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Preventive Empires: Security Dynamics at Multiple Levels of Governance


Monica den Boer

Police Academy of The Netherlands; VU University Amsterdam, NL
About Monica
Academic Dean; Professor of Comparative Public Administration. After completing her PhD at the European University Institute, Den Boer held positions at Edinburgh University, the Netherlands Institute of Crime and Law Enforcement, the European Institute of Public Administration, EULEC and Tilburg University. She is a member of the Committee on European Integration of the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) and a former member of the Dutch Iraq Investigation Committee.
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Shifts in the security paradigm evolve from deeper societal transformations, and are addressed in national and international security strategies. The re-framing of security strategies rests on the notion of prevention, with features such as risk-assessment, pre-emption, and pro-active monitoring of conduct. This precautionary principle prevails in all levels of security governance. However, this raises several philosophical, legal and political questions, such as the reliability of early indicators and the upholding of the classic presumption of innocence. This article discusses the contractual relationship between the state and its citizens and identifies some governance issues that require legal and political rebalancing.

How to Cite: den Boer, M., 2011. Preventive Empires: Security Dynamics at Multiple Levels of Governance. Amsterdam Law Forum, 3(3), pp.102–113. DOI:
Published on 01 Jun 2011.


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