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The vigilant eye of the revolution: Public security and police in revolutionary Greece



The vigilant eye of the revolution: Public security and police in revolutionary Greece


13 March 2021


As an expression of the state monopoly on violence, which was previously shared by more agents (local rulers, communal authorities, private individuals etc), and as the constituted body empowered to enforce public order and security, the idea of modern police is largely a product of the Age of Revolutions. A true child of its time, the Greek 1821 Revolution included policing in its political priorities and proceeded with the foundation of a police ministry and the establishment of police authorities throughout the revolutionary territory. Shifting the view from the (admittedly) weak organisational structure of the police to the competencies it assumed and its social reception, the paper highlights the importance of the revolutionary period in promoting the new role of crime and public security manager attributed to the police since the end of the 18th century. The paper shows how during the revolution crime becomes a field of police competence, as traditional mechanisms of social pacification proved unable to manage the increased intensity of violence. Taking into account similar processes in European and global context, the paper also argues that the dense in war and political events period of the revolution was crucial for the implementation of practices and techniques of “high” policing and population control, as well as for the accumulation of know-how to shield state security.

(Edited abstract from organiser’s website)

From the book of abstracts, as it was published on NKUA's website.

Type specialization




Number Of Pages - Duration



BY-NC-SA Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Position: 6062 (10 views)