This article discusses the emergence, in the field of crime and safety, of a formula of government that can be called neoliberal communitarianism. This is a paradoxical governmental strategy that combines a focus on 'individual responsibility', 'community' and a 'selectively tough state'. The discussion is based on the Foucaultian triangle of strategy, political programmes and techniques. The substance of this application consists of a discussion of recent Dutch political programmes and techniques in crime and safety policies. The discussion includes the local case of Rotterdam, a city at times regarded as a 'policy laboratory'. Specifically, the role that notions of citizenship and community play in crime and safety policies is analysed. We hereby point at two different manifestations of responsibilization - repressive responsibilization and facilitative responsibilization - aimed at two governmentally differentiated populations. In addition, we describe how neoliberal communitarianism entails the selective exclusion of subjects imagined as 'high risk'. Because the government of crime tells us much about the government of 'society', neoliberal communitarianism is a useful concept to grasp contemporary changes in government in the Netherlands and in other European countries.

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The Sociological Review
Department of Sociology

van Houdt, J.F, & Schinkel, W. (2013). Crime, citizenship and community: Neoliberal communitarian images of governmentality. The Sociological Review. doi:10.1111/1467-954X.12115