Knowing from Within: Making the Case for Embedded Police Research

Mia Koss Hartmann, Nadja Kirchhoff Hestehave, Lotte Høgh, Kira Vrist Rønn

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A current discussion about the role of research knowledge, particularly in Nordic police research, is concerned with research-funding collaborations being too entangled with political interests in documenting best-practices (“what works”), to maintain a trustworthy degree of critical and freely reflexive ethos. Whereas previous debaters find the solution to be one of researchers distancing themselves from their embeddedness with the police organisation they study in, we argue on the contrary that embedded, in-depth and close-up approaches are essential in producing rich enough knowledge from within the police to achieve critical and freely reflexive research-knowledge. In nuancing perspectives on the role and potential of embedded police researchers in contributing to knowledgeable policing, we suggest a framework for Embedded Police Research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordisk Politiforskning
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)7-27
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Embedded police research
  • Research methods
  • Police research
  • Evidence-based policing

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