Emeritus Professor Clifford Shearing

Professor (E2), RegNet, RSSS, College of Arts & Social Sciences
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • Social Theory 160806
  • Law And Society 180119
  • Access To Justice 180102
  • Causes And Prevention Of Crime 160201
  • Legal Institutions (Incl. Courts And Justice Systems) 180120
  • Intellectual Property Law 180115
  • Police Administration, Procedures And Practice 160205
  • Correctional Theory, Offender Treatment And Rehabilitation 160202
  • Political Theory And Political Philosophy 160609
  • Sociology 1608


Shearing’s work, located within Criminology, focuses on identifying and understanding developments in governance through the lenses of security and justice. Uniting this work has been a decade’s long programme of theory-building that has sought systematically to develop more adequate conceptions and explanations of governance developments as well as normative prescriptions for shaping these developments. These prescriptions typically focus attention on the excluded and the disadvantaged.
Shearing’s preferred approach has been to promote and engage in a practice/theory dialogue, together with a style of engagement that favours working with collaborators and which challenges his (and their) thinking. These collaborations have deliberately included early career scholars.

“The New Structure of Policing” (2001) brought together, and sought to crystallize, his previous research and thinking. This provided a platform for the development of the nodal governance approach outlined in “Governing Security” (2003) and taken forward in “Nodal Governance, Democracy, and the New ‘Denizens’” (2003). An example of Shearing’s ongoing theory/practice engagement is “Justice in the Risk Society” (2005) a piece that also illustrates his commitment to facilitating experiments that enable the “weak” to engage in shaping governance development.


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Updated:  17 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers