Governing urban security in Finland: Towards the ‘European model’

Date01 May 2013
Publication Date01 May 2013
AuthorSirpa Virta
European Journal of Criminology
10(3) 341 –353
© The Author(s) 2013
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DOI: 10.1177/1477370812473536
Governing urban security
in Finland: Towards the
‘European model’
Sirpa Virta
University of Tampere, Finland
The article describes and evaluates the development of urban security management in Finland since
2002. The evaluation is based on governmental safety and security strategies, 228 local safety plans
from 2002 and the security strategies of the 10 biggest cities in 2012, along with interviews with
risk managers or security managers, police chiefs and other experts. New security professions
and professionals, such as security managers, have emerged in cities; the trend is towards regional
safety and security management; crime prevention has been replaced by a broader concept of the
co-production of security by state and municipal authorities (networks, strategic partnerships);
contingency planning, civil protection and preparedness have been reconciled with local safety
planning processes (in some cities). In addition, the military is looking for a new role in society.
It is also argued that European Union membership and EU strategies are now such important
drivers of development that Finland is moving from the so-called ‘Scandinavian model’ towards
the ‘European model’ of security governance.
European model, governance, management, security, strategies
This article deals with the development of urban security governance in Finland. The
analysis of security governance is based on national, regional and local security strate-
gies and programmes, and how they have been translated into practices and action plans.
There are several dimensions to be explored, drawing on the work of Johnston and
Shearing (2003:13): the ways of thinking that underlie security strategies (mentalities),
the organizational forms used to implement those ways of thinking (institutions), the
techniques used to turn mentalities into action (technologies) and the resulting actions
Corresponding author:
Sirpa Virta, School of Management, University of Tampere, Tampere, FI-33014, Finland.
473536EUC10310.1177/1477370812473536European Journal of CriminologyVirta

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