) outlines the categorization of our sample into country BLOCs. In most
cases, differences between regions manifested in average differences between
variables. Indeed, these regional variations between countries were statistically
significant for seven of the nine variables considered (see Table 5). When divided in
this manner, the sample for each BLOC becomes relatively small and the standard
deviation increases considerably. For this reason, between-BLOC comparisons
should be read with caution. Nonetheless, by creating these regional groups we
were able to indentify former USSR countries for consistent conflating and
countervailing statistical tendencies compared to the sample as a whole. This can
most obviously be attributed to their recent emergence from Stalinist rule and the
much greater relative size of their public policing sector (see Fig. 3). There is
nothing in Marxian political economy that would privilege one level of analysis over
the other. While the general tendencies of capital are indeed global [60,160], they
are everywhere subject to local countervailing tendenciesand historical conditions
Public police employment was unrelated to private security employment (r
=.134, n=
45, p=ns). This finding also held when post-USSR states were removed from the
analysis (r
=.041, n=38, p=ns). In other words, there is no international pattern to
the relative size of private and public policing employment. The size of one sector
does not seem to affect the other on a cross-national basis. Of course, there is no
reason that it should. From a critical political economy perspective, public or
private police growth would be dependent on other exogenous socioeconomic
factors and be subject to historical conditions. What matters most is to consider
each sector and combined policing in terms of its relation to other variables such as
inequality, labour unrest and manufacturing unemployment. Although not a subject
of analysis for this paper, we checked for relationships between policing, property
crime, violent crime and unionization, inequality, the extraction of surplus value
and unemployment. Our analysis found no relationship between crime and our
social and economic variables. This lack of relationship persisted even when we
removed post-USSR states from the analysis. Despite these findings, caution
should be exercised with these negative results. More sophisticated national and
longitudinal analyses of the relationship between surplus-value and crime have
yielded contrary results (see [91,92]).
We use a two-tailed analysis given the exploratory nature of this study directionality is not
See Marxs account of the unfortunate Mr. Peelwho lost all of his servants upon his arrival to
Australia because land was plentiful and free.
Policing the industrial reserve army 353
Union membership was unrelated to policing employment, whether public, private or
combined for all countries.But when post-USSR states were removed from the samplea
statistically significant inverse relationship between private security (r
=.324, n=38,
p<.05) or total policing employment (r
=.426, n=38, p<.01) and unionization
appeared. Indeed, post-USSR states exhibit a contrary positive relationship between
total police employment and unionization although this is not a statistically significant
relationship (r
=.632, n=7, p=ns). This finding provides empirical evidence for the
claim that unions may actually provide a surrogate policing function for capital in
western nations. That is, a stronger union presence lessens the necessity for more
policing. This is particularly evident among northern European (and Ghent countries)
where the average unionization rate is 25.6%, the highest by far among all regions, but
the average total policing rate is 453.4, the lowest among all regions. In former USSR
countries, on the other hand, a high unionization rate (12.5%) coincides with more
policing, particularly public policing (620.6) as the massive post-totalitarian apparatus
has been largely maintained in the form of new protection rackets [153]. Eastern Bloc
Table 5 ANOVA
Sum of
df Mean
F Sig.
Public Police * BLOC Between Groups (Combined) 649383.145 4 162345.786 4.788 .004
Within Groups 1152930.770 34 33909.729
Total 1802313.915 38
Private Security * BLOC Between Groups (Combined) 331364.376 4 82841.094 4.058 .009
Within Groups 694081.589 34 20414.164
Total 1025445.965 38
Total Public and Private
Policing * BLOC
Between Groups (Combined) 1077696.918 4 269424.229 4.464 .005
Within Groups 2052181.858 34 60358.290
Total 3129878.776 38
Unionization as% of
pop. * BLOC
Between Groups (Combined) 1657.388 4 414.347 3.279 .022
Within Groups 4295.728 34 126.345
Total 5953.116 38
Avg. Strikes & Lockouts
19902004 * BLOC
Between Groups (Combined) 13.197 4 3.299 .546 .703
Within Groups 175.218 29 6.042
Total 188.415 33
Manufacturing as% of
total emp 2004
Between Groups (Combined) 392.886 4 98.222 2.798 .042
Within Groups 1123.384 32 35.106
Total 1516.270 36
Avg. Manuf.
20002004 * BLOC
Between Groups (Combined) 3.147 4 .787 10.079 .000
Within Groups 1.951 25 .078
Total 5.098 29
Avg. Gini coefficient
20002003 * BLOC
Between Groups (Combined) 914.046 4 228.512 6.826 .000
Within Groups 1104.707 33 33.476
Total 2018.753 37
354 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
states have also had to deal with similarly bloated post-totalitarian security structures
but the average policing rate is 780.5 while the unionization rate is 10.9%.
While it would be tempting to view the inverse association between policing and
unionization alone as the definitive indicator of trade-unionsde-radicalizing effect,
i.e. unions are no more than police auxiliaries, a better assessment of union militancy
is to directly test the average national strike and lock-out rate against union
membership. We find here that union membership was positively correlated to the
average number of strikes and lock-outs per 100,000 population in the 4 years up to
and including 2004 (r
=.438, n=40, p<.01) and that this relationship held even when
former USSR states were excluded (r
=.421, n=34, p<.02). In sum, it would seem that
strikes and lock-outs do not significantly threaten capitalist relations when measured by
the presence of policing but the absence of unions certainly do. This may be because
unions are adept at policing their own actions. Since more labour unrest takes place in
more heavily unionized countries yet this unrest does not necessitate further policing,
trade unions may be providing an effective policing function for capital.
What labour militancy does seem to provide, however, is a reduction in the rate of
exploitation as measured by the extraction of surplus-value. Thus, surplus-value is
inversely correlated to strikes and lock-outs (r
=.436, n=35, p<.01) even when
post-USSR states are omitted (r
=.448, n=30, p<.02). There is no direct
relationship, however, between policing employment and strikes and lock-outs.
This suggests that while strikes and lock-outs may not directly threaten capitalist
relations as measured by the necessity to employ more police and security, such
work interruptions do have a statistically significant impact in reducing rates of
exploitation. As Marxian political economy would indicate, the data also suggest
unions are adept at checking exploitation by pushing for more favourable wage and
hourly conditions but this does not translate into any direct threat to the established
order of security as indicated by more policing.
Combined unemployment including manufacturing, agriculture, services and public
service and each sector individually (except for agriculture) was unrelated to policing
employment (public or private). However, in keeping with Marxian notions of productive
labour and the role of the IRA, manufacturing employment and unemployment proved an
important exception. Manufacturing employment as a percentage of the workforce was
positively correlated to private security employment (r
=.342, n=42, p<.05) and total
policing employment (r
=.331, n=42, p<.05) whether or not former USSR states were
excluded from the analysis. Private security employment (r
=.430, n=34, p<.02) and
total police employment (r
=.462, n=35, p<.01) was also positively correlated to
manufacturing unemployment again whether or not former USSR countries were
excluded from the analysis. The positive relationship between manufacturing and
policing, therefore, seems universal. Marx [98] argued that the service sector was so
unsubstantial that it could be left out of account entirelyand that all labour in the
sphere of circulation [is] merely [a] deduction fromproductively expended capital
([100]: 139).
The central corps of proletarian revolutionaries for Marx and the Marxists
For a thorough account of how Marx privileges the manufacturing sector as productivein the same
way as Adam Smith did see Kushnirsky and Stull [80] and Leadbeater [82]. In short, Marx successively
narrows his definition through exceptions and provisos despite initially railing against the fetish of
valorizing material commodities.
Policing the industrial reserve army 355
are always imagined as emanating from the factory and mine. Thus, police employment
figures are empirically linked to both the industrial proletariat and the IRA (see Fig. 1).
Domestic inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient was statistically
significantly correlated to total policing employment (r
=.344, n=43, p<.05) but
this positive relationship disappeared when post-Soviet countries were excluded (see
Fig. 2). Marxs notion of relative deprivation describes an increasing sense of
discomfort and dissatisfaction among workers with the rise of domestic inequality.
We have interpreted this as part of Marxs general theory of exploitation and, of
course, proletarian immiseration. As a barometer of bourgeois insecurity, therefore, a
positive relationship between policing and income inequality confirms the Marxist
position about the class-based role of policing (see [111]) above and beyond its
direct relationship to labour. In either case, whether to assist in securing property
relations during increased relative deprivation or to perform as direct overseers and
intensifiers of workplace exploitation, we would expect to see a positive correlation
between inequality and total policing employment according to tenets of Marxian
political economy.
Our analysis has reaffirmed the central tenets of a Marxian political economy of
policing in two fundamental ways. First, if we are to treat total policing employment
as an empirical barometer of bourgeois insecurity then this insecurity is conditioned
by two elements of Marxian political economy: (1) relative deprivation (income
inequality) and (2) the rise of an IRA (manufacturing employment and unemploy-
ment). Second, while surplus value and labour militancy (strikes and lockouts per
Fig. 1 Total policing by unionization excluding former USSR countries
356 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
100,000 population) rise along with union membership, the presence of higher rates
of unionization appears to ameliorate the need for more policing in all but post-
Stalinist countries. While unions assist in checking the immiseration of workers
through labour actions, union membership is nonetheless inversely correlated to
policing employment, giving credence to the Marxian idea that while unions check
the tendency of the depreciation of workerslabour, they also act as lieutenants of
capital, performing an essential policing function.
The conservative role of unions has been highlighted in the new Marxian and
anarchist literatures on new social movements(e.g. [32,60,81]). Recent clashes
between police and demonstrators at ceremonial gatherings of corporate and state
elites (e.g. WTO, G8, G10, APECetc.) have shown that union leaders are at pains
to distinguish their supposedly lawfuland orderlyprotests from those of more
riotous radicals. Unions literally march in lock-step with police definitions of
acceptable dissent and accept arbitrary urban demarcations of permissable protest
space to reinforce their non-radical stance [44]. Today, demonstrations that include
the presence of major trade unions involve uniformed leaders who steer, direct, and
reprimand members who deviate from the route or engage in direct action. Bedecked
in fluorescent vests and hats, union marshallsare thus physically policing their
members in direct aid of riot police in ways Marx and Engels could never
have imagined.
While there are plenty of examples from recent protests, France and Greece stand
out. In recent years, both France and Greece have experienced riots that were long-
lasting and violent. In contrast to the protests of previous decades, these recent riots
were not initiated by the labour movement or prompted by scheduled ceremonial
gatherings of global elites, but triggered by confrontations between youth and police.
The 2005 civil unrest in France was sparked by the accidental death of two French
Fig. 2 Total policng by inequality
Policing the industrial reserve army 357
teenagers of Malian and Tunisian descent as they fled the police in Clichy-sous-Bois.
Their deaths were followed by three weeks of rioting that involved the burning of
cars and public buildings, and violent attacks towards police and fire fighters.
rioters were mostly unemployed youth and immigrant groups from the suburban
ghettos of France. The festering resentment in the ghettoes burst into flames,
it was, as Žižek put it, an outburst with no pretense to any kind of positive
A year later, another riot occurred in France which lasted longer than the 2005 civil
The 2006 youth protests occurred throughout the country as an opposition to
the new labour law (First Employment Contract) whose goal was to reduce high youth
unemployment through giving more flexibility to employers. In other words, the bill
was to make it easier for employers to fire young workers without any compensation.
Consequently, the youth responded to this bill by demonstrating on the streets,
occupying universities, and blocking university activities including strikes. The
insistence of youth in their opposition to the First Employment Contract eventually
brought them support from unions.
But why did the trade-unions not resist such a
bill in the first place? How would the unions have acted had the youth not challenged
the First Employment Contract? The unions(overly) cautious attitude in responding
to issues concerning the labour market and the vested rights of workers is one of the
most overt examples of their policingrole in society. Perhaps the low employment
and unionization rates among Parisien youth made them unrestrained by union
membership, necessitating massive police intervention.
Similar to the 2005 riots in France, the police killing of a 15 year-old student in
Greece resulted in a period of fierce riots lasting over three weeks starting on December
6, 2008. Protests started immediately in Athens after the shooting incident and spread to
other cities in a matter of days. Riots consisted of vandalizing cars, burning public and
private buildings, attacking and injuringpolice officers, and occupying universities. Not
only were the methods that were used in the Greek riots of 2008 similar to the 2005 riots
in France but sowere the reasons behind the riots (unemployment, economic stagnation,
rising poverty), and the participants in the riots were mostly youth, unemployed, and
poor. There was no official union involvement during the 2008 riots in Greece, but some
workers were involved. The building of the General Confederation of Greek Workers
was occupied by militant members to counteract the designs of the union bureaucracy,
to distance its membership from the current revolt, and protest its management and
mediation of workers' struggles in Greece.
In their Declaration, the occupants of the
Peter Sahlins. 2006. Civil unrest in the French suburbs, November 2005Social Science Research
Council <> (Posted: Oct. 24, 2006)
Doug Ireland. 2005. Why is France burning? <>
(Posted: Nov. 6, 2005)
Slavoj Žižek. 2005. Some politically incorrect reflections on the violence in FranceMultitudes: Revue
Politique, Artistique, Philosophique. <>
(Posted: Nov. 21, 2005)
The riots of 2006 started in February and continued through March and April.
Staff. 2006. French protesters rally against labour lawThe <
uk/world/2006/mar/28/france> (Posted: Mar. 28, 2006)
The OECD reports that Frances youth (1524) unemployment rate was 20% in 2009.
Django. 2008. Workers in Greece occupy union offices(Posted: Dec. 17, 2008) <http://>
358 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
GCGW, namely, the General Assembly of Insurgent Workers called on manual
labourers, employees, jobless, temporary workers, locals and migrantsto protest
against the union bureaucracy, the capitalists, and the capitalist state in the aftermath of
the shooting incident. In this Declaration, trade-union representatives were categorized
alongside the police and capitalists; the destruction of the trade-union mechanism in its
entirety was set as a goal and labourers were called into work to make their own
It should come as no surprise by now that France and Greece have among
the highest rates of total policing employment in Europe.
As new austerity measures grip the Eurozone (and particularly its periphery states) in
the wake of massive bailouts, the threat of default, and severe public and private sector
lay-offs, there have been no announcements concerning cut-backs to the policing,
military and security sectors. As these developments continue to unfold we would be
well advised to continue to examine the broad political economy that subtends these
relations of police and capital and the projects of pacification they elicit [127]
In Fig. 3we have mapped out the beginnings of an empirically-informed
Marxian political economy of policing. We have assessed the general tenets of our
Marxian perspective and have found them prophetic of conceptual relationships long
assumed but never systematically tested by scholars. These findings are quite
remarkable. They are based on theory that is over a century-and-a-half old and on
data that cut across 45 national contexts, often involving significant differences in
legal structure, socioeconomic development, ethnic composition and historical
development. To find persistent empirical relationships despite such breadth of
space and time is, in our view, profoundly significant for the continued development
of a Marxian political economy of policing and for policing research in general.
Despite these results, however, more scholarship is needed to expand this research
in at least four possible trajectories. First, longitudinal national research would be
best able to track changes over time, further test the tenets put forward in this paper
and specifically mark the impact of neoliberal restructuring on national economies
and policing employment. As time passes more reliable historical policing and
economic indicators are becoming available thanks to retrospective statistical
Second, the variables organized in Fig. 3cannot be exhaustive
of the relationships necessary for a full understanding of the political economy of
policing. For example, the impact of political freedom, social security, net migration,
and racial heterogeneity among others are factors that may be considered for
inclusion in subsequent studies. Third, even as we write this paper, data on policing
employment and other economic indicators are being released by countries included
in our sample. As more countries fall within the rubric of trade associations such as
the OECD or the EU, statistical reporting becomes standardized and mandated,
Django. 2008. Workers in Greece occupy union offices(Posted: Dec. 17, 2008) <
The World Income Inequality Database is a good example. It contains inequality data that tracks back to
the turn of the century.
Policing the industrial reserve army 359
increasing the reliability of the data and the number of contributing countries. Future
studies should re-test our findings and our relational model using more recent
data. Fourth, in keeping with this statistical expansion it is incumbent on future
researchers to try to include developing and/or divided societies. Such countries,
some still in a pseudo-colonial or exploitive relationships with wealthier countries
may add significantly to the development of an inclusive model.
2004 Public Police:
Albania, Croatia, Italy, Moldova, Northern Ireland Romania, Scotland, Russia,
Turkey: European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics, 2006. 2006.
Third Edition (revised). Den Haag: Boom Juridische Uitgevers.
Table 6 Country designations by BLOC
BLOC Countries
Eastern Bloc Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania,
Slovakia, Slovenia
Anglo-American Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Scotland,
United States of America
EU North Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxemburg,
Netherlands, Norway, Sweden
EU South Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain
USSR Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine
Other Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, UK: Northern
Ireland (divided society)
Fig. 3 Correlation diagram
360 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France,
Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands,
Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden: Confederation of European
Security Services. 2004. Accessed on May 05, 2010, from Private Security Statistics,
Panoramic Overview of the Private Security Industry in the 25 Member States of the
European Union (PDF 1-2-3) 2004:
Australia: The Yearbook of Australia. 2006. The Australian Bureau of Statistics,
ABS Catalogue No. 1301.0.
Bulgaria: SAWL and Private Security Companies in the South Eastern Europe: A
Cause and Effect of Insecurity?. 2005. Second Edition, SEESAC.
TheRepublicofKorea:Korean National Police Agency. 2009. Accessed on April 27,
2010, from KNPA:
Turkey: 2004 police numbers are provided by Professor Yusuf Ziya Ozcan on
August 15, 2007 via email.
2004 Private Security:
Albania and Moldova: SAWL and Private Security Companies in the South Eastern
Europe: A Cause and Effect of Insecurity?. 2005. Second Edition, SEESAC.
Australia: Prenzler, T., Sarre, R. and Earle, K. 2008. Developments in the Australian
Private Security Industry. Flinders Journal of Law Reform 10 (3): 403417.
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France,
Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta,
Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden: Confederation of
European Security Services. 2004. Accessed on May 05, 2010, from Private Security
Statistics, Panoramic Overview of the Private Security Industry in the 25 Member
States of the European Union (PDF 1-2-3) 2004:
Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania: Confederation of European Security Services. Accessed
on January 6, 2008, from 20062007 COESS Listing:
The Republic of Korea: Button, M., and Park, H. 2010. Security Officers and the
Policing of Private Space in South Korea. Police and Society 19 (3): 247262.
