Security and a well ordered state: police ordinances and their enforcement in early modern Europe

Forum for politi, rett og historie, har gleden av å ønske velkommen til et foredrag holdt av professor dr. Karl Härter, Max-Planck-Institut für europäische rechtsgeschichte.


Foredraget blir holdt på engelsk.


The lecture presents and overview on the history of the early modern police – the so called gute Policey – and discusses recent research focusing on the enforcement of police ordinances and the topic of security. The term police(France) or Policey (Germany) first appeared in 15th century Europe and referred to the general concept of the “good order” of a society or state: the so-called well-ordered police state. The pivotal instrument of establishing and maintaining good order was the police ordinance (Policeyordnung): administrative and public laws enacted by the authorities in virtually all European states, territories and cities. They covered a variety of subject matters in area of public order and aimed at a long-term regulation of social behaviour and helped to establish “welfare” and “security” as leading categories which crossed the social order and applied to society as a whole. In this respect the development of security as a leading category and main field of state activity was closely interconnected with the concept of gute Policey and the police ordinances and from the 17th century onwards, security gained a more and more prominent role within the well-ordered police state: as a general purpose of good government, as an important sector of police legislation and as a field of concrete administrative action. Thus, the implementation and enforcement of police ordinances became a central field of concrete administrative action and criminal justice, albeit the institutionally weak early modern state often depended on the co-operation of local/social communities and intermediate powers. To improve the enforcement of police ordinances the authorities developed and established a variety of executive administrative instruments and institutions (not least police forces) but also fostered the participation of social groups/communities. Hence, recent research has controversially discussed the enforcement, efficiency and impact of police ordinances and their function in establishing and maintaining (internal or human) security. The lecture will also unroll the main angles and arguments of this discourse and present the viewpoint of the speaker based on his own research in the field of gute Policey, police/policing and criminal justice.


Prof. Dr. Karl Härter is Research Group Leader and Senior Research Scientist at the Max-Planck-Institut for European Legal History, Frankfurt/M. and teaches Early Modern and Modern History at the University of Darmstadt. He is editor (with M. Stolleis) of the Repertorium der Policeyordnungen der Frühen Neuzeit and the serial Studien zu Policey und Policeywissenschaft and has published a monograph on Policey und Strafjustiz in Kurmainz (2005) as well as collected volumes on Policey und frühneuzeitliche Gesellschaft (2000), Repräsentationen von Kriminalität und öffentlicher Sicherheit (2010), and Politische Kriminalität, Recht, Justiz und Polizei (2012) and several articles, most recently Security and “gute Policey” in Early Modern Europe (2010), Legal Concepts of Terrorism as Political Crime and International Criminal Law (2012), and Security and Cross-border Political Crime: The Formation of Transnational Security Regimes (2013).


Foredraget finner sted ved Politihøgskolen i Oslo, Slemdalsveien 5, bygg 2, møterom 1.

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Publisert 12. mars 2013 23:36 - Sist endret 25. okt. 2013 14:02