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Securing the neo-liberal city : risk markets, gentrification and low-wage work in Vancouver Bennett, Darcie 2008

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SECURING THE NEO-LIBERAL CITY: RISK MARKETS, GENTRIFICATION AND LOW-WAGE WORK IN VANCOUVER by DARCIE BENNETT B.A., Simon Fraser University (2000) M.A., Simon Fraser University (2003) A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Sociology) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) September, 2008 ©Darcie Bennett, 2008 Abstract Private security guards have become an increasingly visible presence in urban centres across North America -- Vancouver is no exception. This research explores the growth of the private security industry and the working lives of frontline guards within the context of neo-liberal economic and governance policies at the national, provincial and municipal levels, inner-city revitalization projects, and the emergence of a two-tiered post-industrial labour market. Private security firms are conceptualized first and foremost as selling security as a commodity. The demand for security services, or ‘risk markets’, have developed in Vancouver due in large part to the contracting out of formerly public services, dissatisfaction with public policing services among groups and individuals with resources to purchase alternatives and mounting social tensions resulting from inner-city gentrification and growing poverty and homelessness. Low wages, lax labour standards and limited regulation make private security services both affordable for clients and profitable for security entrepreneurs. Based on interviews with frontline security guards and representatives from management at private security firms, this research finds that guards occupy a contradictory social location as both low-wage workers and as agents of social control contracted to police some of the poorest and most marginalized members of society. This study asserts that while the presence of private guards can address some of the real and perceived security concerns in Vancouver’s increasingly economically and socially polarized inner-city, there are contradictions inherent in the city’s current approach to both urban development and policing. These contradictions include the reality that urban gentrification and government policies aimed at attracting investors, tourists and upper-income consumers to Vancouver inevitably contribute to the social problems that make the inner-city undesirable, that the security industry has a vested interest in generating demand for their product, and that low-wage guards have little stake in the order they have been contracted to uphold. 11 Table of Contents Abstract.ii Table of Contents iii List ofFigures vii Chapter One: Private Guards in Vancouver’s Changing Inner-City 1 The political and economic context of security work in Vancouver 4 Research puzzles 6 Study overview 8 Chapter Two: Theoretical and Methodological Approach 15 Private property 17 Political economy and private security work 20 Globalization and labour in Canada 28 The relations of ruling 34 Methodological orientation 36 Data generation 37 Interviews 38 Policy and legislative documents 41 Promotional and representational materials 42 Conclusion 44 Chapter Three: Risk Markets 45 The security economy 48 Neo-liberal governance and risk markets 51 The pluralist approach 52 The governmentality/risk society approach 57 A neo-Marxist conceptualization ofprivate policing 63 Why risk markets? 64 Risk markets in context 72 Conclusion 77 Chapter Four: Risk Markets and the History of Capitalism 79 Risk markets through history 80 Policing the emerging property order: The Black Act 81 The shift from communal to for-profit policing 86 The state enters 90 Risk and the company town 91 Risk markets and labour 94 The enclosures and policing labour 95 Servants and slaves 96 Conclusion 98 Chapter Five: Emerging and Evolving Risk Markets 99 International risk markets 100 The private security industry in Canada 102 The changing face of Canadian private security 103 111 The range of risk markets in Vanuver . 107 Strikebreaking 108 Contracting out of public security services 109 Special events, bars and night clubs 110 Mobile patrols 111 Concierge and residential services 111 Executive protection 112 Canine 113 Community policing as neo-liberal policing 113 Layering of private security provision 116 Conclusion 118 Chapter Six: City Building and Risk Markets: A Review of the Literature 120 Global cities and the new world economy 123 Dispersed governance and post-industrial city-building 128 Politicians as city-builders 130 Developers and the privatization of cities 131 Neighbourhood associations 132 Business improvement associations 134 Quality-of-life districts and private security in the post-industrial city 138 Security and the tourist city 144 Private security outside ‘quality-of-life districts’ 146 Low-wage security work and the post-industrial city 147 City-building in Vancouver 148 Who is building Vancouver7 151 Vancouver’s real estate heritage 152 Contemporary city-building in Vancouver 154 Conclusion 155 Chapter Seven: Private Security Guards as Low Wage Workers 157 Vulnerable workers and the post-industrial economy, coming to security work 158 Labour market restructuring in British Columbia and private security work 164 The legislative regime 167 Regulation 169 Administration and enforcement 170 Labour market dc-regulation and the emergence of risk markets 171 The reality of private security work 173 Overtime 175 Safety 176 Scheduling and commuting 179 Family life and security work 181 Private security guards and class location 183 Racialization, immigration and private security work 184 Conclusion 191 iv Chapter Eight: Formal and Informal Regulation of the Private Security 194 The Oppal Commission 196 Training 198 Licensing 202 Resisting the race to the bottom 205 Nepotism 208 Informal rewards 209 Bonuses and awards 210 Promotion 211 Prestige and authority 212 Gender power 214 Disciplining guards 216 Conclusion 220 Chapter Nine: Powers and Tactics in the Private Security Industry 222 Using the law 223 The power of arrest 224 Power of search and seizure 228 Use of force 229 The Safe Streets Act 231 The Charter of Rights and Freedoms 236 Piggybacking on the police 239 Uniforms and symbolic authority 241 Profiling 242 Soft and heavy-handed approaches to security work 245 Conclusion 249 Chapter Ten: Neo-liberal City Building and Private Security Work in Vancouver 251 Contradictions in building a world class city 253 Urban mega-projects and private security: Concord Pacific Place 259 The origins of the Concord Pacific Place development 259 Developing and marketing an urban mega-project 261 Private security at Concord Pacific Place 263 Yaletown: creating and securing a quality-of-life district 266 The origins of Yaletown 266 Developing an urban ‘quality-of-life district’ 267 Privatized governance and private security in Yaletown 268 Gastown: creating a tourist bubble 270 Gastown’s history 270 Revitalizing Gastown: a work in progress 271 Tailor made security for a tourist district 272 The Downtown Eastside: containment and gentrification 273 Defining the Downtown Eastside 274 Pondering revitalization 275 Policing Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood 278 v Bringing it all together: the Carrall Street Greenway project 282 Conclusion: private security and the changing face of Vancouver 283 Chapter Eleven: Risk Markets, Urban Redevelopment and Low-Wage Work: Concerns and Contradictions 286 Risk markets, urban development and the relations of ruling 288 The appeal of private security 296 The broken promises of the private security industry 300 Targets of private policing 300 Modest income people 301 Clients 304 Private security work and the contradictions of neo-liberal city building 306 Wealth and poverty 306 Fragmented and individualized policing services 308 The role of the guard 310 Conclusion 313 Appendix A Interview Schedule Guards 325 Appendix B Interview Schedule Security Companies 326 Appendix C Certificate of Ethical Approval 327 vi List of Figures Figure 1. Chinatown Alley .1 Figure 2. Social Housing in Vancouver 99 Figure 3. A Vancouver Neighbourhood in Transition 120 Figure 4. The Flexibilization of Labour in Post-Industrial Vancouver 157 Figure 5. Changing Housing Stock in Chinatown 250 Figure 6. Remembering False Creek’s Working-Class History 259 Figure 7. Graffiti in a Vancouver Alleyway 286 vii Figure 1. Chinatown Alleyway In March of 2002, I moved into a new housing co-op on a mostly commercial street in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Having re-located from a quiet residential corner of east Vancouver, one of the first things that stuck me was the presence of uniformed private security guards patrolling the streets. My eighth floor apartment overlooks an alley. Several-well used dumpsters along with two small nooks providing protection from the rain made the alley a busy place, leading me to take up the habit of alley watching, particularly in the late evening. Several times every night, private security guards made their rounds, either on foot or in a marked patrol car. Each night they moved more-or- less cooperative homeless persons and drug users along from this dark, otherwise empty alley, sometimes being verbally and even physically abusive. One guard would often Chapter One: Private Guards in Vancouver’s Changing Inner-City 1 ‘bonow’ cigarettes from some of the economically marginal people in the city, while another would painstakingly destroy pieces of cardboard that potentially could be used as seats or wind shelters. A bit of background research revealed that the activities in my back alley are not an isolated phenomenon. Overall, it is difficult to measure levels of private security expenditure because security functions are increasingly embedded in the design of products (OECD, 2004), from cars to homes, and, I will argue, in revitalized neighbourhoods and cities. Despite difficulties in measurement, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) (2004: 9) estimates the private security industry’s turnover at between 100 billion and 120 billion US dollars annually. British Columbia has seen a 141% increase in the number of people employed as security guards between 1991 and 2001 (Vancouver Sun, 2003), almost five times the average growth rate of employment in all industries -- and the numbers continue to rise. When security guards are hired, they assume a position of power and authority. The extent to which that power can be exploited when dealing with socially and economically marginalized populations was evident in the alleyway behind my building. Yet, there is also evidence to suggest that urban private security work cannot be understood in terms of a simple binary between the oppressed and oppressor. Security guards, who tend to be non-unionized, are five times more likely to be injured on the job than public police officers (Rigakos, 2002). Private security guards earn on average only $11.01 per hour nation wide; most of the guards who took part in this study earned less. Over the course of this research, I encountered countless stories of violence and abuse on the part of security guards against, for the most part, very powerless individuals. 2 However, there seems to be something more than a straightforward abuse of power by overly zealous guards. Many of these accounts came from security guards themselves, as they explained that the reality of their jobs necessitates using tactics that are outside of the law: We’re not allowed to use any means of restraint, no handcuffs, like we use zap straps’ when we can, but we’re not allowed... Now, if there’s a fight with five people and there’s two guards, you’re getting your ass kicked, what do you do, stand there and take a beating for the crappy wage you’re getting? (Jimmy2) Guards also spoke extensively about the high demands placed on them by clients, a lack of respect from higher-income people, poor training and the reality of working in an industry where employers are continually looking for ways to cut labour costs in order to remain competitive. Understanding the nature of private security work in Vancouver requires an examination of issues extending well beyond incidents of abuse of the poor, the addicted, and the mentally ill at the hands of ‘rogue’ security guards. While it was witnessing these types of incidents that originally turned my interest toward this topic, they are not, in and of themselves, the focus of this research. Rather, this research focuses on the social and economic conditions that give rise to these sorts of extra-legal privatized policing activities. I take the position that the size and nature of Vancouver’s private security industry has been affected by several interrelated phenomena, including: new inner-city revitalization projects, competition among cities (as well as individual neighbourhoods) for investment and tourist dollars, the city’s emergence as a post-industrial metropolis and ‘gateway’ to the Pacific Rim, economic polarization, the rise of a ‘new middle class’ 1 Plastic restraints 2 All guards and security companies are referred to using a pseudonym 3 with a preference for urban living, labour market deregulation and the increasing privatization of formerly public services. Throughout this project I argue that, on the one hand, markets for a range of security products are attributable to particular approaches to city-building. On the other hand, the availability of these types of security services are essential to the success of many city-building projects. In spite of the symbiotic relationship between Vancouver’s city-building projects and the private security industry, there are a number of contradictions inherent in the current approaches to both urban development and policing in Vancouver that remain unresolved. In this research, I delve into the contradiction inherent in doing urban private security work in the context of both increased homelessness and visible poverty on the streets, and a labour standards regime that results in poverty level wages and poor working conditions for frontline guards. I explore the ways in which private policing interacts with other elements of the push toward privatization of formerly public service. Finally, I look at the relationship between the growth of localized private security patrols and the creation of a commodified city to be sold on the increasingly competitive world market. The political and economic context of security work in Vancouver In the spring of 2001, the BC liberal party was elected with a sweeping majority to form a Provincial government on a platform underwritten by neo-liberal economic ideals. Neo-liberalism “posits the process of restructuring as an inescapable necessity which demands that previous definitions of the common good, such as social welfare, be replaced with market liberal definitions such as ‘efficiency’ and ‘competition’ “(Brodie, 4 1994: 56). In this context, the role of government in providing services directly to citizens is called into question. The Liberal government began its economic restructuring program with a 25% across-the-board tax cut. This cut resulted in diminished levels and availability of income assistance, increased pressure on single parents to fmd paid work, an erosion of labour standards, and greater reliance on the private sector to provide formerly public services, including services related to security and corrections. Through this research I explore the growth of private security firms as a result of privatization and the idea of “responsible citizenship” espoused in neo-liberal discourse. I also explore the role that private security companies, and more specifically the guards they employ, play in the transformation of the city of Vancouver in a manner that fits with city-building dictates that reflect neo liberal principles. Private security companies and the work security guards do are related to the current neo-liberal economic and social policy context in two ways. These firms embody the practice of privatization of once public services. Inherent in privatization is the pursuit of profit through a reduction in labour costs. At the same time, these companies supply the bodies needed to do the ground work necessary to mitigate the negative effects of neo-liberal practices. This work includes policing private property, detecting poverty-related crime such as shoplifting and petty drug dealing, and eliminating visible signs of homelessness from city streets in an era of diminishing social support. 