CrimSL postdoctoral fellow Dr. Jihyun Kwon's latest research paper "Jurisdictional overlap: The juxtaposition of institutional independence and collaboration in police wrongdoing investigations" was recently published online in Regulation and Governance (early view) by Wiley Online Library.
Introducing multiple layers of “independent” structures has become a go-to strategy for public agent oversight. The question remains whether such decentralized, overlapping structural arrangements of oversight reduce regulatory uncertainty and produce better policy outcomes. Using the case study of Ontario, Canada, I examine the consequences of institutional layering for the specific and broader goal of independent oversight and democratic policing, respectively. Semi-structured interviews with oversight officials and other key stakeholders as well as past governmental reports that led to the police oversight reform are analyzed to study the gap between the policy intention and outcome. I found that multiple “independent” investigatory agencies are meant to operate concurrently within an integrated system to ensure a responsive and comprehensive oversight system. However, their structural separation obstructs collaboration among the external agencies, causing various dysfunctional bureaucratic behaviors that undermine the overarching intention. The disconnect among different oversight authorities exacerbates their reliance on internal police-led procedures for all police misconduct inquiries. Implications of my research extend beyond policing and further the study of overlapping regulatory oversight and structural reform through institutional layering.
Read the full paper (open access)
Kwon, J. (2023). Jurisdictional overlap: The juxtaposition of institutional independence and collaboration in police wrongdoing investigations. Regulation and Governance. First published: 22 June 2023. https://doi.org/10.1111/rego.12532.