PluS-i: Pluralisation of local urban security production

- interdisciplinary analysis for a context adequate, legitimate, efficient and effective plural policing

Project: research questions and objectives

Pluralisation of local urban security production

The junior research group Pluralisation of local urban security production – interdisciplinary analysis for a context adequate, legitimate, efficient and effective plural policing (PluS-i) at the Institute of Political Science, University of Münster (WWU), studies the heterogenous development of local security production. By interdisciplinary and multi-perspective research, the research group focuses on plural policing in urban areas in Germany. Plural policing is defined as a publicly perceived form of security production and maintenance by state and local authorities, private security, individuals, organisations and local initiatives. In order to contribute to security in the long run, it is assumed, that plural policing shall be context adequate, legitimate, efficient and effective.

The junior research group PluS-i is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the context of the call “Promotion of young researchers by establishing interdisciplinary competences” in the programme “research for civil security 2012 – 2017” (

Identification of plural policing models

Plural policing differs locally and is reflected by different stakeholder constellations, structures, practices and processes. To understand the differences of plural policing, five case studies in different urban areas in Germany will be conducted. By sociological, political- and social-scientifical analysis different models of plural policing and their developments shall be identified.

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Developments and impacts of plural policing

On the one hand, PluS-i aims to contribute to the scientific discourse on plural policing. The research group creates new insights by identifying models of plural policing, focussing on a relative rating of these models regarding the aspects of context adequacy, legitimacy, efficiency and effectiveness, and also considering developments in these particular policing models.

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Multi-perspective comparison of different models and developments in plural policing

Following an interdisciplinary and multi-perspective approach, PluS-i researches to which extent different models of plural policing correspond to the assumed demands of context adequacy, legitimacy, efficiency and effectiveness. Furthermore, PluS-i also investigates potential impacts on these demands by considering developments in policing.

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Providing practical information for a future design of plural policing

On the other side, PluS-i aims to transfer the academic findings to the practice by developing a concept of knowledge transfer together with end users and practitioners coming from politics, administration, economy, as well as society. This participatory procedure shall help to avoid potential reservations between practice and science.

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Field of Research

The production of security in local areas is constantly changing. Since a couple of years this undergoing change is discussed under the term pluralisation which is particularly affecting policing. In the context of PluS-i,  policing means a) patrolling in person and/or b) guarding in person and/or c) visible technical surveillance of public or semi-public spaces as well as measures directly resulting therefrom. Policing refers to the task of maintaining or achieving security and order, regardless of how and by whom security and order are defined.  Plural policing is defined as the coexistent and/or cooperative policing of at least two different distinguishable stakeholders in congruent, overlapping or continuous areas of competences. Nowadays,  plural policing in urban areas is a common phenomenon which can be characterised by the following four observations:

Pluralism of stakeholders

Plural policing is characterised by a variety of public, private and civil stakeholders complementing the police as conventional and traditional provider of policing.

Pluralism of competences

Plural policing contains a vast spectrum of stakeholder competences ranging from limited private to wide ranging sovereign responsibilities.

Pluralism of topics

Plural policing deals with a multitude of police as well as non-police relevant issues such as aspects of public order and social phenomenons.

Heterogeneity of pluralism

From municipality to municipality, plural policing differs in stakeholder constellations, structures, practices and processes.

Research Perspectives

PluS-i follows an interdisciplinary, integrative research approach and combines sociological, political-, economical-, social- and administrative-scientific research questions on plural policing.

Sociology / Social Science

The sociological/social science perspective deals with the so-called context adequacy of the various plural policing models and citizens involvement in policing. Context adequacy describes policing actions and activities by stakeholders which are appropriate, according to qualifications, legal and accepted by the public.

Political Science

The political science perspective addresses the legitimacy of the various plural policing models and the pluralised security policy. The focus is amongst others on aspects such as the impact of political influence and participation.

Economic Science

The economical science perspective analyses the efficiency of the various plural policing models. In this context, efficiency indicators shall be identified, studied and interpreted. Furthermore, model-specific incentive systems shall be analysed to examine their effects.

Administrative / Social Science

The administrative/social science perspective deals with the effectivity of the various plural policing models based on e.g. criminal activities, subjective security and the social perception/acceptance towards plural policing models.

Our Team

The PluS-i junior research group members are representing complementary scientific disciplines ranging from sociology, criminology, political science, social science to economic science. The subject of plural policing is studied in close cooperation with practitioners and their experiences.

Dr. Nathalie Hirschmann

Head of junior research group PostDoc (Sociology and Criminology) more

Tobias John M.A.

Deputy head of junior research group Postgraduate (Political Science) more

Frauke Reichl M. A.

Postgraduate (Social Science)

Sigrid Hiller M. A.

Postgraduate (Social Science and Criminology) more

Dennis Goldig M. Sc.

Postgraduate (Economic Science) more

Claudia Tutino M. A.

Research Assistant


Dominic Böcker B. A.

Student Assistant


Lisa Vogt B. A.

Student Assistant



Veröffentlichung Working Paper Nr. 4 zu Virtuellen Bürgerwehren

Ab heute kann das vierte Working Paper aus dem Projekt PluS-i bezogen werden. Frauke Reichl setzt sich in diesem Mit virtuellen Bürgerwehren auseinander und thematisiert diese sowohl vor dem theoretischen[…]

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11. December 2018

Sommerakademie der zivilen Sicherheit

Vom 23. bis 27. Juli 2018 findet die erste Sommerakademie der zivilen Sicherheitsforschung in Bad Pyrmont statt. Die Nachwuchsforschungsgruppe PluS-i wird hier von Sigrid Hiller vertreten, die an der von[…]

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18. July 2018

BMBF-Innovationsforum “Zivile Sicherheit”

Am 19. und 20.06. fand in Berlin das BMBF-Innovationsforum “Zivile Sicherheit” statt. Die Nachwuchsforschungsgruppe PluS-i wurde hier von Frauke Reichl und Tobias John vertreten. Im Rahmen der Parallelsession 2A Subjektive Sicherheit[…]

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22. June 2018

Cooperation and Associate Partners

The junior research group PluS-i is supported by renown scientists (mentorship, advisory board) as well as institutions and organisations from science and practice (associate partners).


Poster presentation (German)


Press Release (German)


Flyer (English)


Workingpaper No. 1 (German)


Workingpaper No. 2 (German)


Workingpaper No. 3 (German)


Workingpaper No. 4 (German)



Contact information

Junior Research Group PluS-i
University of Münster
Institute of Political Science
Scharnhorststr. 100
D-48151 Muenster
Room 801-803



Fax: +49-(0)251-83-24378