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FRIPRO-Fri prosjektstøtte

Private knowledge, public issues: Digitalization and private economies of knowledge in criminal justice

Alternative title: Digitalisering og privatiserte kunnskapsregimer i kriminalpolitikken

Awarded: NOK 12.0 mill.

Project Number:

334953

Application Type:

Project Period:

2023 - 2027

Funding received from:

Location:

Partner countries:

What happens to matters of public interest, when their knowledge foundations are shaped by private actors? How do commercial interests or advocacy shape the nature of expertise and the political decisions it gives rise to? Criminal justice agencies, in Norway as in most European countries, have in recent years undergone an intense process of digitalization as well as restructuring and reform. Digital technologies, often promoted by management- and IT-consultancies, are redefining the meaning of knowledge and expertise, thereby, redefining and shaping the nature of criminal justice and crime policy. Privatization of crime control and security has been one of the most salient and intensely debated issues within criminal justice in the last three decades. However, despite this we know quite little about the privatization of knowledge production. CRIMKNOW fills this gap. It is the first systematic attempt to develop an understanding of the role of private expertise in contemporary criminal justice policy development and implementation. It brings focus on the connections between digitalization and privatization. By, among other, collecting empirical data on police reforms and reform of the courts in Norway, the project examines how commercial and private knowledge regimes become encoded into state practices, affecting the understanding of expertise, as well as the nature and quality of decision-making, particularly its transparency and public nature.

What happens to matters of public interest, when their knowledge foundations are shaped by private actors? How do commercial interests or advocacy shape the nature of expertise and the political decisions it gives rise to? CRIMKNOW addresses a fundamental issue of modern science: the boundaries between public and private knowledge. Criminal justice agencies have in recent years undergone an intense process of digitalization as well as restructuring and reform. Digital technologies, often promoted by management- and IT-consultancies, are redefining the meaning of knowledge and expertise, thereby, redefining and shaping the nature of criminal justice and crime policy. Privatization of crime control and security has been one of the most salient and intensely debated issues within criminological and criminal justice scholarship in the last three decades. However, despite the considerable breadth of scholarship on the topic, one important part of the development has been missing from the discussion: the privatization of knowledge production. CRIMKNOW fills this gap. It is the first systematic attempt to develop an understanding of the role of private expertise in contemporary criminal justice policy development and implementation. It brings focus on the connections between digitalization and privatization. Through its interdisciplinary design, combining criminological and socio-legal perspectives with the sociology and history of knowledge, and science and technology studies (STS), the project examines how commercial and private knowledge regimes become encoded into state practices, affecting the understanding of expertise, as well as the nature and quality of decision-making, particularly its transparency and public nature.

Funding scheme:

FRIPRO-Fri prosjektstøtte

Funding Sources