Russia: Volkov, V. 2000. Between Economy and the State: Private Security and
Rule Enforcement in Russia. Politics & Society 28 (4): 483501.
Turkey: Bozkurt, H. (2007, July 09). Accessed on July 11, 2007,
UK: Scotland: General Register Office for Scotland 2001 Census of Population
(August 7, 2007). (The excel document is sent to us by Tom Hogg, Table Development/
Customer Service Officer of General Register Office for Scotland on August 7, 2007)
UK: Northern Ireland: Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. Northern
Ireland Census of Employment. (September 2003), Accessed on March 19, 2008,
Ukraine: Hiscock, D. 2006. The Commercalization of Post-Soviet Private
Security. In Private Actors and Security Govarnance, ed. Alan Bryden and Marina
Caparini, pp. 129148, Zurich: Lit Verlag.
NOTE: The number for private security in 2006 per 100,000 population is
calculated as a total of PSCs and DSOsa hybrid, part government and part
entrepreneurial activity. The DSOs activities are financed by the payment of its
Policing the industrial reserve army 361
services on a contractual basis. Although the DSOs operations are not intended to
make profit, it provides and charges for the same services as would a private security
company. When Hiscock talks about the commercialised security sector,he
includes both PSCs and DSOs.
2004 Public and Private Police:
Canada: Labor Force Survey. 2007. Statistics Canada. (Data obtained through a
custom runof the Statistics Canada census and labour database).
Georgia: Hiscock, D. 2006. The Commercalization of Post-Soviet Private
Security. In Private Actors and Security Governance, ed. Alan Bryden and Marina
Caparini, pp. 129148, Zurich: Lit Verlag.
Japan: Yoshida, N. and Leishman, F. 2006. Japan. In Plural Policing, ed. Trevor
Jones and Tim Newborn, pp. 222239, London: Routledge.
Mexico: Reames, B. 2003. Police Forces in Mexico: A Profile. Presented at the
conference Reforming The Administration of Justice in Mexico, at the Center for U.
S.-Mexican Studies.
New Zealand: Statistics New Zealand (Tatauranga Aotearoa). Accessed on April
25, 2010, from 2006 Census Data, Classification Count Tables, Occupation (ANZSCO
NOTE: This data is revised on 28 February 2007, but the codes and
categorizations changed which did not affect the numbers very much. The revised
version is available on
Norway: Statistics Norway (Statistisk sentralbyra). Accessed on March 18, 2008,
from StatBank, 06 Labour Market, Wages; Employment, Main Figures, Table:
04858 Employed persons, per 4
quarter, by occupation and sex: http://statbank.ssb.
Switzerland: BFS Bundesamt für Statistik, 19952005, establishments and
employees in Switzerland by NOGA 74.60A and 75.24A (this information is sent
by Kurt Wuethrich via email).
UK: Louca, B. (March 18, 2008). Office for National Statistics. Accessed on May
5, 2010, from Labour Force Survey: employment by occupation and sex, April-June
USA: Bureau of Labour Statistics. (November 9, 2005). Accessed on March 19,
2008, from Occupational Employment Statistics:
NOTE: For all the countriesexcept the ones whose data are retrieved from
European Sourcebookboth public and private police numbers per 100,000
population are calculated by the authors.
Public Police: For Albania, Croatia, Italy, Romania and Scotland, public police data
for 2002; for Moldova and Russia, 2000; for Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, Mexico, 2003;
for Georgia and Switzerland, 2005; for New Zealand, 2006, data is moved to 2004.
362 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
Private Police: For Russia private police data are for 1999; for Mexico, 2000; for
Scotland, 2002; for the Republic of Korea and Northern Ireland 2003; for Georgia,
Moldova and Switzerland 2005; for Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, New Zealand,
Romania and Ukraine 2006 data is moved to the base year 2004. For Turkey, the police
number for base year 2004 is calculated as a mean of available data for 2003 and 2006.
Trade Union Membership
Belong to labour unions:
Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, USA, Austria, Belgium,
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden,
Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine,
Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Turkey, Northern Ireland: Wor ld Va lu es
Database. The Fourth Wave (19992004).
Trade union membership as per cent of population:
Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland: OECD. Accessed on July 9, 2007,
from OECD. Stats. Extracts, Labour, Trade-Union, Union Members and Employees:
Cyprus: Carley, M. May 25, 2004. European Foundation for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions. Accessed on April 27, 2010, from European
Industrial Relations Observatory Online:
Georgia: Georgian Trade UnionsConfederation. Accessed on May 6, 2010,
from GTUC:
Moldova: Monteanu, I. 2000. Trade Unions in Moldova: on cusp of change or
collapse? South-East Europe Review for Labour and Social Affairs 2: 8796.
