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Thinking critically about police unions in Australia: internal democracy and external responsiveness

Burgess, Mark, Fleming, Jenny and Marks, Monique (2006) Thinking critically about police unions in Australia: internal democracy and external responsiveness Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, 7, (5), pp. 391-409. (doi:10.1080/15614260601076033).

Record type: Article


This paper considers the challenges for Australian police unions in the 21st century. The empirical evidence is drawn from research conducted by two of the authors for the Police Federation of Australia (PFA) in 2003–2004. The paper first outlines the changing field of policing in which police unions exist, then provides background information on the various state and territory unions/associations and the PFA. The paper demonstrates that while police unions in Australia have won considerable gains for their members and contributed significantly to police reform, their current agendas are somewhat narrow. The paper contends that this is owing to the conservative membership base of police unions, ambivalent identification with the labour movement, and poorly defined conceptions of professionalism. The final section of the paper identifies four central challenges facing Australian police unions and attempts by the police unions to respond to these challenges.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 11 December 2006
Published date: 2006
Keywords: policing, australia, police unions, police associations, privatisation, professionalisation, democracy
Organisations: Social Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 339893
ISSN: 1561-4263
PURE UUID: cb1ab4fd-365b-4d99-9690-1e1b758b7fb7
ORCID for Jenny Fleming: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 01 Jun 2012 09:10
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:51

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Author: Mark Burgess
Author: Jenny Fleming ORCID iD
Author: Monique Marks

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