Risk Governance of the Swedish Customs Service: Negotiating Security, Efficiency, and Poor Information

During the last decade, 'risk management' has become the common language through which different and sometimes contradictory expectations are brokered in the Swedish customs service. Security concerns, corporate interests and managerial reforms are all phrased-or re-phrased-as consideratio...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of Scandinavian studies in criminology and crime prevention
Main Author: Hörnqvist, Magnus
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
Published: 2006
In:Journal of Scandinavian studies in criminology and crime prevention
Year: 2006, Volume: 7, Issue: 1, Pages: 23-44
Online Access: doi
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Availability in Tübingen:Present in Tübingen.
IFK: In: Z 181
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Summary:During the last decade, 'risk management' has become the common language through which different and sometimes contradictory expectations are brokered in the Swedish customs service. Security concerns, corporate interests and managerial reforms are all phrased-or re-phrased-as considerations of risk. These considerations are then used to direct organizational strategy and resources. The crucial moment is the operationalization of risks, which are negotiated at the policy level, all the way down through the organization. I will argue that this has happened in the Swedish customs service during the last decade. The successive operationalizations of drugs, violation of intellectual property rights and organized crime have enabled a streamlining of the organization along the policy level risks. The resulting risk governance is mainly about managing the customs as an organization. Yet it also affects the customs' use of force by changing the way border crossers are singled out for control. The traditional, informal risk assessment at the border is being replaced-or supplemented-by formal risk profiles, constructed from the booking information provided by transportation companies. As a consequence, the control selection is increasingly based on a set of impersonal indicators such as mode of payment and possible rebooking
ISSN:1404-3858
DOI:10.1080/14043850500522725