2001 - Volume 42 > Numéro 1

ISSN 0035-2969

Being a policeman :
Christian MOUHANNA

pp. 31-55


Based on an empirical study of over 400 interviews, and on an analysis which was part of the strategic analysis, this article illustrates how the policeman managed to free from the formal procedures which encumber his organisation in order to build, over a period of time, a relationship with his fellow citizens, based less on severity and authoritarianism and more on a certain benevolence and discretionary use of the law. This way of working reveals itself to be a generator of tensions between, on the one hand, a strong professional identity, built on these interactions, and on the other hand a highly formalistic organisation. Today, the evolution of morals, the internal crises which shake up the institution and the reactions of its directors have deeply modified the policeman’s working environment, introducing a withdrawal of bureaucracy and favouring internal logic in order to adapt to a public which meanwhile has become more difficult.



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