Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Schreiber, V., Stein, C., Pütz, R.
Governing childhood through crime prevention: the case of the German school system
(2015) Children’s Geographies, 15 p. Article in Press.

DOI: 10.1080/14733285.2015.1048426

Over the last decade, numerous crime prevention programmes have been implemented across the German school sector. Although several serious violent attacks have happened in the last 12 years in German schools, the emergence of crime prevention programmes within the education sector cannot simply be conceived as a reaction to a rise in youth crime. Following Michel Foucault’s writings on power and governmentality, and drawing upon extracts of a discourse analysis of crime prevention programmes and political speeches, we argue that crime prevention within German schools signifies a new mode of governing childhood. Although we focus on Germany, our findings may illustrate an international trend within education policy, which first tends to spatialise socio-structural problems and transform them into local solutions, and second seeks to create childhood subjectivities that cause children to feel responsible for their own safety, while simultaneously subjecting children and young people to wide-ranging social control via area-based networks.

Author Keywords

crime prevention; Germany; governmentality; school; self-governance

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