12345673 of 28
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
The Plural Policing of Fraud: Power and the investigation of insurance and welfare fraud in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1114-1610
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is a vast literature on plural policing and the ways in which non-governmental actors now have and are assuming more responsibility for crime control. This literature argues that the connection between policing and the state is being eroded, questioned and sometimes abandoned in favour of networks in which the state acts as one actor among many others. This thesis examines the Swedish policing of insurance and welfare fraud via an analysis of the ways in which power is organized and articulated by actors in the private insurance industry, and at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and police authority.

The three articles included in the thesis contribute to a field that has received comparatively little attention, particularly in Sweden but also internationally. The existing literature has primarily been interested in the control of street-level criminality and the operations of uniformed security actors. Investigation practices in general and the plural policing of white-collar crime in particular have received far less attention. In Sweden, studies of policing are primarily state-centred, and the interactions between the police and other policing actors require further consideration. When examining insurance fraud, scholars have not considered the ways in which the insurance institution controls fraud; instead, this literature focuses on the characteristics of fraudsters. Thus the current thesis furthers our knowledge of a field of policing about which we currently know relatively little.

The thesis takes as its general assumption the view that this form of policing is marked by a basic ambiguity between on the one hand being responsibilized and assuming responsibility for crime control, and on the other being responsible for other goals, such as promoting trust in, and the legitimacy and survival of the insurance institution. Existing research suggests that this ambiguity is resolved by simply denying compensation, adjusting premium levels, and cancelling policies or social benefits. My research shows that there is no Swedish exceptionalism in this sense.

Based on a Foucauldian understanding of power, the thesis furthers our understanding of how the insurance institution is organized to tolerate fraud. The uncertainty between crime control and additional organizational goals is embedded in attempts to police the policing actors themselves, which is reflected in forces that make the policing of fraud a professional risk for the policing actors. The thesis argues that power relations provide opportunities to ensure that organizational goals are not endangered, while at the same time maintaining the public image that crime is being controlled. In contrast with existing research, the thesis shows that the law and the state – analytical categories that existing research, and particularly post-Foucauldian approaches, tend to reject or avoid – are critical to the plural policing of fraud. It is further suggested that scholars need to pay more attention to the way different technologies of power shape relationships between the actors involved in plural policing and their definitions of their own roles. In particular, scholars need to consider the role of the state and the legal framework in such arrangements. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Criminology, Stockholm University , 2020. , p. 68
Series
Avhandlingsserie / Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1404-1820 ; 43
Keywords [en]
Plural policing, Power, Insurance, Fraud, Sweden
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-180912ISBN: 978-91-7911-160-1 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7911-161-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-180912DiVA, id: diva2:1424980
Public defence
2020-06-05, digitally via video conference (Zoom), public link shared at www.criminology.su.se in connection with nailing of the thesis, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2020-05-13 Created: 2020-04-20 Last updated: 2020-05-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The Private Policing of Insurance Claims: Power, Profit and Private Justice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Private Policing of Insurance Claims: Power, Profit and Private Justice
2018 (English)In: British Journal of Criminology, ISSN 0007-0955, E-ISSN 1464-3529, Vol. 58, no 2, p. 478-496Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article examines the ways private policing is organised with regard to profitability. While the literature on private policing has enhanced our understanding of its growth, scope and normative implications, less is known about how ‘hybrid’ policing is conducted to make profit. Informed by 38 qualitative interviews with the seven largest insurance companies in Sweden, the article details how power relations are organised to ensure that the private policing of insurance claims supports and does not pose a threat to profit. Drawing on evidence from the empirical research, a range of issues are discussed, including the relationship between private policing and state power, and the intertwined governance of both claimants and policing actors.

Keywords
Private policing, insurance fraud, private justice, power
National Category
Other Social Sciences Sociology
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141925 (URN)10.1093/bjc/azx026 (DOI)000431987200012 ()
Available from: 2017-04-20 Created: 2017-04-20 Last updated: 2020-05-15Bibliographically approved
2. The limits of the decentred state: the case of policing insurance claims fraud
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The limits of the decentred state: the case of policing insurance claims fraud
2019 (English)In: British Journal of Sociology, ISSN 0007-1315, E-ISSN 1468-4446, Vol. 70, no 1, p. 339-355Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Existing research clearly shows that the public–private divide is continuously being challenged, recast and transformed. However, this article argues that a sharp distinction between public and private continues to operate as an important norm for professionals involved in the investigation of insurance claims fraud in Sweden. It shows how power within private insurance companies and the police authority is organized around the public–private divide, which is in turn mobilized to justify repression and to give investigations legitimacy. The article indicates that the formal public–private distinction is far more thoroughly maintained than is suggested by the existing literature. Rather than challenging the centrality of state power, private insurers and the police construct, maintain and have a stake in the reproduction of a state-centric monopoly of crime control.

Keywords
Power, the public–private divide, policing, insurance, claims fraud
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149483 (URN)10.1111/1468-4446.12336 (DOI)000456865900016 ()
Available from: 2017-12-01 Created: 2017-12-01 Last updated: 2020-05-19Bibliographically approved
3. Plural Governmentalities: Governing Welfare Fraud in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Plural Governmentalities: Governing Welfare Fraud in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Existing governmental and criminological research typically links insurance to the rise and spread of neoliberalism and thus the decline of the welfare state. The criminalization of welfare and the use of actuarialism in responses to crime has often been described as a testament to this shift in political power. In contrast, the current paper argues that criminalization articulates multiple governmentalities. Using empirical illustrations from the Swedish case, it shows that so-called control investigators realize a neoconservative agenda using a mix of a neoliberal and a bureaucratic rationalities and technologies. The paper argues that examinations of the articulation of multiple governmental rationalities offer one route for thinking intelligibly about power and criminalization and by extension about the limits of neoliberal rule.

Keywords
Governmentality, Criminalization, Social insurance, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-180910 (URN)
Available from: 2020-04-20 Created: 2020-04-20 Last updated: 2020-04-23Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

The Plural Policing of Fraud(1164 kB)19 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1164 kBChecksum SHA-512
c03b467874f9bbbfaaadae299a6c162bce3755084afe60d446db11cc8efe0fbb22d48c6cd304cf86a07539841bc05ef832caee767cb27b0a1f714da587fad2a6
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Stenström, Anders
By organisation
Department of Criminology
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 19 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 102 hits
12345673 of 28
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf