40 Years of CILIP

Transformation and Continuity – Four Decades of Critique of “Internal Security”
by Norbert Pütter

Founded in 1978, CILIP is a child of the seventies which were marked by the experience of the fight against terrorism, the occupational bans against left wing people and a technocratic police reform. The subjects and focal points of the journal varied over the years – from protest policing to covert police methods to – once again since 2001 – anti-terrorism. Civil liberties as guiding principles meant not only search for new forms of monitoring of police and intelligence services, but also reflections on alternatives to police or at least a fundamental reform.

Security, Prevention and Police: Civil Rights and the Transformation of Domestic Security
by Tobias Singelnstein

The field of domestic security has undergone fundamental changes in the past decades. New concepts and practices, in particular concerning the police, are not so much aimed at specific events such as crimes or tangible threats anymore, and instead claim to accomplish comprehensive security. Domestic security is becoming a permanent practice tasked with the handling of potential problems as soon and as sweeping as possible. This preventive alignment leads to the dissolution of boundaries within criminal, police and criminal procedure laws, as well as to the weakening of judicial oversight.

Civil Rights in Movement: Defending Democracy in the Streets
by Elke Steven

Over the past 40 years, a diverse array of social movements has come to the fore, and protests in the streets have become much more common. This development has been assisted by various landmark decisions by the Federal Constitutional Court – starting with the Brokdorf decision in 1985. Still: no matter the issue, organizers of and participants in demonstrations almost always have to deal with government surveillance and interventions including restrictions, bans, checks, violence or arrests. Defending democracy and human rights in the streets continues to be vital.

Surveil and Exclude: What Connects Neoliberalism and Unchecked Penal Power
by Helga Cremer-Schäfer

Punishment and control correlate with the mode of production. They are conveyed through ideology: e.g. they demonstrate the consequences of not working. Neoliberalism continued this technique of governance, albeit more excessive and more exclusive. Prospering Fordism allowed for limited depenalization (but hardly decriminalization). This responded to criminal law’s legitimacy deficit. Neoliberal moral panics yielded new legitimizations: They transformed a sense of social unease about inequality into social fear. To nevertheless make abolitionism conceivable again, knowledge of legitimization must be scrutinized, and alternatives to control and punishment pointed out.

Camp Systems: Gaps in the History of the Private Security Industries
by Volker Eick

Even though the national-socialist internment, deportation and destruction of the European Jews was a state-run (a mainly police-run) “enterprise”, the industrial and trading capital, and with them the security industries, participated actively in the surveillance of Jews, forced laborers and prisoners of war and the respective camps. These gaps in the history of the sector are to be considered before it is made an integral part of our future camp systems – by way of a separate law.

Policing the Poor: Police at the Fringes of Society
by Norbert Pütter

The „poor” are no longer those whose protests in the form of “food riots” have to be put down by the police (and the military). By the means of welfare policy, the edge is taken off poverty. The poor are individualized – and thereby pacified and disciplined. Only a small part of the poor population is dealt with by the police: beggars, homeless people and junkies, youth subcultures, and migrants.

Inspection at the Day Laborers Market: Racism and the Securitization of Social Issues
by Lisa Riedner

With a new law, the German federal government is planning to ban so-called day laborer exchanges – ostensibly for the protection of the workers. In fact, these self-organized job markets are more than just instruments of exploitation. They represent meeting points as well, in particular for workers from EU states. The fact that more repression does not protect the migrant workers but instead further marginalizes them was proven by a police and customs raid in Munich in 2013, which can be considered a harbinger of the new draft law.

The EU Border Regime in the Mediterranean: Acts of Mercy and Calculated Deaths
by Britta Rabe

Over the last four years, the „Watch the Med Alarmphone” has been offering an around-the-clock telephone hotline for refugees in distress on the Mediterranean Sea. In 2018, the clashes at the Libyan coast were the focus of attention. Preventing the arrival of refugees in Italy was pursued through the criminalization of the civil rescue fleet. The EU instead supports the Libyan coast guard. Italy engages in a policy of closed ports.

(In)Justice at the Border. Human Rights Interventions Against Push-Backs
by Carsten Gericke and Vera Wriedt

Push-backs violate fundamental human rights but are nevertheless systematically employed at the EU’s external borders – e.g. at the fences of Ceuta and Melilla, the Spanish enclaves in Africa. The Guardia Civil regularly pushes refugees and migrants who have managed to reach the Spanish side of the border fortifications back to Morocco through the fences. In October 2017, the ECHR’s third chamber ruled this treatment to be in violation of the European Convention on Human Right’s prohibition of collective deportations. The final decision by the Grand Chamber is expected in 2019.

Automated Identity Verification in Asylum Procedures: Computers Deciding the Fate of Refugees
by Anna Biselli

Over the last few years, the Federal Agency of Migration and Refugees has increasingly been counting on IT systems to determine and verify the identities of refugees. But the systems are causing problems: they are prone to errors, and heavily impinge on the privacy rights of those seeking protection. Asylum procedures are further dehumanized, fates are increasingly entrusted to machines.

What We Can Know: Production and Management of Knowledge Within the Police
by Stephanie Schmidt

With its organizationally established secrecy, the police restricts the view from outside. It governs the knowledge regarding the situations it polices. In its outward communication, the police manages to present itself as a protagonist that produces extraordinarily objective and neutral knowledge through formal and bureaucratic techniques. This largely unchallenged position as an expert institution makes police assessments and the actions they entail widely inaccessible to review and critique.

Knowledge of Racial Police Violence: It Didn’t Happen as Long as Nobody Talks About It
by Johanna Mohrfeld and Schohreh Golian – Kampagne für die Opfer rassistischer Polizeigewalt

In order to make visible the issue of police racism, the experiences of people of color concerning the discrimination and violence they are subjected to by the police must be validated, and the reports of affected people and witnesses must be documented and made public. This is the work the “Kampagne für die Opfer rassistischer Polizeigewalt“ in Berlin has dedicated itself to.

Racial Profiling in Germany: Not a Question of Individual Wrongdoing
by Bafta Sarbo

Racial Profiling is a term used for racist police checks during which people are subjected to inspection based on phenotypic attributes, especially skin color. This discriminatory practice is encouraged by laws that empower police to conduct checks without specific cause. These checks are largely carried out in areas predominantly inhabited by migrants. They are not the result of individual racist attitudes, but rather significant evidence of institutionalized racism.

There Will Be Censorship: On the Ban of „linksunten.indymedia“
by Angela Furmaniak and Kristin Pietrzyk

In August 2017, the Federal Ministry of the Interior had the left-wing online platform „“ banned. In the wake of the ban, the homes of the site’s alleged operators were searched, as was a leftist cultural center. With this, the Interior Ministry not only disregards the freedom of press and of speech, but once again ignores the rule of separation of police and intelligence services. The domestic intelligence service’s “insights” were supposed to justify the selection of those affected by the searches, and the service is to be tasked with the assessment of the confiscated data and documents.

State of Emergency and Social Movements: The State of Emergency in France 2015-17
by Fabien Jobard

After the November 2015 attacks, president François Hollande declared a state of emergency that was eventually extended until November 2017. The emergency laws permit measures such as searching homes and putting people under house arrest. But France’s police and security forces don’t need a state of emergency to employ extraordinary violence. This is evidenced by the handling of the “yellow vests”.

Staging a State of Emergency
Interview by Christian Meyer

The G20 summit was met by the German police with one of the largest and most expensive campaigns in the history of the Federal Republic. And yet, the goal of a city under complete control proved unattainable. The Berlin group *andere zustände ermöglichen (*aze) and the sociologist Peter Ullrich talk about riots, media polarization, and the limits of the rule of law.

Sand in the Gears. Fighting for the Right to Assembly
by Michael Plöse

A central characteristic of the fundamental right to assembly is the recognition that protests have to be unreglemented and free from state intrusion. They shall – in the words of the Constitutional Court – „save the political machine from petrification in busy routines“. To create the necessary public awareness new forms of action are required. They are confronted with a law on assemblies based on regulations and sanctions which is still rooted in the fifties and police forces equipped with the newest surveillance technology.

Monitoring Police Conduct: Difficult Paths
by Anna Luczak

In the administrative courts, complaints against the police can lead to the general establishment of unlawfulness at most. In the criminal courts, police witnesses are regularly considered to be more credible than civilians. New forms of oversight would not only have to be independent, but also include broad investigative powers. Sadly, the ombudsmen’s offices established in several of the German states have so far been overwhelmed by the task of monitoring the police.

European Police Congress 2019: Commodification of Security
by Stephanie Schmidt and Roman Thurn

On February 19 and 20, 2019, the private journal BehördenSpiegel hosted the 22nd European Police Congress. Under the heading “Focus Europe: Migration – Integration – Security”, representatives from politics, security agencies and businesses active in the field gathered.

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