Available at [Accessed on May 2, 2010].
Scotland: Achur, J. 2010. Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Accessed on May 1, 2010, from Employment Market Analysis and Research, Trade-
Union Membership Statistics:
NOTE: Trade-union membership data as per cent of population is calculated by
the authors. For Norway and Switzerland, union membership data for 2001; for
Cyprus 2003; for Georgia 2009; for Moldova 2000, is moved to 2002.
Trade-Union Density as per cent of population:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea,
Luxemburg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, USA: Trade Union Density (%) in OECD
countries, 19602007. Accessed on April 27, 2010, from Data OECD: www.oecd.
Number of Strikes and Lockouts per 100,000 population as Average of 19902004:
Australia, Austria (19902002), Belgium (19902000), Canada, Cyprus, Czech
Republic (19911996), Denmark, Estonia (19922004), Finland, France, Greece
Policing the industrial reserve army 363
(19902001), Hungary (19912004), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia (20052008),
Lithuania (20002004), Luxemburg (19901993), Malta (missing 1999), Mexico,
Moldova (19901997), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
Republic of Korea, Romania (19922004), Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, USA: International Labour Organization
(ILO). Accessed on April 29, 2010, from LABOURSTA Internet, Strikes and
Slovenia (19992000): Tóth, A., and Neumann, L. September 2, 2003. European
Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. Accessed on
April 27, 2010, from European Industrial Relations Observatory Online: http://www.
Northern Ireland and Scotland (20022004):
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[Available at National Statistics. Accessed on May 2, 2010, from Labour Market
Trends Archive:]
Unemployment Rate as percentage of total labour force:
Albania, Australia, Georgia, Mexico, Moldova, New Zealand, Republic of Korea,
Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine: International Labour Organization (ILO). Accessed
on May 22, 2008, from LABOURSTA Internet, Unemployment: http://laborsta.ilo.
Northern Ireland and Scotland: Office for National Statistics. Accessed on May 22,
2008, from Official Labour Market Statistics:
Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland,
Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg,
Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia,
Slovenia, Sweden, UK, Croatia, Turkey, Norway, Japan: Eurostat. Accessed on
May 23, 2008, from Labour Market, Employment and Unemployment: http://epp.
USA: Bureau of Labour Statistics. Accessed on May 19, 2008, from Labour
Force Characteristics:
NOTE: Unemployment rate as percentage of total labour force is calculated by the
authors. Economically active population (total labour force) is used in calculations.
Economically Active Population:
The World Bank. Accessed on May 25, 2008, from World Development Indicators
Online (WDI):
Unemployment in Manufacturing
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Republic of
364 G.S. Rigakos, A. Ergul
Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Nez Zealand, Poland, Portugal,
Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, USA:
International Labour Organization (ILO). Accessed on February 20, 2008, from
LABOURSTA Internet, Unemployment, by economic activity: http://laborsta.ilo.
NOTE: The numbers for unemployment in manufacturing are retrieved from
LABOURSTA Internet and the percentage of unemployment in manufacturing is
calculated in using the numbers for economically active labour force.
Employment in Manufacturing as percentage of total employment:
The World Bank. Accessed on May 25, 2008, from World Development Indicators
Online (WDI):
The Rate of Surplus Value (20002004):
Value-added: Manufacturing, value-added (current US$): World Development
Indicators. The World Bank. [Data is sent to us via email by Beatriz Prieto-Oramas
(Client Services and Communications, The World Bank) on February 11, 2008].
Annual Earnings of Manufacturing Workers: Calculated by using the variables of
total employment by economic activity (manufacturing), wages in manufacturing,
hours of work in manufacturing: International Labour Organization (ILO).
Accessed on February 2028, 2008, from LABOURSTA Internet, Wages in
Exchange Rates:
Albanian Lek and Moldovan Leu: Wikipedia. Accessed on February 26, 2008, from
Tables of Historical Exchange Rates to the USD:
Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Bulgarian Lev, Croatian Kuna, Czech
Koruna, Estonian Kroon, Hungarian Forint, Japanese Yen, Latvian Lat, New
Zealand Dollar, Norwegian Krone, Polish Zloty, Korean Won, Romanian Leu,
Slovak Koruna, Slovenian Tolar, UK pound sterling, US dollar: European
Central Bank. Accessed on February 23, 2008, from Statistical Data Warehouse,
Exchange Rates, Bilateral:
NOTE: Data for Australia, Canada, Greece and Switzerland is moved from 2002
to 2003. Data for New Zealand and Turkey is moved from 2001 to 2003.
Relative Deprivation (Gini Coefficents):
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,
Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,
Luxemburg, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, USA: World
Institute for Development Economics Research. Accessed on February 4, 2008, from
Policing the industrial reserve army 365
WIDER World Income Inequality Database (WIID2C):
Albania, Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, Republic of Korea, Romania: International
Labour Organization (ILO). Accessed on February 3, 2008, from LABOURSTA
Internet, Household Income and Expenditure Statistics (HIES):
Japan, Malta, Portugal, Turkey: Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on
February 3, 2008, from The World Factbook, Distribution of Family Income, Gini
NOTE: Data for Albania, Australia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France,
Georgia, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Russia,
Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and Ukraine is moved
from 2002 to 2003; for Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Luxemburg and
Netherlands, data is moved from 2001 to 2003; for Canada it is moved from 2000 to
2004; for Malta and Portugal it is moved from 2005 to 2003; for New Zealand it is
moved from 1997 to 2003.
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Policing the industrial reserve army 371
... In fact, during the economic bubble of the late 1990s and just ahead of the Great Recession, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan argued that "growing worker insecurity" played a pivotal role in workers' having stopped asking for wage increases which was by extension beneficial for US capital . Of course, this insecurity took place during a period that witnessed a massive rise in corporate profits, a decline in real income (Wolff, 2011) and consistent increases in public and private policing (Rigakos and Ergul, 2011). ...
... In this paper, we build upon our previous international research (Rigakos and Ergul, 2011) that investigated the relationships between four resilient and seemingly unrelated trends: (1) the consistent erosion of union-membership; (2) an increase in income polarization and inequality; (3) a dramatic resurgence in popular protest; and (4) a steady rise in public and private policing employment. We analyze the relationship between these variables in the context of a theory of pacification which argues that the role of "policing", broadly defined, has both historically and contemporaneously been designed to "make workers productive" by "fabricating a social order" (Neocleous, 2000) that seeks to protect private property relations in support of bourgeois interests. ...
... We have operationalized these tenets in a hypotheticodeductive manner for the purpose of statistical testing. We must admit, however, that in setting up these hypotheses we have been significantly aided by our previous international research (Rigakos and Ergul, 2011) that investigated identical relationships across 45 countries for the comparative "snapshot" year 2004. In that study we sought to develop a "nascent theory" with the "exploratory" aim of producing an empiricallygrounded Marxian political economy of policing. ...
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In this paper we operationalize and empirically test six core tenets of pacification theory derived from Marxian political economy using time series data for the USA from 1972-2009. Our analysis confirms that rising inequality is statistically significantly correlated to increased public and private policing over time and that increased public and private policing is also statistically significantly correlated to increased industrial exploitation as measured through “surplus-value”. While unionization correlates to strikes and lock-outs which suggests that unions have an important mobilizing role for the industrial reserve army, unionization also inversely correlates to total policing employment. As union membership decreases, policing employment increases, which gives credence to the notion that unions may also act as policing agents for capital. We conclude that when these findings are coupled with our previous international research of 45 countries for the snapshot year of 2004 (Rigakos and Ergul 2011) that produced almost identical results, there appears to be significant empirical support for pacification theory. The relationships we have discovered recur both across time and international contexts despite the fact that variations in legal norms and institutional histories of policing are varied and complex.
... It is thus no surprise that the size of the private security sector has typically vacillated alongside developments in securing wage labour, extracting surplus value and enforcing class relations as evidenced through the strong correlation between economic inequality and total policing, both public and private, per population (Rigakos and Ergul, 2017). The increased concentration and inequitable distribution of wealth is now directly linked to the rise of private security (Rigakos and Ergul, 2011). has argued that policing is historically tied to the exploitation of land and resources -what Marxists refer to as 'primitive accumulation'. ...
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With one of the largest and fastest growing private security sectors in the greater EU area, Turkey offers an interesting case study for examining the effects of neoliberal policing on private security labour. The analysis is based on unstructured interviews (N = 20) with private security guards, media reports and government documents. Focusing on (1) precarity, (2) militarism and (3) alienation, we find that while private security has been decisive in the militarization of urban space and the exercise of authoritarian control in daily social relations, it is also characterized by class contradictions manifested in the lived experiences of security labour. The growth of Turkish private security and its effects are both part of the common extension of pacification yet uniquely conditioned by the emergence of a single-party, authoritarian regime that has deliberately extended its reach, in part, through the expansion of private security.
... The growth of inequality generates problems of order that the police must deal with. Econometric studies show that increasing inequality is directly linked with a growth of expenditure on policing overall (Bowles & Jayadev, 2014;Jayadev & Bowles, 2006;Rikagos & Ergul, 2011, and within that a shift from public police to private security. In so far as the crime drop of recent years is attributable primarily to better physical security that is mainly purchased privately, this too is related to inequality. ...
PurposeThis chapter is devoted to analysing the historical peculiarity of the contemporary British politics of policing. Methodology/approachResearch is based on an analysis of policy statements and debates, news reports, and official statistics, in the light of historical studies of the earlier politics of policing. FindingsThe Conservative government’s police reform programme severely diminishes the resources, powers, status and independence of the police, reversing the Tory’s traditional unquestioning support of the police. The package is shown to reflect broader changes in political economy and culture under neoliberalism. Originality/valueThere has been no previous academic analysis bringing together the various aspects of the reform programme, contrasting it with previous historical understanding of the politics of policing, and linking it to broader contemporary change.
... Over the past quarter century there has been a sharp decline in criminological discussions of PEEC. This has occurred at the same time important developments in the application of PEEC occurred (e.g., Michalowski and Pearson 1990, Lynch et al. 1994, Nalla et al. 1994, Carlson et al. 1997, Michalowski and Carlson 1999, Kramer 2000, Rigakos and Papanicolaou 2003, Antonaccio and Tittle 2007, Hall and Winlow 2007, Hall and McLean 2009, Lynch 2010, 1988, Rigakos and Ergul 2011, for general discussion, see Michalwoski 2006, Lynch andStretesky 2011). Likewise, while interest in the political economic explanation of crime declined, a number of important economic works addressing political economy more generally emerged which deepened, expanded and updated existing Marxist political economic theory in ways that incorporate recent alterations in contemporary economic trends and crises (see Lynch, this volume). ...
... Over the past quarter century there has been a sharp decline in criminological discussions of PEEC. This has occurred at the same time important developments in the application of PEEC occurred (e.g., Michalowski and Pearson 1990, Lynch et al. 1994, Nalla et al. 1994, Carlson et al. 1997, Michalowski and Carlson 1999, Kramer 2000, Rigakos and Papanicolaou 2003, Antonaccio and Tittle 2007, Hall and Winlow 2007, Hall and McLean 2009, Lynch 2010, 1988, Rigakos and Ergul 2011, for general discussion, see Lynch and Michalwoski 2006, Lynch and Stretesky 2011). Likewise, while interest in the political economic explanation of crime declined, a number of important economic works addressing political economy more generally emerged which deepened, expanded and updated existing Marxist political economic theory in ways that incorporate recent alterations in contemporary economic trends and crises (see Lynch, this volume). ...
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Critical criminologists have ignored the crime drop, and have failed to undertake efforts to explain this phenomenon. As a result, explanations of the crime drop are entirely explored from an orthodox criminological position, and have made rare reference to economic factors as explanatory variables related to the crime drop. The present article addresses that deficiency by exploring advances in political economic explanation of trends in the US economy, and relating those trends to the long-term (1950–2007) crime trend, and the shorter-term crime drop era (1992-present). The decline of manufacturing, the rise of the service sector, and the transition from Fordist, liberal political economic conditions to Post-Fordist, neoliberal political economic conditions are employed to explore their potential impact on the rate of crime.
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O objetivo deste texto é fazer uma breve análise das condições de trabalho,renda e proteção social oferecidas aos trabalhadores da economia solidária com base na categoria marxista do Exército Industrial de Reserva(EIR). Para isso, é feitauma análise dos dados dos empreendimentos solidários no Brasil a partir do Segundo Mapeamento Nacional de Empreendimentos Solidários realizado em 2013. As principais conclusões apontam que uma parcela significativa dos Empreendimentos de Economia Solidária(EES)oferece aos seus membros pouca proteção social e baixos rendimentos. Com isso, apesar de ser uma fonte de subsistência, a economia solidária termina por manter uma parte dos trabalhadores na condição de EIR
Anders Åslund foresaw the collapse of the Soviet Union in his book Gorbachev's Struggle for Economic Reform (1989). He depicted the success of Russia's market transformation in How Russia Became a Market Economy (1995). After Russia's financial crisis of 1998, Åslund insisted that Russia had no choice but to adjust to the world market (Building Capitalism, 2001), though most observers declared the market economic experiment a failure. Why did Russia not choose Chinese gradual reforms? Why are the former Soviet countries growing much faster than the Central European economies? How did the oligarchs arise? Who is in charge now? These are just some of the questions answered in How Capitalism Was Built, covering twenty-one former communist countries from 1989 to 2006. Anybody who wants to understand the confusing dramas unfolding in the region and to obtain an early insight into the future will find this book useful and intellectually stimulating.