5 Research puzzles The key puzzles that I aim to address through this research centre on a set of apparent contradictions inherent in neo-liberal city building practices as they have manifested themselves in Vancouver, particularly in relation to the consumption of private security. The first contradiction involves the relationship between neo-liberal practices and security threats (both objective and subjective). The number of homeless people on Vancouver city streets doubled between 2002 and 2004 (Greater Vancouver Regional District, 2005), leading to new perceived risks. Increased homelessness has also created an unfavorable climate for attracting investment, tourists and higher-income homebuyers. This sharp increase in homelessness corresponds with the closure of a number of low rent residential hotels, the loss of low income rental housing stock to conversion, and a two year time limit on income assistance benefits put in place by the British Columbia Liberal government as part of an overall restructuring program. While the comprehensive restructuring of BC’s economy has allowed the government to market British Columbia as a good place for business with low taxes and a ‘flexible’ labour force, the negative fallout from the resultant policies has the potential to drive away tourists, investors and homebuyers. The second apparent contradiction revolves around the desire of city politicians, developers and business people to reduce crime and ‘disorder’ as part of their plan to revitalize Vancouver and market it as a world-class city, and the fragmentary approach to policing that has been adopted. As funding for state-sponsored community policing centres has been cut by both the provincial and the municipal government, responsibility for security provision is being handed off to individuals, resident’s associations and business improvement associations. But in order to secure tourist markets, investors, and 6 major events like the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver as a whole must be sold as a safe place to work and visit. Privatized policing solutions tend to have a crime and ‘disorder’ relocation effect, rather than a crime reduction effect. Security guards push petty criminals, the homeless, the addicted, the mentally ill and even skateboarders off the property they have been contracted to patrol, but are in no way responsible for what happens once the individuals leave their site. The result of this crime relocation strategy is that the consumption of private security services in one location generates demand for equivalent or even more aggressive security services in adjacent areas. In some cases, the race to enhance security services while ensuring that they remain affordable has led to practices that may in fact detract from security. These practices include hiring low-cost companies that do not train or license their guards in accordance with provincial regulations, and encouraging illegal practices among guards in order to deter ‘disorderly’ or criminal activity. While security companies benefit from this ever-growing market for their services, residents and visitors to the city are left with widely divergent levels of security in different areas and the ghettoization of poverty is intensified. This affect leads businesses and residents adjacent to those areas to outlay more resources on security services in order to prevent ‘spill-over’. At the same time, middle-class people with constraints on the amount of private security they can purchase feel the negative effects of crime relocation, as crime and ‘disorder’ are pushed out of areas of the city that cater to elite residents and tourists. The third contradiction I address stems from the reality that privatized approaches to urban policing rely on a pool of low-wage, vulnerable workers for their success. While private security guards are actively engaged in the policing of the poorest of the 7 poor in Vancouver, they themselves make up part of the bottom tier of the post-industrial service economy. Some of the same government policies that have lead to increased homelessness and extreme poverty, such as cuts to social programs and labour market deregulation, negatively affect security guards as working-class people. Ironically, in the course of their work, some guards are unwittingly lending support to a development trajectory that excludes them from living in the city where they work. Study overview This study begins with an overview of my theoretical orientation. I have adopted a neo-Marxist political economy framework for this project, and take the position that neo liberal economic and governing principles at the international, national and provincial levels have created the conditions under which the private security industry has been able to flourish. Chapter Two also outlines my methodological orientation and describes the data generation process for this research. Methodologically, I look to the work of Karl Marx and his intellectual heirs, most notably Dorothy Smith (1987, 1990, 2005), more specifically her concept of the ‘relations of ruling’. ‘Relations-of-ruling’ refers to the web of practices and relations of power that organize social and economic life in advanced capitalist societies, of which we are all a part. The data generation process for this research included qualitative interviews with fourteen frontline security guards and five representatives from management at four different private security firms. Data generation also included an examination of policy and legislative documents related to criminal and property law, the private security industry, the labour market, and city development. Finally, I highlight promotional materials created to sell condominiums, neighbourhoods, private security services, and the city of Vancouver as a whole. 8 Chapter Three introduces the concept of ‘risk markets’, the central organizing concept for my analysis of the private security industry. I begin by laying out the extent to which a security economy has developed in the OECD countries. I move on to look at some of the debates within the scholarly literature, centering on how to best theorize neo liberal security arrangements. I position my work within the neo-Marxist literature on private security, adopting George Rigakos’ (2002) concept of ‘risk markets’. The idea of “risk markets” emerges out of Rigakos’ observation that private security must be recognized first and foremost as a commodity in order to be fully understood. While I adopt “risk markets” as a lens through which to examine Vancouver’s private security industry, I also draw on the insights of other neo-Marxist theorists with a macro-level focus, arguing that it is important to understand the broader economic and political context out of which markets in “risk” emerge. It is also important to be cognizant of the reality that the risk markets I am investigating have emerged in a postcolonial and postindustrial urban centre. This socio-geographic context both intensifies the demand for security services and results in policing relations that are reminiscent of the colonial policing practices that facilitated the dispossession of Aboriginal people living in what is now Vancouver and the emergence of a settler city. Chapter Four begins with an overview of the history of private security work, arguing that we are witnessing a re-emergence, rather than an emergence, of privatized forms of policing and security provision. The literature suggests that the form policing takes, whether public or private, is reflective of the dominant mode of production of the time. Thus, while risk markets have changed and evolved, they have been a fairly enduring feature of capitalist development. In Chapter Four I also look at the demand for 9 labour to provide privatized policing services, arguing that it is important to consider not only the types of risk markets that have developed, but also who does (and has historically done) the work of meeting changing security needs. Chapter Five explores the contemporary evolution of risk markets at the international, national and local levels. This chapter begins with a look at the growing international market for high-end mercenary firms to intervene in international conflicts. I take the position that, while the work that these firms do is quite different from anything happening in Vancouver, this “risk market” has emerged out of the same political and economic context as the market for residential patrols in Canadian urban centres. I move on to examine the evolution of private policing in Canada, arguing that there are markets for a broad range of services in this country, and that the demand for more proactive and interventionist services is clearly growing. Chapter Five ends with a look at local risk markets in Vancouver, including ‘labour relations’ work, formerly public security services, residential security, mobile patrols, personal protection, canine patrols and ‘community policing’. Chapter Six reviews the academic literature on contemporary city-building practices in order to draw out the linkages between urban development, private security and low-wage work. I look at the range of actors identified in the literature as having a role to play in both urban development and the growth of risk markets. I then explore the concept of ‘quality-of-life’ in both city-building and policing discourses, as well as the impacts of designing cities for tourists. Within this context I review the literature on city building in Vancouver specifically, suggesting that trends in Vancouver are reflective of broader processes underway in much of Western Europe and North America, while 10 remaining attentive to the specific ways in which city-building is being undertaken in Vancouver. Chapter Seven examines the experiences of private security guards as low-wage workers, paying particular attention to the impacts of policy choices aimed at ‘flexiblizing’ BC’s labour market on these workers. I begin Chapter Seven by presenting some of the reasons that the guards who took part in this study gave for coming to security work, as well as providing some information about their educational and employment histories. I move on to look at wages and working conditions in the private security industry, with a focus on labour legislation, regulations, and the administration of labour standards in British Columbia. Chapter Seven ends with a discussion of the position of immigrant workers in the labour market generally, and in the security industry specifically. Chapter Eight provides an overview of the regulatory regime, both formal and informal, for the private security industry in BC. There has been increased emphasis placed on regulation and professionalization within the industry by both governments and certain company executives since the mid 1990’s. Training and licensing requirements were put in place to enhance standards in the industry in order to legitimate an expanding role for private security providers in the province. Guards report that these requirements are not always enforced and do little to ensure quality and professionalism in the industry. While a number of security companies are failing to meet the minimum requirements already in place, others would like to seen the standards raised to reduce competition from fly-by-night firms and to improve the image of the industry. In this chapter I also discuss some of the informal regulatory strategies used to motivate security guards, as 11 well as some of the informal rewards of security work. This chapter concludes with an examination of the internal disciplinary practices employed by security companies to ensure compliance from their workforce. Chapter Nine provides an overview of the enforcement tactics available to private security guards in their work. While guards are limited in their legal power, they are able to draw on a number of areas of law to facilitate their work. When patrolling public property, guards are able to exercise the powers granted to all citizens who witness a crime in progress. Security guards working on private property are also able to use the authority invested in them as agents of the proprietor under the Trespass Act to enforce conditions on, or remove persons from, the areas they are contacted to patrol. Security guards often draw authority from their relationship with the public police, or by threatening public police involvement if the person or persons in question do not comply with their requests. Guards also use people’s lack of knowledge or confusion about the extent of private security guards authority to achieve compliance. Chapter Ten examines the role the security industry plays in facilitating a particular approach to city-building in Vancouver. This chapter explores the relationship between development trends in the city of Vancouver, the evolution of risk markets and the work of front line security guards. It begins by identifying two fundamental contradictions facing Vancouver politicians, developers and business owners who have chosen to embrace neo-liberal city-building practices. The first contradiction is the need to attract investment through pro-business government policies, such as weak labour standards and cuts to social spending, while managing the evitable fall-out of the resulting poverty and desperation. The second contradiction involves the decision to 12 fragment governance and rely on privatized policing solutions that inevitably lead to crime relocation rather than crime reduction, and hence an ever-growing demand for more heavy-handed security services. I move on to examine three development projects in Vancouver: the Concord Pacific Place mega-project, the redevelopment of Yaletown as a quality-of-life district, and the creation of a tourist bubble around Gastown. Each of these projects highlights the pivotal role that private security services play in Vancouver’s revitalization. Chapter Ten also looks at the role of private security guards in Vancouver’s poorest neighbourhood, where they contain the population within specific geographic limits while paving the way for would-be gentrifiers. Chapter Eleven concludes with a look at the Carrall Street Greenway project, a city-initiated public- private partnership that is helping to link together Vancouver’s fragmented, privately governed residential mega-projects, quality-of-life districts, and tourist bubbles, while facilitating further gentrification and the emergence of new risk markets. I begin Chapter Eleven by reflecting on some of the limitations of this research. Next, I explore the benefits of having explored the issues under investigation through a historical materialist lens, and the ways in which the concepts ‘relations of ruling’ and ‘risk market’ have guided this project. After exploring the theoretical relevance of this study, I move on to look at the more concrete political lessons that can be drawn from this research. First, I discuss the appeal of the private security industry. I move on to examine the question of whether or not, in spite of the economic success of the industry, private security has in fact lived up to its promises. I take the position that while the consumption of private security services does seem to have a ‘crime’ relocation effect and deters certain activities such as panhandling, sleeping in public, petty theft and open 13 drug use, the quality of the services clients are purchasing are not always what they seem to be. I also argue that low and modest income Vancouverites do not benefit from the privatization of security services, and that in some instances, by virtue of their position as exploited workers, guards may in fact contribute to property crime and disorderly behaviour. Finally, I discuss private security in Vancouver in light of the unresolved contradictions raised in this chapter. 14 Chapter Two: Theoretical and Methodological Approach George Rigakos (2002) argues that it is important to look at security work as a commodity bought and sold on the open market and produced through the use of alienated labour. This theoretical approach has guided much of my thinking about the work of security guards in Vancouver. At the same time, urban risk markets emerge as part of a broader political economy that can only be fully understood by paying attention to fiscal policy at the provincial, national and international levels. Adopting a political economy approach is particularly important when looking at security guards as workers rather than simply as agents of social control. In order to understand how private security work fits into the broader economic and political order, I turn to the work of Dorothy Smith. Smith (1987, 1990, 2005) has worked extensively on developing an approach to social research that allows researchers to bridge the gap between the experiences of individuals performing labour and the broader system in which their work is embedded. Smith is informed by the historical materialist conception of social and political organization originally developed by Marx and Engels. She argues that these theorists provide an alternative to the abstract and reified discourses of mainstream sociology: Marx and Engels (1976), in their critique of those they describe as the German ideologists, propose to ground social science in the activities of actual individuals and the material condition thereof. They write an ontology for social science. History and society exist only in people’s activities and in the forms of cooperation that have evolved among them. They criticize the ideological reasoning of the German ideologists because it replaces the actual with the conceptual. The critique is more than one simply against idealism that treats historical change as generated by ideas. It is a critique of a method of reasoning about society that treats concepts as if they were agents (Smith, 2005: 54). 15 I follow Smith’s lead in looking to the work of Marx and those that came after to orient my analysis. I adopt a neo-Marxist materialist framework, arguing that systems of private property and wage labour are central to the phenomena under investigation in this research. I borrow Smith’s concept of “relations of ruling” as a conceptual tool for better understanding how work is organized to accomplish goals that might not be entirely visible from where that individual is located. Smith sees the experiences of individuals as they go about their daily work as an entry point into the social, economic and political relations of advanced capitalism. Her conceptualization of the relationship between individual activity and political economy, as well as her methodological commitment to grounding research in people’s experience, while simultaneously moving beyond that experience in order to explore the factors that have given rise to it, informs the approach to data generation that I bring to this research. This chapter provides an outline of my general theoretical and methodological orientation, as well as data generation for this research. I begin this chapter by looking at private property, encoded in law, as both foundational to capitalism and as a site of continuous challenge, particularly in cities caught up in international property markets. Rather than approaching property as natural and neutral, I argue that it is important to be attentive to the process through which a particular model of property ownership came to take its hegemonic form and the power of an ideology that privileges private ownership over other property arrangements. I argue that, in order to fully understand private security work in Vancouver, it is important to be attentive to the role that private property plays in shaping not only the parameters of guards’ work, but also their position in the labour market. 16 While the central focus of this research is economic and governing trends within the city of Vancouver, local economies cannot be understood in isolation of the broader global political economy in which they are embedded. I discuss Canadian political economy and the transition from Keynesian to Neo-liberal economic practices at the federal and provincial levels. I then move on to look at neo-liberal restructuring within an international division of labour in order to highlight the impact on low-wage workers. After developing this protracted account of contemporary political economy, I spend some time examining Dorothy’s Smiths concept of ‘relations of ruling’ for its analytical utility for this research. I conclude this chapter with an overview of the data generation process for this study. Private property Private property is central to the phenomena under investigation. The emergence of private property as the dominant model of ownership is at the heart of both the constitution of the modern working-class, and the politics of real estate capitalism, both of which are central to this project. It is only with the emergence of private property as the hegemonic mode of social and economic organization that a contemporary notion of ‘the public/private divide’ emerges. At the same time, bourgeois control of the state apparatus meant that criminal law could be redefined, as legally sanctioned limits on the use of formerly common property erased many possibilities for life outside of the wage labour system. In his look at property relations in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside -- the poorest urban area in the province, if not the country -- Nicholas Blomely (2004: xiii) links the loss of access to common lands by the peasantry in England to contemporary property 17 markets. He argues “{ejnclosures in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries swept away many traditional commoners’ rights in the name of improvement and monetization.” He goes on to explain that the process did not stop there. The enclosures put into place property relationships that left contemporary ownership of those lands -- which in some cases are situated in close proximity to London -- into the hands of modern day squires. Those lands are now the source of huge profits as they are caught up in the real estate bubble emanating out from London. The increased value of these lands has lead to rural gentrification that has only recently pushed remaining rural families out of the area. There is no one defining moment in the story of property: all that has come before affects current manifestations of property relations. Vancouver does not exist outside of the historical processes set in motion through the erasure of the commons in eighteenth century England. Not only has the city been settled by many of the dispossessed that fled England and the rest of Europe as their way of life disappeared, Vancouver has been constructed out of a claim to property based on a colonial vision of ownership that emerged at the time of the enclosures. “English colonists in the New World took as given that enclosing, fencing, house construction and agricultural activity were clear acts that signaled private ownership. . . The absence of these spatial markers was then taken as empirical proof that native people had no claim to the land” (Blomely, 2004: 9). These colonial claims to property cannot be separated from the social relations of contemporary Vancouver: Native grievances relating to aboriginal title have been unresolved since colonial settlement.. .While the issue of aboriginal title was easy to imagine as something outside the city, the visible presence of many native people in the city seemed to complicate things in important ways (Blomley, 2004: xiv). 18 The historical process of property appropriation that gave rise to European settlement in Vancouver continues to affect the ethno-cultural make-up of the city, as well as the distribution of power and privilege. First Nations people are among the most economically disadvantaged residents of Vancouver. The organization of property, particularly when encoded in enforceable law, shapes the social relations of a given society, affecting the conditions under which we live and work. Blomley (2004: xiv) suggests that the meaning of property appears to be ‘settled’ in western cities. He writes: “what has been termed the ‘ownership model’ presumes a clarity and determinacy in the definition of what property is, and tells us which relationships between people and scarce resources are valued and which are not.” He is referring to the hegemony of a property model that privileges either formally held private property or public (state owned) property and ignores other collective claims to property. Property is seen to bring permanency and stability, and as fostering “valued behaviors, including responsible citizenship, political participation and economic entrepreneurship. By extension people who do not own property (insofar as the ownership model is concerned) are treated with a good deal of ambivalence, suspicion, and even hostility” (Blomley, 2004: 4). Property ownership affects the relative ability of individuals to make claims to space in the city, and to make claims of community. For Blomley (2004: 15), property is not simply designated and fixed, it must be continually and actively remade. He refers to the liberal ownership model as more aspiration than fact. Urban property relations and dispossession are continually challenged. Much of the work of private security guards is directed towards thwarting those challenges. The exclusiveness of Vancouver property markets means that security 19 guards, as low-wage workers, generally find themselves on the devalued side of the propertied versus non-propertied divide. Yet they are employed to stand in the place of the owners of defensible private space. The use of the privatized workers to defend property can be understood best within the context of economic policies that have created an increasingly polarized labour market and neo-liberal governance strategies whereby individuals and self-identified representatives of communities with adequate resources take up the work of governance, including the protection of property. Political economy and private security work The relationship between those who own the means of production and those who sell their labour power is at the root of Marxist thought. Despite these underlying social relations that define capitalism, the system has many transient features that have taken distinct forms at various historical junctures, both in terms of the relative power of capital versus labour, and in terms of the types of labour that workers do. The political economy of Vancouver is heavily influenced by the adoption of neo-liberal ideology and practices at the provincial and national levels, within an increasingly integrated global economic system. Laissez-faire capitalism has been the dominant manifestation of capitalism in Canada. However, the country did see a brief experiment with Keynesianism at the end of the Second World War into the 1970s. When I discuss the changes brought about by neo liberal ideology and policies, I am conceptualizing those changes in relation to the Keynesian economic model that dominated Canada during that period. Keynesian economics developed out of the ideas of John Maynard Keynes (1936). Keynes’ chief contribution to the field of economics was to rebut the underlying principle of classic 20 economic theory: regardless of economic downturns, capitalism has built-in equilibrating forces that allow markets to be self-regulating in the long run. Hence, government interference in the economy is at best unnecessary and at worst detrimental to the natural functioning of the market. Having felt the impact of widespread unemployment during the Great Depression, policymakers across North America and Europe were determined to avoid a repeat at the end of the Second World War. Most western governments turned to Keynesian principles because the theory promised governments the ability “to steer the capitalist state clear of both the political shoals of conservative laissez fair and the massive state ownership that socialism would bring” (McBride and Shields, 1997: 36). Keynesianism was popular because it offered a series of technical solutions to deal with the types of crises faced by the capitalist order between the wars. Keynes promoted the development and funding of a network of social programs. He argued that “this spending could be legitimated, not as charity, but as an automatic stabilizer built into the economy to sustain aggregate demand in periods of cyclical downturn” (Wolfe 1985: 128). This concept is generally known as ‘counter-cyclical support’. During times of economic prosperity, state programs would be underused. However, in the case of an economic downturn, these programs would allow individuals to maintain their spending power. This would hasten an economic recovery, while avoiding the social misery of the Great Depression. Keynesian economics expanded the list of responsibilities incumbent upon western governments to include full (or close to full) employment, high levels of economic growth combined with low inflation, and a more egalitarian distribution of incomes (McBride and Shields, 1997). These responsibilities were at least partially 21 fulfilled in Canada, with the growth of public education and social and health programs within the context of a Fordist mode of production where higher wages for working-class people, secured through union contacts, allowed them to contribute to economic growth through high levels of consumption. The Keynesian consensus of the post-war period was short lived. By the 1 970s, western capitalist states, including Canada, were facing a series of new ‘crises.’ The most commonly recognized of these crises was the Arab Oil embargo of 1973, which resulted in a sharp rise in oil prices by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. McBride and Shields (1997) note that this embargo was only the first in a series of hits taken by western capitalist economies during the 1 970s. A second of the oft-cited reasons for the decline of confidence in the Keynesian model was declining rates of profit. “Another was capital flight, as multinational corporations rapidly shifted their manufacturing investments to the newly-industrializing centres of the third world where pools of cheap labour could be readily found” (McBride and Shields, 1997: 47). This shift resulted in a period of de-industrialization in Canada, during which steelworks and other heavy industries shrunk, rapidly diminishing the pooi of high paying blue-collar jobs. In this context, a nearly hegemonic Keynesian consensus was gradually replaced with a neo-liberal consensus. This latter consensus is based on the premise that changing international realities mean that new market-based initiatives and deregulation polices must be adopted by all governments wishing to survive in the new global economy (Brodie, 1994). The neo-liberal consensus promotes a set of practices which include: the maximization of exports, reductions in social spending, the curtailment of economic 22 regulation, and the restructuring of national economies as part of transnational or regional trading blocks (Brodie, 1994). This consensus is a total reversal of the tenets of Keynesianism, which professes the need to ensure high levels of state spending in social services in order to ensure the ongoing functioning of the national economy. In Canada, the process of welfare state retrenchment that accompanied the abandonment of Keynesianism has happened in two steps, due to the way in which powers and responsibilities are distributed between the provincial and federal government. British Columbia was, however, the site of the first attempt at a comprehensive provincial economic restructuring program in Canada, even prior to significant changes at the Federal level. In 1983, BC’s Social Credit government introduced twenty-six pieces of legislation which, taken together, “commenced a massive assault on the rights and entitlements of working people and the disadvantaged in BC” (Kube, 1984: 6). Then- premier Bill Bennett was confident that his government was “setting new standards soon to be copied throughout Canada” (Brownstone, 1984: 26). Bennett’s government expected that their policy choices would be criticized by trade unions and community groups, but did not expect a coordinated movement to emerge in response to the legislative changes. Such a movement did arise in the form of ‘operation solidarity’. Combining an escalating series of labour walk-outs with broad-based demonstrations, operation solidarity was able to force the government to amend or rescind a number of pieces of legislation, although a number of cuts (particularly those related to social services) went ahead as planned. The federal government has since created conditions that have supported the current wave of retrenchment in British Columbia, which has intensified since the 23 election of the provincial Liberal Government in 2001. With the introduction of the Canadian Assistance Plan (CAP) in 1966, the federal government set the stage for a workforce that had more choice and power within the labour market, by enhancing supports to working people in times of unemployment. CAP provided a dollar-for-dollar matching of funds by the federal government for money spent by provincial governments on approved welfare and social service programs (MacDonald, 1999:73). The magnitude of the transfers under CAP allowed the federal government to set national standards pertaining to welfare entitlement and social services. The principles established by the federal government included: the right to income support regardless of the cause of need; that individuals not be forced to work in exchange for support; a prohibition against minimum residency requirements; and the right to appeal a decision (MacDonald, 1999:73). The CAP allowed the federal government to provide counter-cyclical support in times of slow economic growth and high unemployment. Since CAP involved dollar-for- dollar matching of provincial expenditure, money spent to increase assistance to the unemployed translated into increased federal money coming into the provinces (Pulkingham and Ternowetsky, 1996). CAP funding provided more than income assistance. It also allowed provinces to develop childcare, home making and child welfare services. CAP money was used exclusively for social service and welfare programs, as health care and post-secondary education were funded through a system of block grants termed Established Program Financing (EPF) (Pulkingham and Ternowetsky, 1996). With EPF in place there was no competition between social assistance and the ministries of health and advanced education for scarce resources. 24 The CAP and EPF were short lived. By the 1 980s, the Canadian federal government stated: “as a consequence of new economic, fiscal, and global realities, social policy has to facilitate and assist the occupational, industrial, and often geographic relocation that new economies require of the current generation of Canadians” (Prince and Rice, 2000: 91). In 1995, the federal Liberal government cemented the shift away from federally-mandated collectivization of social responsibility under the pretense of protecting the future viability of the social safety net (MacDonald, 1999). In that year, the federal Liberals introduced the Canadian Health and Social Transfer (CHST), replacing both EPF and the CAP. Together with a dramatic reduction in overall transfers, the CHST afforded the provincial governments much more discretion to restructure their economies. In this national context, the Provincial government in British Columbia was able to implement its far-reaching restructuring program. This program set the stage for both the low-wage post-industrial economy that has led to the growth in private security firms and some of the extreme social inequality that has left so many property owners and business groups feeling that they need private security services. In April 2002, the provincial government revamped income assistance in British Columbia. While the Province’s income assistance rates and policies were afready a target of criticism from anti-poverty activists and scholars, support rates were reduced or, according to the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance, “simplified to create a standard rate for people under 65” (Government of British Columbia, MEIA 2002). Rates were reduced, and employable clients are now limited to 24 cumulative months of assistance in any five-year period. The $1 00-$200 earnings exemption for those who earned additional 25 income while on assistance was discontinued. Changes to income assistance have had profound impacts on levels of poverty in the city of Vancouver. While cuts to social programs have most seriously and immediately affected those outside of the labour market, they also affect those at the bottom end of the labour market. A lack of redistributive policies, labour market de-regulation and meager social programs have a strong impact on the relative bargaining power of working people. The residual nature of social programs in Canada and other nations caught up in the neo-liberal drift creates a situation whereby employers can pay poverty-level wages and forgo paying benefits. Employees are forced to accept those wages due to the lack of social programs to fall back on. This process provides a subsidy to capital at both ends, through low wages and low taxes. An analysis of the welfare state brings up important points in relation to the overall neo-liberal shift in Canadian politics because it illuminates the role the state plays in shaping private labour market conditions. As well as being responsible for income assistance policies that undermine working people’s relative bargaining power, the BC government has also drastically altered employment standards legislation in this province. Between 2002 and 2004 the BC government introduced three bills that resulted in approximately 42 changes to the provincial Employment Standards Act. A further 40 changes have been made to the Employment Standards Regulation since the Liberals came to power in 2001. At the same time, there have been maj or cuts to budget and staffing levels at the Employment Standards Branch (Fairey, 2005: 4) which oversees compliance with labour standards by employers. Some positive changes were made to the 26 labour standards system, including higher fines for employers who violated the Act. However, Fairey (2005: 5) concludes that: They are far outweighed in both number and significance by those that undermine the ability of the employment standards system to provide meaningful protection to all workers. Taken together, the changes have created an employment standards system that is less reliable, less transparent and less effective in providing a foundation of basic protection for workers. One stated goal of the provincial government in introducing these changes to the employment standards system was to enhance workforce ‘flexibility’ in BC (Fairey, 2005). The discourse of labour market flexibility has been adopted in many jurisdictions as part of neo-liberal restructuring programs and is premised on the notion that labour markets have become to too rigid in industrialized countries where labour standards were introduced at the height of the Keynesian!Fordist era. These ‘rigid’ labour standards are faulted for deterring investment, slowing economic growth and ultimately creating unemployment. In practice, the flexiblization of the labour market combines a movement away from standardized employment for workers, industry deregulation, and more stringent eligibility requirements for seasonal workers attempting to claim employment insurance benefits or wanting to access social programs. In British Columbia, the changes to the employment standards system have ‘flexiblized’ the labour force in a number of ways. First, the way that overtime is calculated was revamped, making it more difficult for workers to collect overtime pay.3 Second, minimum shifts were cut, giving employers the ‘flexibility’ to call in workers for two hour shifts. There was elimination of the right to sectoral bargaining rights and children as young as 12 are now allowed to work provided they have a parent’s permission. Finally, the Ministry of Skills Development The changes to overtime calculation will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 6 27 and Labour Services introduced a new First Job Wage, which allows employers to hire workers who cannot document that they have had 500 hours of previous employment at a rate of $6.00 an hour. This rate is two dollars an hour less than the standard minimum wage in BC (Fairey, 2005). Taken together, the flexibilization of labour market regulations in BC have been very costly for vulnerable workers, including young people, single mothers and recent immigrants. Globalization and labour in Canada While the programs and policy shifts that affect individual workers often emanate from their respective provincial or national governments, it is important to keep in mind that these policy decisions are made within the context of an increasingly global economic system. For the purpose of this research, I discuss the globalization of the economy since the breakdown of the post-war compromise. A globalized (or at least globalizing) economy is nothing new. In his communist manifesto, issued in 1848, Marx overviewed the globalizing tendencies of capitalism: The world-market [has] given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. . . it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilized nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climates. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations (Marx, 1988: 58, cited in Panitch, 2003: 13). 28 Neo-liberal globalization can be described as an acceleration of the process that has long been underway in the industrialized world and its peripheries. Leo Panitch (2003) argues that there are several aspects that make the current wave of globalization in the context of neo-liberalism unique. First, the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the embrace of market principles by China and Vietnam have led to the rapid spatial expansion of capitalism. Second, there has been a sweep of capitalist ideals, values and culture that has accompanied the contemporary wave of globalization in a way that was not found at other points. Third, he points out that there is an increased self-identification on the part of the global capitalist class that stands above national identities (although he notes that this process is far from complete). Fourth, Panitch notes that advances in technology have revolutionized the flow of ideas and capital, creating a stronger worldwide system of finance and production. And finally, he argues that state governments have become increasingly geared towards fostering the growth of global capital accumulation. Taken together, these elements create a unique political and economic context, although one that has emerged out of processes underway since the early mercantile period. As was previously noted, part of the impetus behind the shift away from the Keynesian model was the increasing threat of ‘capital flight.’ Rather than attempting to protect against this, successive Canadian governments have embraced the globalization of production through multilateral trade agreements, including the Free Trade Agreement and the North America Free Trade Agreement, resulting in what Broad (1995: 27) refers to as continental corporate restructuring. These agreements enhance the mobility of capital, in essence facilitating capital flight though the elimination of tariffs. In this context, a flexible labour market and low levels of taxation are presented to the electorate 29 as the only way of remaining competitive. Through these strategies, “capital has emancipated itself from labour” (Broad, 1995: 21). The most commonly cited example of this process is the phenomenon of runaway shops, generally associated with the rust belt of the United States. These factories have moved to Latin America where labour costs, taxes and environmental regulations are lower. This relocation is facilitated by trade agreements, because companies do not pay tariffs on products when they cross back over the boarder to reach the US market. This process is also occurring in Canada, particularly though the closing of American branch plants and threats of relocation if workers will not make concessions in terms of wages and benefits (Broad, 1995). Despite its surface appearance, the international division of labour is not simply a dichotomy between those living and working the in ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ worlds. An examination of workers in the security industry in Vancouver makes this clear. Immigration and settlement are generally not seen as pertinent to discussions of economic restructuring, but the relationship between immigration and state restructuring, particularly in the areas of welfare state and labour market policy, cannot be ignored for a number of reasons: First, since immigration is expected to respond to labour market needs, both today and in the past, it should be considered an explicit part of Canadian economic policy. Second, immigration is also directly relevant to Canadian social policy. Immigrants are expected to solve some of the demographic challenges of a country with a relatively low birth rate and a rapidly changing population. Immigration is therefore directly relevant to the capacity of the Canadian welfare state to continue to offer social security. Yet, immigrants are often scapegoated as one of the groups who are a drain on the system. Finally, a focus on immigration promises to bring important insights to an understanding of the nature and scope of changes in social policy, as such changes also affect immigrants themselves through services and universal rights that they may share -- or be denied -- with Canadian citizens (Arat-Koc, 1999: 32). 30 It is important to understand the ways in which real and perceived differences between western and non-western workers facilitate the creation of a flexiblized labour market as well as the privatization of formerly public services. Immigration and globalization are multifaceted processes with differing effects for individuals. Panitch (2003: 13) notes that, “[o]n the one hand, American governments [are] leading the drive to break down barriers on trade and investment; on the other hand the same governments [are] raising higher and higher barriers on the movement of people across their borders.” Similar processes are underway in Canada, where there has been a series of neo-liberal shifts in immigration policies. Since the 1980s, Canada has seen both the creation of the business class immigration category and the introduction of bills restricting the ability of individuals to make refugee claims. Immigrants now have less access to the Canadian welfare state (Arat-Koc, 1999), meaning that they are increasingly commodified within the labour market, as rights and entitlements dwindle for the Canadian-born working class. Welfare state retrenchment has opened up labour markets as low-wage workers replace union jobs. This shift has a profound impact on the types of work that immigrants do in Canada, as well as the conditions under which they work. While Canada has opened itself up for foreign direct investment, resulting in an emerging class of economically powerful business immigrants, it has also created a context where large numbers of immigrant workers with little power in the labour market provide investors with a cheap source of labour. This foreign direct investment has been critical to the real estate boom in Vancouver. At the same time, a pool of low wage immigrant workers has been central to getting development projects off the ground. 31 The post-industrial workforce, of which private security guards are a part, has emerged in the context of privatization, deregulation, the flexibilization of labour, and welfare state retrenchment within an increasingly globalized labour market. The post Fordist, or postindustrial, workplace is characterized by the polarization of the workforce within a service-based economy. “Instead of a mass labour force of mainly semi- or un skilled workers, a smaller multi-skilled core workforce is required. The peripheral workforce of unskilled workers is low-paid, temporary, often part-time and increasingly consists of women and ethnic minorities” (Reiner, 1992: 777). Unlike their Canadian- born counterparts many recent immigrants become part of this peripheral workforce not because they are unskilled but because the skills they bring with them are not recognized by the Canadian government or professional associations. Immigrants who have been in Canada less than five years have the most difficulty integrating into the Canadian labour market of any group of workers in spite of the fact that they are more likely that the Canadian-born population to have a university education (Zaman, Diocson and Scott, 2007). Many security guards are drawn from this pool ofhighly educated recent immigrants. Once employed in these peripheral jobs, immigrant workers are disproportionately negatively affected by government policy changes intended to ‘flexibilize’ BC’s labour market. They are also particularly vulnerable to exploitation by employers who do not adhere to even the nominal employment standards that remain in place. For example, a study looking at the experiences of 100 Filipino workers in BC between 2005 and 2006 found that sixteen percent of these workers had been paid the six dollar an hour ‘first job’ rate and that half of them did not receive a wage increase after 32 they had worked for 500 hours, the maximum amount of time an employer can legally pay this lower wage rate. The study also found that “When their rights were violated, if any action at all was taken, this took the form of participants quitting their jobs rather than demanding their rights or making a formal complaint” (Zaman, Diocson and Scott, 2007:4). The authors of the study argue that while workers tended to find new jobs quickly, the conditions were generally similar to those at their previous place of employment. This leads them to conclude that low unemployment has not enhanced these workers’ rights or improved their working environments (Zaman, Diocson and Scott, 2007). The move to a post-Fordist economy means that traditional blue-collar jobs disappear, while insecurity and the lack of a safety net for the very poor can augment crime and perceived ‘disorder’, resulting in the criminalization of poverty and unemployment. These economic changes, then, affect both the employment structure and the social relations of the city. The very poor are forced into homelessness or crime, while a growing number of the working poor are deployed at the front lines between wealth and poverty in order to ensure the quality-of-life of more wealthy residents and tourists. However, these relationships between economic policy, a new employment structure and the changing face of the city are not always visible to us as we go about our lives. Dorothy Smith posits the concept of ‘relations of ruling’ as a tool for better understanding the way in which our experiences are both shaped by and work to shape the social world in which we live. 33 The relations of ruling While a traditional Marxist political economy orientation is premised on a clear distinction between workers and owners, understanding the work of security guards requires a more nuanced approach. Smith’s concept of “relations of ruling” offers that potential.4 Smith (1987: 3) defines the relations of ruling as “the specific inter-relation between the dynamic advance of the distinctive forms of organizing and ruling in contemporary capitalist society and the patriarchal form of our contemporary experience” (Smith, 1987: 3). Smith conceptualizes the relations of ruling as the web of practices that bring individuals into line with the general form of organization required by the capitalist system. Rather than posit simple dichotomous relationships between groups -- for example, capitalist/worker -- “the concept of ‘relations of ruling’ posits multiple intersections of structures of power and emphasizes the process of ruling, not a frozen embodiment of it” (Mohanty, 2003: 56). Employing this concept, contradictions inherent in the positionality of security guards as both working-class people and enforcers of capitalist order can be explored, opening up space for an investigation into the fluid nature of power as it is mobilized in the process of neo-liberal city-building in Vancouver. Smith uses the concept of ‘relations of ruling’ as a way of understanding “how power is exercised in local settings to accomplish extra-local interests” (Campbell and Gregor, 2004: 36). These relations are not abstract: they originate somewhere in human Smith deploys the relations of ruling as a conceptual tool to engage in Institutional ethnography, a methodological! theoretical approach she developed. Institutional ethnography orients the researcher to puzzles that emerge in everyday life as people actually experience them. Smith refers to these puzzles as ‘problematics’ and seeks to explore the activities and forms of organization that have given rise to those experiences. While I am informed by Institutional Ethnography, I cannot claim it as a method here as institutional ethnographies tend to focus heavily on the discursive organization of social life through texts and discourse, which is not the central focus of this project. 34 intention. But because that intention is obscured by their impersonal and institutional nature, the relations of ruling are hidden from our immediate view. For example, security guards are contracted by Business Improvement Associations to deter panhandling in front of member businesses. These organizations are locally based, premised on the idea of localized control and neighborhood involvement in governance and economic development. However, these organizations require enabling legislation, and are also part of a trend across western countries toward this form of governance. They rely on a discourse of privatization, devolution, and community, which masks their un-democratic character and helps brings diverse areas of the city into line with overall goals of urban renewal, attracting investment, and reducing public spending. These organizations play a critical role in organizing policing in a way that reflects the goals of neo-liberal city- builders. By bringing rules, regulations, procedures and discourses from outside of people’s everyday worlds to bear on the type of work that they do, people can be incorporated into the relations of ruling without necessarily being entirely committed to, or even aware of, their role in producing and reproducing broader system goals. I am interested in exploring how individuals from working-class backgrounds, employed for low wages with few (if any) benefits, come to be actively engage in directly controlling the poorest of the poor and indirectly contributing to city-building practices detrimental to their own well-being. As a researcher, being attentive to the relations of ruling underpinning urban redevelopment in Vancouver and the position of security guards within that web of relations can assist me to that end. 35 Methodological orientation Marx taught us that it is important not to look at capitalist societies as they represent themselves ideologically from the top down, because the concrete experience of individuals within that society are often very different. He uses the example of the highly transparent nature of master-servant relationship of feudal times to illustrate the ways in which similar relationships between those who sell their labour power and the owner of the means of production are hidden in capitalist society. Marx (1970: 207) posits the notion that, despite the tendency of political economists to examine a given country by analyzing large-scale concepts such as population, those types of categories will only remain vague abstractions if the inquirer assumes them as a starting point. However, if an investigation moves in the opposite direction, and starts in the experience of individuals performing labour within that population, the inquirer will be able to develop an understanding “which is not a vague concept of a whole, but a totality comprising many determinants and relations” (Marx, 1970: 205). Smith (2005: 57) notes that Marxist methodology has been a major influence on her work. She looks to Capital in particular, where Marx painstakingly unearths the tangible relations underlying such abstractions as ‘capital’, in order to get at the concrete ways in which surplus value is extracted from workers through the wage-labour system. She explains that: “for Marx, the concepts of political economy are not to be taken as the givens of a social science. They are expressing the social relations that have emerged historically, and it is these social relations that should be the object of investigation”. Concepts should not be privileged in such as way that they appear to exist independently of the concrete phenomenon that the social researcher observes in the social world. 36 Borrowing from Dorothy Smith’s methodological approach, I will explore the contemporary relations of ruling that shape Vancouver’s city-building trajectory, starting with what frontline security guards tell me about their experiences as they go about their daily work, as well as what their employers can tell me about the growth and structure of the security industry in Vancouver. Campbell and Gregor (2004: 59) note that there are two levels of data collection involved in research that attempts to link peoples’ everyday activity to broader economic and social processes. Data must be generated to help the researcher understand what people do in their local daily settings. These data sets can be referred to as entry-level data because they provide a point of entry into the social relations under investigation. Security guards can provide this entry-level data by sharing how the world looks to them, nothing more. Therefore I have to take a two-pronged approach to data generation by using legislative and policy documents as well as promotional materials developed by the real estate, tourism, and private security industries to move beyond entry-level data and explore the relations of ruling in which guards’ experiences are embedded. Data generation As part of this research, I used a range of methods and data sets to explore the underlying relations that are of interest to me. I divide the data sources I use for this project into three sets. The first set includes two types of qualitative interviews -- interviews with guards and interviews with management from security companies. Originally, I had planned to conduct interviews with representatives from business improvement associations that contract private security. After attempting to secure interviews using a formal letter, followed by two e-mails, and eventually a follow-up 37 telephone call with no response from any of the Business Improvement Associations contacted, I made the decision to rely on the printed and web-based materials produced by these organizations. The second data set includes relevant legislative and policy documents. The final data set includes promotional and representational materials produced by developers, staff at the City of Vancouver, and real estate companies. This data set also includes materials that promote the security industry itself. Interviews I began my inquiry by conducting a series of in-depth qualitative interviews with 14 frontline private security guards working in the city of Vancouver. I also conducted interviews with five management or owners from four private security firms. These firms range in size from approximately 1300 employees in the Vancouver area alone to just sixteen employees. Because my interest is primarily in how security work is embedded in the broader institutionalized relations of real estate capitalism and the development of high-end residential, shopping, and entertainment districts in downtown Vancouver, it was beneficial to talk to individuals from a wide range of firms on two fronts. First, there is high turnover in the private security industry, with clients often changing their security provider every few months. Generally speaking, no one firm is tied to any particular site in a permanent way. Turnover is due, in part, to the competitive nature of the industry and the constant emergence of new firms willing to provide similar services at a lower cost. It is also due in part to the changing security needs of clients. For example, many up-scale residential towers hire a very low-cost firm where few guards speak English to provide site security during the construction phase, but switch to a new firm once the tower is open and interaction with condo owners is required on a daily basis. Second, by recruiting guards for interviews independently of their employers, I was able to offer a 38 higher of degree confidentiality, and hence secure more candid interviews. It was also important to talk to representatives from management at a range of firms because different firms have different specializations and institutional cultures. I spoke to the representatives from management at their places of work, mainly in an office setting, although I conducted one interview in a Yaletown building where the co-owners of the company had access to a boardroom. I conducted all of the interviews with guards away from their work settings, generally in coffee shops or restaurants. The first set of interviews, those conducted with frontline private security guards, provide the entry-level data for this project. I recruited guards in a number of ways -- by touring the downtown area of the city and handing out flyers to guards as they worked, through posters, through outreach to organizations serving South Asian immigrants5and through word of mouth. Word of mouth was by far the most effective means of recruitment, although it did result in a particular sample. The guards I interviewed ranged in age from mid-twenties to late-fifties. Of the 14 guards I interviewed only two were recent immigrants, and ten identified as white. White and non-immigrant guards are likely overrepresented in this sample. Having the opportunity to speak to many Canadian- born, white guards did provide an opportunity to explore the ways in which some of these guards distance themselves from their recent immigrant counterparts, focusing heavily on their real or perceived lack of fluency in English. This was particularly interesting in light of the fact that immigrant guards are often better educated than their Canadian-born The decision to outreach to organizations serving immigrants was made after it became clear through interviews with guards and company representatives as well as through direct observation that South Asian men are disproportionately represented among security guards and all attempts to reach out to South Asian security guards in person failed. 39 counterparts. However, more opportunity to hear about these and other issues from the perspective of immigrant workers would have been a valuable contribution to this study. All of the guards that took part in this study were men, despite my having been told by security company executives that approximately 10% of guards are women (although some of the smaller firms employed no women guards). My inability to recruit women guards is a major weakness of this study. The contradictory social location of security guards generally is undoubtedly complicated by gender given that some employers and guards that I interviewed displayed highly chauvinistic attitudes towards women, that security guards are very reliant on presumed authority in their work, and that security work tends to involve working irregular shifts or being on-call, both of which are difficult to balance with childcare responsibilities. While I used questions to guide informants toward the information of interest to me -- mainly information about social status and employment background, working conditions, and the actualities of their workdays -- no formal interview schedule was adhered too. Interviews lasted from 25 minutes to over two hours. All interviews were recorded and transcribed in full. The goal of these interviews was not to generate data that would allow me to make definitive claims about what security guards believe, but rather to describe the realities of guards’ working lives from their own perspective, as well as to identify who is employed in security, the work they do, and the conditions under which they do it. These interviews allowed me to begin to develop an account of how individuals are mobilized to do security work in the city. These interviews also provide an account of what clients want from a security provider, and the means by which guards attempt to meet client goals. 40 The second set of interviews, those conducted with management, came about in a different way. Companies were contacted through a formal letter of introduction on University of British Columbia letterhead. Representatives from management were asked to get in touch with me to set up an interview. I selected companies to contact based on their visibility. Only one company replied to the first letter, the rest got in touch after I sent out follow up e-mails. Company executives were able to explain labour practices, standards of expected behavior for guards, levels of turnover and broader demographic trends within their organizations. These interviews also yielded further insight into how government regulation and development trends affect the security industry. Again, no formal interview schedule was used. We discussed hiring practices, labour costs and disciplinary problems, as well as demographics within their company. We also discussed the state of the industry, government regulation, the needs and desires of clients, and the potential for growth in private security. Interviews lasted between half an hour and one hour. All interviews were taped and transcribed in full. Policy and legislative documents In order to better understand the nature of private security work, it is important to understand the legislative context. To that end, the second data set includes policy documents that shape the context in which private security work is done. Because so many guards discussed dissatisfaction with their wages and working conditions, I began by looking at the labour context in British Columbia. The Employment Standards Act, as well as policy documents that outline individuals’ access to social assistance and other resources outside of the labour market, give a sense of how labour is organized from outside of any particular firm or industry. Over the course of interviews, it became clear that regulations around immigration and a lack of recognition of educational credentials 41 from other countries are also important to understanding private security work and its position within the Canadian economy. Second, I looked at documents that shape who is recognized as a security guard, paying attention to rules for training, licensing and regulation within the industry. While industry representatives were important in pointing me to the pertinent regulations and licensing bodies, the accounts of guards illustrated that there is no direct relationship between the laws and the actual practices of security work on the ground. These documents are none-the-less useful in terms of understanding how the private security industry is legitimated, as well as for highlighting opposition between formal versus informal accounts of how the industry functions. While private security guards do not have much in the way of legal powers derived from the state, they none-the-less draw on legislation to justify their work. I looked at the legislation through which guards draw their power, including the Criminal Code of Canada. Specific legislation, such as the Safe Streets Act and the Amendment to the Trespass Act 2004, go a long way in shaping access to public and mass private property across areas of the city. These legislative documents are interrogated for both the process through which they came into being, and the ways they facilitate neo-liberal city-building practices. Promotional and representational materials The third data set for this project includes promotional and representational materials. These materials are documents meant to sell Vancouver, or a piece thereof, to residents, tourists, and investors. These materials include advertisements in travel magazines, real estate development advertisements, and real estate billboards. They include pamphlets produced by tourism Vancouver and the Vancouver Board of Trade, as well as web-based marketing and promotional materials. I make extensive use of 42 marketing materials produced by business improvement associations. The media also produces a range of material that promotes Vancouver, and also highlights some of the ‘problems’ facing developers and promoters of the city, such as panhandling and homelessness. The specific materials that I have chosen to include in this data set relate to topics that came up over the course of interviews: tourism, new residential towers and shopping developments. They also include materials focused on gentrifying areas of the downtown core where private security guards are employed, such as business improvement area reports and vision plans. Finally, I look at promotional materials produced by security companies to market their services, in order to explore the extent to which the claims of the industry reflect the desires of actors involved in city-building. I bring an interpretive approach to my analysis of these texts (Mason, 1996: 77). I look at these materials in terms of the textual messages (written and visual) that they convey and images that they conjure. I treat these materials as the product of human activity and look at why they were produced, their funding sources, and their intended audience. In so doing I have developed a clearer picture of how Vancouver is being represented and how its image is being marketed. This approach has helped me develop a sense of what security guards are being mobilized to accomplish. I look for messages about not only ‘security’, but also ‘lifestyle’, and argue that physical safety is only one part of what security guards are producing for clients through their work; they are also helping to produce a particular set of social relations within the spaces that they police. In order to organize the mass of documents and other materials that do representational or promotional work, I made a choice to focus on the downtown core of the city. I begin with the central business district and then move on to the areas that 43 border it physically: Yaletown, The Concord Pacific Place development on False Creek, Gastown, and the micro-neighbourhoods that comprise the Downtown Eastside (ChinatownlStrathcona), as well as emerging micro-neighbourhoods, such as the International Village. Conclusion In this chapter, I have generated a theoretically-informed framework for this study grounded in historical materialism. I have argued that property relations are fundamental to understanding the work that security guards do, as well as the broader political economy in which their work is embedded. I then looked at the importance of political economy as a tool for understanding the growth of the private security industry in Canada. The shift from Keynesianism to Neo-liberalism at the international, national and provincial levels over the past thirty years has had a profound effect on the nature of the labour market as well as the social relations of cities. An important aspect of this project entails bridging the divide between the experiential realm of guards’ lives and the political economy that, in part, gives rise to those experiences. To that end I borrow the concept of ‘relations of ruling’ from Dorothy Smith and draw on Marxist methodological insights to inform data generation. I conclude this chapter with an overview of how data were generated for this research. I make use of three data sets: qualitative interviews, policy and legislative documents, and promotional materials, to generate an account of the relationship between low-wage labour, private security and city-building practices in Vancouver. In the next chapter I position my work within the scholarly literature on private policing and adopt ‘risk markets’ as the central organizing concept for this study. 44 Chapter Three: Risk Markets The retrenchment of social programs and the privatization of formerly public services are defining features of neo-liberal restructuring. New spaces for entrepreneurial activity related to security provision have opened up in Vancouver as a result of the withdrawal of public security services (such as in-house hospital security) and cuts to funding for public programs (such as community policing centres). Markets for private security have also opened up in response to new sources of insecurity -- both objective and subjective -- that characterize life in post-industrial cities within a rapidly globalizing world. The proliferation of uniformed guards is indicative of a quantitative increase in levels of policing and surveillance activities, but also of a qualitative shift in how social order is maintained through the targeting of policing services to those who are willing to pay. Most observers would agree that there has been a significant growth in markets for private security. However, there are fundamental disagreements over how to best conceptualize changes in the way security services are rationed and delivered, and over what these changes mean for the diverse individuals who live and work in urban centres. In order to begin to address the role that private security guards play in Vancouver’s gentrifying neighbourhoods, as well as the contradictions inherent in that work, it is essential to locate this research within the conceptual and theoretical debates on private security. In this chapter, I begin by laying out the extent to which an economy in security related products and services has developed in the OECD countries caught up in the thrust of accelerated globalization. Accounting for this global context is important in 45 order to understand processes underway in Vancouver that have resulted in increased demand for private security services. I move on to look at some of the debates within the scholarly literature centering on how to best theorize neo-liberal security arrangements. The literature on contemporary private security can be broadly characterized as having one of three orientations: a pluralistic orientation that emphasizes the plurality of state and corporate interests at work in modem policing regimes, a governmentality/ risk society orientation that focuses mainly on the techniques through which risks and potential security breaches are managed in neo-liberal contexts, or a neo-Marxist orientation that focuses on inequities in the targeting and distribution of policing resources. I position my work within the neo- Marxist literature on private security and adopt George Rigakos’ (2002) concept, “risk markets”, as the central organizing concept for this research. The concept of “risk markets” emerges out of Rigakos’ observation that private security must be recognized first and foremost as a commodity. Rigakos develops the concept of ‘risk markets’ to distinguish his work not only from pluralist, risk society and governmentality theorists, but also from the work of other neo-Marxists. He criticizes instrumentalist Marxists, who he feels rely too heavily on accounts of private policing that focus on the role of the state as managing committee for the bourgeoisie and the role of private police in suppressing labour. Rigakos also argues that structuralist Marxist accounts of private security work focus too heavily on the role of the state in the development of private policing. He sees this focus as an inherent weakness, given that “Marx himself said comparably little about the state per Se; he was more concerned about how capital was organized -- specifically, about the mechanisms by which value, price, 46 and profit operate. In this sense most Marxian analyses of the police have not seized hold of Marx’s greatest contribution to knowledge” (Rigakos, 2002: 13). Previous studies of policing have not examined, for example, the relative productivity, both material and symbolic, of public versus private police and the impact that this productivity may have on macroeconomic trends in law enforcement. Nor have they examined security as a commodity, particularly its fetishistic aspects, and, so far, no study of private policing has adequately addressed how surplus value is extracted or how control of the workforce is maintained. Thus Rigakos contends that “[i]n sum, the need for revived Marxian sensibility in our analyses of contract private security stems from the rather inane observation that these organizations are, after all, out to make a profit: they must sell security” (Rigakos, 2002: 13). While I adopt “risk markets” as a conceptual lens through which to examine the nature of new private security arrangements in Vancouver, I also draw on the insights of other neo-Marxist theorists, mainly those with a structuralist orientation, as well as those of theorists with a postcolonial orientation. While the commoclification of security work is central to understanding policing trends in Vancouver, it is also important that those trends are contextualized within the broader economic and political context out of which risk markets emerge. This context includes the withdrawal or privatization of state services as well as increased social polarization due to the flexibilization of labour, an ideology of individualized responsibility, and the increased international flow ofpeople and goods in advanced capitalist countries. The resultant social and economic inequality is racialized. British Columbia’s colonial past is deeply implicated in contemporary settlement patterns within the city, as well as in the more general distribution of valued 47 resources, from jobs, to political power to real property. In this context, the marketization of security services has had a disproportionate negative impact on the lives of Aboriginal people living in urban centres, given that they are among the most likely to be homeless or under-housed, and thus to be considered a potential security threat by those in a position to contract private guards. Aboriginal people are also significantly less likely than other Vancouver residents to be in a position to purchase security services. The result is the perpetuation ofpolicing practices that remove of Aboriginal people from the space of the settler city while their security needs are ignored. The security economy There is an emerging global security economy in the OECD countries. Stevens (2004) describes this ‘security economy’ as “a kaleidoscope cluster of activities concerned with preventing or reducing risk of deliberate harm to life and property”. The importance of understanding security as a commodity rather than just an end goal becomes apparent when the sheer volume of economic activity related to the desire to secure one’s person or property is taken into consideration. Demand for privatized security-related services and products emerges when individuals, businesses and other organizations seek a higher level of security services than the public police can provide, or when the state decides that providing these services publicly is too costly. Enterprising individuals and companies then step up to supply these services, while simultaneously working to stimulate greater demand. This is the essence of a privatized risk market. Currently, the security economy encompasses hundreds of thousands of businesses and individuals selling safety from malevolent acts threatening life, property and other assets and information. Safety can involve anything from electrical fencing to bodyguard 48 services (Stevens, 2004: 8). The demand for these services currently shows no sign of abating. Stevens (2004) suggests that there are several reasons for the growing demand for security services. Individuals, businesses and government are all demanding increased protection against criminal acts, from fraud to vandalism. This growing demand is not necessarily tied to increases in the instances of criminal activity. Crime statistics in OCED countries indicate mixed trends, with ordinary crime on the decline and organized crime on the rise. However, demand for protection from all kinds of crime is on the rise. This demand suggests that perception (along with marketing on the supply side of the security economy) plays a major role in the demand for security services. While the choice to purchase security services is, at first glance, a highly individuated process, both the increase in people’s sense of insecurity and the related demand for risk-mitigating products and services takes place within a context of accelerated globalization which spurs new insecurities, both real and imagined: Expanding foreign trade stimulates increased transport of people and cargo. Growth in air, railroad and maritime transport increases the risk of security breaches that facilitate robbery and organized smuggling, thereby lending impetus to governments’ efforts to tighten cross-border surveillance. Rising immigration weakens countries ability to impede clandestine threats, while fueling in some cases communities’ sense of insecurity. The growing internationalization of production activities has seen communications and supply chains become increasingly global, specialized and fragmented giving rise to particular vulnerabilities (Stevens, 2004: 10). The relationship between the market in security-related products and the changing political and economic context in OCED countries runs even deeper than these examples. With the liberalization of trade and the move from a Keynesian to a neo-liberal economic context, the risk-sharing features of the welfare state (such as the socialization of the 49 costs associated with the risks of unemployment or illness) have been eroded. Markets for security service have to be understood as emerging out of this context. Increased immigration and the changing demographics of Canadian society may also play a role by increasing opportunities for ‘clandestine threats,’ but perhaps more importantly by awakening subjective feelings of insecurity, sparking demand for protection from imagined alien threats. Economic, political and cultural changes not only spark feelings of insecurity, but also promote the belief that it is up to each of us, as individuals, to protect ourselves from these threats. Canadian sociologist David Lyon (2004, 139) explains: “risk has become more individualized in the political-economic restructuring of the past three decades”. The move to increased private security consumption is related to the increasing role that privatized insurance systems play in advanced capitalist societies and the growth of what is termed ‘risk thinking’ among certain segments of the population. Risk thinking has contributed to demand for risk-mitigating products and services, ranging from traditional home and business insurance to health insurance and private retirement plans. In this context individuals are trained to be responsible for managing risk independent of broader social systems spurring the growth of the security economy. The flip side of this process is that those classes of persons deemed too high a risk for insurers and security providers are left in an increasingly vulnerable position, as are those who cannot afford privatized risk management schemes, such as life insurance or private security services for their neighbourhood. 50 Neo-liberal governance and risk markets An overview of the global growth in security markets, as well as the political and economic context that generates demand for security-related products and services, illustrate that Vancouver is not an anomaly. However, understanding that an economy in security-related services and products is expanding across the OECD countries tells us very little about the impact that this may have on social relations in post-industrial cities generally, and Vancouver in particular. Exploring that impact requires the development of a theoretically-informed lens through which to examine these empirical trends. Within the contemporary scholarly literature on private security there is general agreement that changes in policing practices are best understood by paying attention to increasingly neo-liberal modes of governance that are taking hold in advanced capitalist countries. The welfarist modes of governance that gained prominence in these nations in the post-war period are often characterized as a “big government” approach to ruling, which creates dependence while limiting individual choice and creativity. John Pratt (1999: 141) argues that neo-liberal rule has been articulated in relation to welfarism by shifting the burden of risk management from the state to individuals. He writes that: “what has been needed to affect this task is a complete reorganization of the forms of economic and social life that existed under welfarism”. Neo-liberal economic practices work in tandem with governing practices that encourage the off-loading of governing responsibilities onto smaller municipal and non-governmental bodies. While there is general agreement that the shift from welfarism to neo-liberalism is an important element of modem security arrangements, the socio-economic impact of the adoption of neo-liberal forms of governance and related forms of policing is hotly contested. There are a number of schools of thought on contemporary policing practices, 51 inspired primarily by either the work of Michel Foucault (pluralist, risk society and govemmentality approaches), or Karl Marx (risk markets, instrumentalist and structuralist approaches). I adopt a risk market orientation while paying attention to structural elements that affect the form of those markets at a given moment. I begin by addressing Foucauldian inspired theories in order to assess what can be learned from these bodies of literature, as well as to examine some of the pitfalls of these theoretical approaches. The pluralist approach In opposition to what are often described as reductionist tendencies within Marxist sociology, “pluralist theorists insist that governmental power has multiple objectives, and that the techniques applied to reach these objectives become differentiated as they are dispersed through locales largely beyond the state” (Rigakos, 2002: 15). Thus pluralist work on private security tends to focus on the broad range of civil society actors that are now taking an active role in the provision of security outside of the state apparatus, such as corporations, developers and strata councils. It also directs readers’ attention to the way in which space has been fragmented, so that rather than discussing the policing of the city, pluralists tend to examine how a neighbourhood, a theme park, or a shopping complex is policed. Shearing and Stenning (1983) are among the most influential pluralist theorists working in the field of private security studies. An important aspect of their contribution has been their focus on the emergence of “mass private property”, that is, huge tracts of land held by private companies, where the responsibility for maintaining control is vested in those private bodies (Rigakos, 2002: 15). Mass private property refers to those areas 52 that, while officially privately owned, are treated by most as public property, the quintessential example being the shopping mall (Beck and Willis, 1995). Pluralist theorists have described this phenomenon as a new feudalism in North America, where huge tracks of property are now being policed by private interest and a form of internal order is maintained that is entirely site specific. While the phenomenon of mass private property is relatively new in terms of criminological attention, the emergence of mass private property as a replacement for genuine public space in urban planning was apparent by the early 1960s (Jacobs, 1961). Rather than treating the city as an organic whole, mass private property divides the city into safe containers that can be accessed by cars and where free public mixing can be avoided. However, the semi-public nature of these private spaces means that in order to truly avoid public mixing these spaces must be vigorously policed. Their private status allows private guards the freedom to do the work of public police and more. For example, on mass private property searches as a precondition of entry (as is the case with some clubs and stadiums) are legal and can be conducted by private guards. Pluralist scholars have been perceptive in recognizing the increasing role that mass private property plays in structuring urban life, as well as the implications of this phenomenon for policing. However, they have tended to ignore the underlying class relations that characterize the management of mass private property. Pluralist theorists tend not to comment on the fact that in many areas mass private property replaces public space. These semi-private spaces provide the only washrooms and drinking water so that those denied access to these spaces are also denied access to very basic necessities. This phenomenon illustrates Rigakos’(2002: 15) claim that as private corporations take on the 53 role of “keeping the peace” on mass private property, the nature of peace is being fundamentally redefined. There are some important insights that can be drawn from pluralist analyses. In pluralist accounts policing is recast from a monopolistic function characterized by the ability of a police force to draw on state power to legitimately use force, to a generic function where public policing is augmented by private services purchased by companies, property owners and community groups. However, Rigakos (2002: 16) suggests that there are limitations to the pluralist approach: “[a]lthough it maintains that both the state and corporations are interchangeably important to the provision of security.., it nonetheless adheres to the conceptual dichotomy between corporate and state security in earlier theorizing”. Pluralist approaches tend to ignore alternative policing arrangements that are not sponsored by either the state or large corporations, as well as arrangements where private security is hired by the state to manage public space. At the same time, the concept of mass private property as a new form of spatial organization does not account for the extent to which public space is being increasingly privatized in practice and policed by both public and private bodies, as well as hybrid bodies that defy classification. The dichotomy between public and private space is far from straightforward, and trends in management of mass private property have implications for how public space is managed. In a report prepared for the Law Commission of Canada, Rigakos (2002:25) notes that “[blusiness improvement associations in large urban areas have found that some consumers perceive downtown cores to be riskier than the controlled environment of a shopping centre. To provide a more pleasurable experience, some associations have hired security to patrol public streets”. Merchants, competing with the relative exclusivity 54 of mass private property are extending their storefronts out to encompass the streets around them. This extension requires a drift in policing practices. Public space is increasingly managed as though it were private. At the same time, more repressive tactics on mass private property lead to a parallel increase in repressive tactics on public property, essentially homogenizing policing practices in the face of increased fragmentation. In other cases, the spatial dichotomy between public and private becomes even more complex. Jones and Newburn (1998: 41) write: “in simple terms the crucial aspect of a public space is its openness and accessibility by all. By contrast private spaces are those characterized by restricted access and, moreover, where access is governed by those who own the space”. They assert that only in theory is the dichotomy so straightforward. In fact, many spaces are characterized by degrees of openness, such as universities. At the same time, markers such as archways in residential areas and even security patrols can be used to make public space appear more private. Equally important is that the old thinking that public police patrol public space and private police patrol private space, inherent in the mass private property approach to conceptualizing the growth of private security, is quickly being proven false. For example, feminists have had many of their demands met for increased responsiveness to domestic violence from the public police in the private sphere of the home. Such a parallel will likely never occur with private policing (ironically the one exception perhaps being for individuals living in public housing). At the same time, “poverty and homelessness has led to the private lives of the destitute spilling out into public spaces” (Jones and Newburn, 1998: 46), leading many neighbourhoods to employ private police to patrol public residential streets, while their 55 private homes remain inviolable spaces. In this way, the city as a whole is becoming increasingly privatized, disrupting a straightforward distinction between public and private property in practice, even where the law is clear. Pluralist theorists also draw on an maccurate functional divide to describe the role of public versus the private police. Functionalist-oriented scholars argue that one of the primary distinctions between public and private police is that, while the public police are engaged in the retributive end of the criminal justice system, private security work is generally preventative in character and is more often concerned with loss prevention through surveillance (Shearing and Stenning:1981). In reality, there is an enormous degree of functional crossover between the two sectors. Public police routinely engage in preventative work. Ericson and Haggerty (1997) note that most public policing work does not involve laying charges, but rather involves suggestions to ‘move along’ or cease an activity. Over the last 30 years ‘[m]any functions that were once the exclusive domain of public police are now being performed by private agencies. In some instances, this means that private security is doing things that the public police used to do. In other instances, it means whole new areas of activities -- services that did not exist or were not widely available -- can be purchased” (The Law Commission of Canada, 2002: 5). In Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax, Business Improvement Areas hire security firms to patrol downtown streets. Private investigation firms investigate suspicious financial transactions, many of which are now dealt with internally rather than criminally. In some urban areas, private security guards patrol residential developments. It is not only in terms of space and function that crossover between public and private policing exists, but also in terms of knowledge and personnel. Ericson (cited in 56 Jones and Newburn, 1998: 11) argues that the public police increasingly serve as knowledge brokers. His analysis “highlights how organizations outside the police access police expertise and information sources as part of their own security systems”. These sources are both public, such as probation officers, but also private, such as insurance companies. At the same time, a number of private security firms working in Canadian neighbourhoods provide the public police with information about people or activities in the areas they patrol. There has also been a large-scale movement of retiring police officers into the private security sector (Law Commission of Canada, 2002). Ultimately then, a pluralist analysis can bring to light the range of actors that are engaged in the work of policing in advanced capitalist states today. However, some of the complexity of these new forms of policing is lost in the binary of state versus not-state policing and public versus private space. In analyzing new forms of policing, attention to intersectionality rather than simply plurality is key. The Govemmentality/risk society approach Pluralist conceptualizations of private security, with their focus on the shortcomings of state-centered theories that do not address the range of actors involved in contemporary policing, are closely aligned with theorists employing the Foucauldian concepts of ‘governmentality’ and ‘risk society’. Because ‘governmentality’ and ‘risk society’ are almost interchangeable in criminological terms, Rigakos (2002) considers them in tandem, and I will do the same. All of these theories address private security from the position that, with the advent of neo-liberalism as the dominant mode of governance in former welfare states, there has been an increased fragmentation and 57 individuation of governance, as well as an increased focus on self-governance rather than reliance on the state to solve problems for us. Contemporary neo-liberalism has its philosophical roots in a particular view of the free society. In order to achieve this society, “a new set of ethical and cultural values had to be created... which would accord individuals and families the power to shape their own lives. If the powers of self actualization were enhanced, individuals would defend freedom itself’ (Rose 1999: 138). In order to achieve this vision of the free society, individuals’ lives had to be re-structured into enterprise form. Citizens are to become responsible entrepreneurs rather than passive subjects. As Rose (1999) explains, “all aspects of social behavior are now re-conceptualized along economic lines -- as calculative actions undertaken through the universal human faculty of choice”. The private security industry fits well with the ideological and the economic tenets of neo liberalism, where individuals and their self-identified communities are to become the governors of their own lives. Scholarly work centred around the concept ‘governmentality’ has been very influential in the contemporary study of the private security industry. While it offers some useful insights, it also has some major shortcomings. Building on Foucault’s conceptualization of the modem art of governance or ‘governmentality’ as characterized by fragmented and fluid sites of power, Rose (1999: 17) envisions contemporary governance as built upon “a complex set of relations between state and non-state authorities, upon infrastructural powers, upon networks of power, upon the activities of authorities who do not form part of the formal or informal state apparatus”. The contribution of govemmentality theorists is important because it draws our attention to 58 multifaceted relations of power that shape contemporary life rather than reproduce a binary between powerful and powerless actors or states and citizens. Rose goes on to argue that the specialized literature on governance revolves around two more specific themes: a normative theme, whereby governance is seen as either good or bad, and where good governance generally refers to less government, where government does the “steering” (setting policy) rather than the rowing (delivering service); and a descriptive theme. Specialized governance literature is descriptive in so far as it attempts to characterize “the pattern or structure that emerges as the result of the interactions of a range of political actors of which the state is only one” (Rose, 1999: 17). Governmentality literature with a normative orientation supports neo-liberal modes of governance at the ideological level, while recognizing oversights and inefficiencies that must be corrected in practice. Literature with a more descriptive orientation focuses on making visible the ways in which contemporary governance operates, particularly in places where it is not superficially apparent because of the dispersal of control. It is the second aspect of governmentality literature that I find the most useful for understanding how neo-liberal modes of governance are related to the growth in the private security industry and to which I will turn first. Rose (1999) presents a useful, richly descriptive analysis of the ways in which governmental thought territorializes itself. While there is a general tendency to think of governance at the level of states, One can trace analogous governmental histories of smaller-scale territorializations: regions, cities, towns, zones, ghettoes, edge cities and so forth. And one can also think in these terms about spaces of enclosure that governmental thought has imagined and penetrated: schools, factories, hospitals, asylums, museums, and now even shopping malls, airports and department stores (Rose, 1999:35). 59 This insight is important because, unlike a state or city police force, private security guards focus their activity on dispersed and very specific sites, be it a public institution such as a hospital, a piece of private property such as a shopping mall, or a neighbourhood or Business Improvement Area. Governance and the related provision of security are being increasingly left up to individuals and collectivities that make claims to specific spaces. Guards are mobilized to police these areas in ways that reflect the specific needs and desires of the client. These guards act only on the areas they have been hired to patrol. The govenmentalized state is not absent: it is able to harness already existing micro-fields of power, in order to “link their governmental objectives with activities and events far distant in time and place”. This is a useful conceptualization of how governance is coordinated, albeit in local and specific ways. However, it is important to understand this form of rule within a context of private property, which affects who gets to rule over micro territories that are increasingly governed outside of democratic forms of control, as well as within a context of privatization embedded in neo-liberal economics, where services such as security provision are off-loaded to the private sector. The socio-economic structure out of which new modes of rule emerge is not always visible in the descriptive work of govemmentality theorists, limiting the usefulness of this body of scholarship for understanding emerging patterns of social relations. As noted above, some govemmentality literature also displays strong normative tendency. Stenson, who positions himself firmly within the govemmentality school, suggests that: The mentalities and rationalities of liberalism, before and after it takes on governmental form, embody styles of thinking which are self-scrutinizing, 60 vigilant and involve attempts to define and set limits to the powers of authority. While, as in any other critical work, existing social standards are judged against normative standards, these standards are not timeless visions of, for example, socialist, non-sexist or non-racist utopias (1999:51). Other work on private security with a governmentality orientation is less openly hostile to feminist and anti-racist work, but also has a normative dimension. For example, Johnston and Shearing (2003) contend that private security is not in itself good or bad, it is a matter of practice and regulation. This view is at odds with a historical materialist perspective, which keeps in view underlying relations of power that frame capitalist relations despite changing transitional features of the system. Johnston and Shearing (2003: 71) argue that in contemporary policing, ‘problem solving’ has replaced surveillance as a central concept. A sense of social location is, however, absent in this analysis. Structured into capitalist societies are a series of power- imbalances that allows some groups to define problems and then convince others to submit to their authority. Solving problems as they are defined from above, (such as the cost of social programs deterring investment), requires that costs of problem-solving activities (such as labour market deregulations) be offloaded to women or low- wage workers. It may also require quieting the resistance of colonized people to the ongoing occupation of their land, as has been the case in many places in British Columbia. Rather than addressing the underlying omissions in their account of problem-solving based policing, Johnston and Shearing present a more benign example by referring to a previous article written by Shearing and Stenning (1987), in which they discuss the policing of the ‘Disney Order’ at Florida’s Disney World as an example of consensual, problem-solving based policing. 61 In this article, the authors argue that a variety of devices are deployed to solve people’s problems in a way that is compatible with the Disney Order so that compliance is achieved through consensual rather than coercive means. However, Disneyworld is a space that is quite literally metonymically linked with a fantasy that people have purchased. It is therefore in no way surprising that individuals and families who have chosen to come to Disney World precisely to experience the ‘Disney Order’ could be persuaded, through the use of subtle techniques, to comply with that order rather than resisting it. This is not to dismiss the key point that Shearing and Johnston (2003) are attempting to make -- that subtle techniques can be used to induce compliance, and that only very rarely is force necessary in contemporary policing, public or private. Nonetheless, governing in the open spaces of neighbourhoods and cities rather than a theme park involves a much higher degree of coercion, and people have not necessarily made the choice to submit to the body that has assumed responsibility for ‘problem solving’ in the area. Tied to the idea of problem-solving based policing is the conceptualization of risk-thinking as shaping individual’s choices. ‘Risk thinking’ involves a proactive rather than a reactive process. Shearing and Stenning (1981) argue that with private security the focus on prevention means that guards are not so much looking for breaches of the law, as they are looking for opportunities for such breaches: ‘risks’. Risk society theorists such as Ericson and Haggerty (1997) imagine contemporary society as organized through, and governed by, a set of risk classifications. In this way each and every subject is both a potential source of risk, and responsible for mitigating risk. However, there are clear 62 inequities in the ability of differently positioned individuals to both protect themselves against risk and to apply the risk label to others. Due to the erosion of the collective risk-sharing features of the Keynesian welfare state and the transfer of some forms of governance from the state to citizens and non-state actors, the idea of pluralism, and the concepts of governmentality and the risk society have been widely hailed as critical for understanding contemporary manifestations of both governance and policing. These terms dominate much thinking about the private security industry, because the emergence of this industry is conceptualized as being tied to the move away from a centralized state-based model of social control. Both of these bodies of work have made important contributions to our understanding of private security work because they open up the possibility of exploring the many intersecting sites ofpower that shape our contemporary experiences of both government and policing. However, the underlying relations of labour and property that underpin these emergent forms of governance are often lost in the technocratic language of both the governmentality and risk society models. A neo-Marxist conceptualization of private policing As Rigakos (2002: 17) explains: “Risk and govemmentality theorists make indefensible claims about contingent history, the end of class, and the totality of surveillance mechanisms”. The omissions inherent in these claims lead me to adopt a neo-Marxist framework for my analysis of private security work within a neo-liberal context. Yet, as Rigakos (2002) explains, many Marxist theorists have failed to recognize private security as a commodity. They have focused on private security only as an instrument of state or corporate power, rather than recognizing the dynamics of security 63 for sale as an important phenomenon in its own right. While I adopt ‘risk markets’ as the organizing concept for this research, I also pay attention to the broader context in which those markets are embedded, and hence rely on the theorizations of some structural Marxists for understanding the role various levels of government play in creating a context that is conducive to the growth of risk markets. Why risk markets? Rigakos (2002) critiques governmentality and risk society thinking on three major fronts. First, he claims that many governmentality studies engage in an apoliticism; that is, each individual act of governance or risk management is isolated. In contrast to this approach, I conceptualize policing as a practice that is systemic and historically constituted, re-producing the inequities of the hegemonic systems of property and wage labour that define capitalism. David Garland (1999), who uses concepts and ideas borrowed from the governmentality literature, writes that there is a tendency for govemmentality theorists to look at government as a problem-solving activity, happening “mainly through a perceptual grid of the programmes and rationalities that the authorities generate to deal with them”. Important questions about who defmes the problems that need to be solved are left unanswered, and in many cases never raised. For example, Rose (1999: 27) analyzes the extent to which the mode of neo-liberal thought espoused by political thinkers, including Hayek and Friedman, have not been realized in political neo liberalism. He argues that Margaret Thatcher was not attempting to realize the philosophy of Adam Smith, suggesting rather that the tactics enacted by Thatcher’s conservative government were “contingent lash-ups of thought and action, in which various problems of governing were resolved through drawing upon instruments and procedures that happened to be available” (Rose, 1999: 27). He argues that through this process the new 64 rationality, named neo-liberalism, provided a framework for linking up tactics and mentalities of governance in order to provide the semblance of a coherent logic. I agree that it would be a mistake to equate practical neo-liberalism as a direct mirror of its intellectual antecedents, or to assume that its logic is either internally coherent or understood in a complete and coherent way by all of its practitioners. However, I believe that something is lost in this analysis. Margaret Thatcher was not just reacting to ‘problems.’ She was reacting to the problem of massive labour disputes in the country’s industrial and mining centres, for example. Conceptualizations of these ‘problems’ are not neutral; nor are attempts to solve them. They are also problems that continue to manifest themselves across the capitalist world. Therefore, I argue that she was not so much engaging in general ‘problem-solving’ as in quelling specific challenges to her form of class rule: a mode of rule espoused by Hayek and Freidman, even if the practical application varied slightly from what these men envisioned. Second, Rigakos (2002: 17) charges that a historical myopia results from the privileging of “micro and contingent histories at the expense of long-term and durable accounts of risk and policing”. The focus on historical specificity and contingency runs the risk of rendering overarching relations of subordination and domination invisible. For example, in Vancouver contemporary private policing has to be understood within a context of the historical dispossession of Aboriginal people, who are among the poorest of the poor and are therefore among the most likely to come into contact with private police in the city. In order to understand the relations that underpin private policing work as it relates to contemporary city-building practices, there must be an understanding that current relations of property and power are built on top of something that came before, 65 and that ‘something’ has its roots in the colonial project and the appropriation of territory by Europeans. Longstanding relations based upon who owns property and who owns the means of production need to be understood in order to get at the heart of the relations that shape both who does the work of policing and who is the target of ‘problem-solving’ activities. Third, according to Rigakos (2002:18) front line operatives appear as mere automatons in the governmentality and risk-society literature. This criticism is of great importance to this project because I am coming to my investigation from the position that working people help create the social context in which they live through their labour, and that both their agency and the ways in which agency is restricted needs to be fully explored in order to understand contemporary social relations. Rigakos (2002) found that while there is a high degree of disciplinary control and de-skilling inherent in private security work, guards quickly found ways to beat disciplinary controls and exercise agency in their work. He also found that promotions were profoundly affected by factors such as gender, and, hence, the positionality and social profile of guards is important for understanding how the industry operates. Rigakos (2002) argues that at present there are two major schools that dominate Marxist studies of private police. First, there is the instrumentalist school, which depicts the state as a “managing committee for the bourgeoisie” (Rigakos, 2002: 10). Then, there is the structural understanding that sees the state as a place to focus an analysis of how private policing bodies were able to develop. He states that, “so far Marxian analysts of the police have not adequately considered how security is sold, how surplus value is extracted, how control of the work force is maintained and how security is symbolically 66 produced and reproduced dialectically” (Rigakos, 2002:13). Rigakos makes an insightful claim about the evolution of contemporary private policing demands, arguing that Marx was particularly interested in the fetishistic aspects of commodities and that this interest could include security. Rigakos (2002) argues that it is a fallacy to see private security firms acting on the basis of some mythic ethos of ‘social control’. Private Security firms are acting to realize profit, whether or not their image involves presenting a social control veneer to potential clients. Rigakos (2002:148) offers several reasons for why he orients his analysis of the private security industry in general, and the Toronto-based firm, Intelligarde, in particular, around the idea of selling risk, or ‘risk markets,’ rather than the more widely used concept of the ‘risk society’. First, he contends “contract private policing labour is centrally alienated and commodified labour” (Rigakos, 2002: 148). He feels that most accounts of the growth of private security work to date downplay the position of the guards doing this work as low paid vulnerable workers. Looking at security guards as agents, restricted by their positionality within a neo-liberal capitalist order entails looking at organizations and industries, not as they represent themselves, but in terms of the actual daily work that individuals do and the ways in which they understand that work. In this way we can begin to understand how working class individuals are incorporated into projects that may not benefit them, as well as at how they resist the dehumanization inherent in low wage labour. Second, ‘risk thinking’ and ‘fetishism of security’ are inherently political phenomena. Rigakos (2002: 148) argues that many sociologists “have correctly identified the organizing logics and institutional rationales of risk systems but have failed to offer 67 perceptive critiques of these schemas. They have uncritically adopted these productions of knowledge as the actual organizers of society instead of revealing their legitimating function in late modern capitalism”. In many ways risk systems appear to mirror the commonsense view of free markets as operating independently of human intervention. The need for a politicized account of these processes, grounded in an underlying understanding of inequality, is evident in many accounts of private security practices informed by pluralist and governmental thought. For example, in their analysis of problem-solving oriented policing, Johnston and Shearing (2003:3) note: [ojur subjective ‘sense of security’ is just as important to us as any objective measures of our ‘actual security’. . . Thus to be effective, security measures must address our subjective perceptions as well as more objectively identifiable threats to our safety. For most of us, when we feel safe it is because we have confidence in the steps we, or others, have taken to promote security. Using a subjective sense of security in evaluating security programs is, politically, very problematic. For example, Johnston and Shearing (2003: 102) refer to the ‘broken windows’ theory of policing; the idea that major crimes can be avoided if the minor incivilities that increase ‘respectable fears’ are vigorously policed, to justify their position that contemporary policing should be viewed mainly as a problem-solving activity. But evaluating the use of broken windows policing simply for its effectiveness as a problem- solving tactic erases deeper social problems. These theorists briefly (in three sentences) address some of the concerns that have been raised by critics who see broken windows policing as undermining due process and legitimating discrimination against minorities. However, the deeply embedded set of biases and assumptions that underlie white middle class ideas about what constitutes risk, and the need to address the possibility that the subjectively defined ‘security’ of some segments of the population may be at odds with 68 the concrete security needs of others, all need to be thoroughly explored in order to effectively evaluate broken windows policing as a phenomenon. For example, in Vancouver, a ‘broken windows’ approach to policing gentrifying neighbourhoods erases the fact that the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver has been the site of well over sixty kidnappings and murders of primarily Aboriginal women working in the sex trade. That ‘problem’ is marginalized while ‘respectable’ fears are pandered to, possibly increasing the risk to other women in similar situations by driving sex work deeper underground. Third, Rigakos argues that given the commodified form that both public and private policing have taken on, in practice there is little reason to distinguish between the missions of either. He explains that in Toronto, where his fieldwork took place, Intelligarde officers “are private law enforcement that have been hired to control crime rather than merely to minimize risk” (Rigakos, 2002: 150). In some cases new private security firms are becoming de facto small police departments, albeit departments operating for a profit. At the same time, many public police departments and officers are exploiting new risk markets to realize profits. The use of ‘pay duty’ officers in many municipalities is blurring the distinction between public and private policing in this country and creating risk market niches that public police are eager to fill. In Vancouver, an officer can make an additional $15,000 per year by requesting extra pay-duty postings (working special events and movie sets). Yet, at the same time that highly trained (at taxpayer expense) public officers are being contracted out to private events and businesses, private security agencies are being hired to perform some of the functions that police used to perform. Guarding bridges, providing access control at police stations, maintaining court security, and issuing parking tickets have all been contracted out (Law 69 Commission of Canada, 2002: 19). While there is some reversal in terms of the functions of private security firms and public policing bodies, there is also increasing integration. In Vancouver, a program called ‘operation cooperation’ facilitates knowledge sharing between the public police and private firms. The Vancouver police department meets with these firms to discuss policing priorities in the downtown core (Law Commission of Canada, 2002: 20). It is important to note that this practice gives the clients of these firms an added voice in shaping policing priorities in their areas through this access to the public police. This process of integration is further developed in some American jurisdictions. In Amarillo Texas the move towards a true public-private partnership is close to complete. In that city: Beginning in August 1981, Allstate [security services] assumed responsibility, city-wide, for responding to alarm calls. Within the same period, Amarillo police hired private security officers to patrol the downtown core during peak hours in tandem with police. Today most clients call Allstate for minor emergencies or prowler calls (Law Commission of Canada, 2002: 20). There has been a high degree of policy transfer between Canada and the US in the field of private security provision. While there are no citywide private policing arrangements in place, parts of some major cities have increasingly come under control of private security firms. For example, “a large Toronto security firm has negotiated arrangements with two different landowners of over a dozen building complexes in the Cabbagetown area of the city, allowing security officers to assist their partners at adjacent properties” (Law Commission of Canada, 2002: 17). According to the Law Commission of Canada (2002: 20), this arrangement “creates a multi-client, multi-tasked, multi territoried, co-operatively governed policing service that closely mirrors the municipal 70 police service”. At the same time, “public police forces now actively compete for both mature and newly emerging markets” (Law Commission of Canada, 2002: 22). There are circumstances under which the public police must ‘win’ contracts and then charge the cost to the municipality. This practice is part of the rationalization of policing in accordance with business principles. For example, in Ontario, the Police Services Act sets out provisions for municipalities wishing to establish their own police force. “Section 5 of the Act was amended to allow municipal councils to ‘adopt a different method of providing police services’. Some private security executives have argued that this amendment allows them to bid on municipal policing contracts (Law Commission of Canada, 2002: 22). This legislative change, directly reflecting neo-liberal governing principles, could ostensibly lead to Amarillo Texas style policing in Ontario towns and cities. A risk market approach can encompass both public and private bodies, because the focus is on the buying and selling of security services. Finally, “a risk markets orientation examines the process of both surveillance and resistance in private policing in a dialectic of control. . .risk markets are cyclical and produce a constant spiral of fear along with the need to manage them” (Rigakos, 2002: 150-15 1). A risk market approach points our attention not only to who is doing the work of policing and how it is being paid for, but also to how markets expand -- an integral feature of capitalist activity. Increased security in one area of the city, for example, can concentrate people and activities deemed undesirable in other areas, prompting a demand for more security in those areas. In addition, hostilities that develop as certain groups of people are more intensely policed can augment tensions, resulting in the need for more plentiful and more aggressive security. 71 Risk markets in context While I adopt Rigakos’ risk markets orientation as a useful tool for analysis at the micro-level, I believe that structuralist Marxist insights are also important in order to embed these markets in the macro-level structures that contain them. Neo-liberal practices and ideology allow, and in fact necessitate, the emergence of risk markets. In adopting a neo-Marxist approach to private security I commit myself to a theoretical framework for understanding private security grounded in historical materialism. I borrow my understanding of what a materialist analysis of private security work ought to look like from Spitzer (1993) in order to avoid some of the instrumentalist pitfalls identified by Rigakos as plaguing some neo-Marxist work on policing. Spitzer (1993: 569) argues that his work on the political economy of policing is materialist in so far as he begins with an “examination of the productive forces and the relations of production under a given set of historical conditions”. However, he goes on to argue: “while it is important to ground a study of the political economy in policing in a thorough consideration of economic structure, we must avoid becoming reductive. At best the relationship between patterns of economic organization and policing is indirect” (Spitzer, 1993: 569). Hence a materialist understanding of private security must be attentive to both the role of the economy and other cultural and political factors that shape particular manifestations of policing. Spitzer (1993: 571) provides an account of the political economy of policing that is not limited to a specific public or private body. He conceptualizes policing as “a pattern of social development through which coercive regulation is established, decomposed and recomposed in class societies”. What makes the study of policing materialist is not “the positioning of a frictionless economic determinism, but rather an 72 emphasis on the concrete conditions of social existence and the significance of these conditions in the changing relationship between the economic order, the state, and the targets of the state’s coercive power” (Spitzer, 1993: 569). These social conditions are both economic and ideological. The modem state is more than “a reflexive cudgel brought to bear on the rebellious and troublesome. It is a sophisticated system of incentives and disincentives that is far more complex and diversified, and far more dependent on ideological controls than any ‘police state’ scenario would lead us to suspect” (Spitzer, 1993: 569). Neo-liberal economic retrenchment and the related ideology of responsibilization, which have led to growth in both privatized forms of insurance and risk markets, reward those who are able to take control of their own security, health, education, and old age. The rewards come in the form of tax cuts, and freedom from the responsibility for caring for those outside of your self-defined community or family. There is also a series of disincentives in terms of an aura of dependence attached to reliance on public services. Ian Loader (1999: 374) echoes Rigakos’s analysis when he argues that contemporary trends in policing need to be understood in terms of the spread of a consumer culture, suggesting that we are “witnessing the emergence of an uneven patchwork ofpolicing and security provision, increasingly dependent on the ability and willingness to pay”. He goes on to explain that “consumption involves not only a material act; it is also an emotionally laden cultural performance” (Loader 1999: 380). In a consumer culture, according to Loader, commodities operate to express identity and symbolize one’s place in the social order. He argues that consumption of public policing may become a sign of weakness and dependence, like consuming public education or 73 health care. This approach is in sharp contrast to a depoliticized notion of fragmentation, in that power relations embedded in the economic structure are conceptualized as central to the ways in which the fragmentizing tendency of neo-liberal governance plays out on the ground. If those unable to pay can be held to account for not having ensured their own security, there are serious ramifications in terms of the rights of marginalized groups to make claims on the state and the broader society. Spitzer (1993: 588) argues that while private police have taken over the domains of production, consumption, and recreation, public police are left to deal with the private problems that the corporate sector is not interested in. I argue that in many cases there are still profits to be made though the contracting out of services; nonetheless, “socialized policing has ‘colonized’ what is external to capitalist interests under existing historical conditions -- the social and personal needs of those who populate the ‘non-productive’ and ‘marginal spheres’ (Spitzer, 1993: 588). Hence, risk markets emerge within a context ofneo-liberalism that espouses privatization as a social good, and seeks to retrench the state wherever possible, in the process producing and reproducing uneven class relations based on access to property and income. Uneven class relations are deeply affected by raciahzation and legacies of colonialism. Spitzer (1987: 58) argues that consumption communities now form the basis of patterns of social inclusion and exclusion rather than older notions of race and nation. What is missed in this comment is the way in which consumption communities are mediated by race and nation. While consumption communities are less rigid than other 74 forms of community, poverty has remained a racialized phenomenon in spite of changes to the legal status of people of colour and Aboriginal people. In order to understand contemporary risk markets in Vancouver, it is important to be aware of the impacts of legacies of colonialism and racial discrimination on both the socio-spatial development of the city and property relations among those who now occupy it. Blomley (2004) notes that the creation of the city of Vancouver required the obliteration of Aboriginal geographies and property relations and the imposition of a Western property system that privileges private ownership. This property regime served as a powerful disciplinary agent, mapping the rights and sovereignty claims of Aboriginal people out of existence and legitimating policing practices that restricted their access to city-space. Blomley (2004: 114) explains: Urban displacement, in the sense I use it here, seems to entail two separate maneuvers. First, native people must be conceptually removed from urban space. If located anywhere, native people are frequently imagined in the past or in nature. In either case, they are placed outside of the city. Secondly, displacement requires the concomitant emplacement of a settler society. This place is to be made into a white space through physical settlement and occupation. Not only is urban displacement simultaneously a representational and a physical activity, it is also an ongoing process rather than something that was achieved at a single historical moment. Although much of the Aboriginal population with an ancestral claim to what is today Vancouver has been displaced, Aboriginal people from across the province and the country continue to migrate to Vancouver: The link between dispossession and the settler-city endure today, although in different ways. For example, the growing population of native people within many settler cities speaks to the effect of nationwide colonial dispossession. In Canada, endemic poverty and a lack of a land base on the reserve compel the relocation of many aboriginal people to the city. By 75 2001, half of all Aboriginal people in Canada were urban. (Blomley, 2004: 113) In Vancouver, Aboriginal people are overrepresented in the poorest areas of the city. These marginal areas of the city, however, have become increasingly coveted real estate as the city expands. Once again, urban Aboriginal people are facing displacement. As neighbourhoods that house Vancouver’s urban poor and Aboriginal populations are re imagined and re-developed, risk markets arise for companies willing to do the physical work of displacement. Policing can also be used to criminalize and individualize acts of political protest, further solidifying existing relations of power based on race, class and colonial histories. Reiner (1992: 770) writes: “[w]hile police have always borne most heavily on the economically and socially marginal, one important factor which politicized policing in the 1 960s and 1 970s was the development of social groups with a clear consciousness of antagonism towards (and from) the police.” Gilmore (1999: 175) explains that the emergence of the Black Power movement struck fear into the heart of the white community. She argues that as anti-racist and anti-capitalist militancy increased “the state and its avatars responded by ... individualizing disorder into singular instances of criminality that could then be solved via arrests or state-sanctioned killings rather than via fundamental social change.” The expansion of private policing services has intensified this process as property owners, business owners, and even the government take it upon themselves to contract policing services to undermine politically-motivated protests, housing actions and strikes. 76 Conclusion Demand for security products and services is growing across the OECD countries. This demand has been fuelled by a number of factors, including the withdrawal of some state sponsored security services, increased potential for security breaches due to the accelerated globalization of production and consumption, and the exploitation of subjective fears by security entrepreneurs. The demand for security is increasingly being met by private entities, although both public and private policing bodies have an integral role to play in the new security economy. While there is broad-based agreement that the size of the security economy is growing and that neo-liberal political and economic trends are an important contextual element in terms of understanding this growth, there is theoretical disagreement as to how the changing security landscape can best be understood. Much theoretical work informed by Foucault has been useful in terms of identifying the range of actors that are now involved in security provision and of disrupting state-centered models. However pluralist approaches to private security have not adequately addressed the interconnections between state and non-state activity in the field of policing. At the same time, governmentality and risk society analyses have not succeeded in illuminating the power-laden relations that underpin security work, the connection between contemporary modes of policing and what came before, or the role of human actors, particularly the working-class, in private policing endeavors. A risk market orientation, which focuses on security as a commodity dependent on alienated labour for the extraction of surplus value and with fetishistic elements, is a useful corrective to some of the oversights of the pluralist and risk society/govemmentality literature. Risk markets must be understood within the political, 77 economic and ideological context out of which they develop, and in this regard, other neo-Marxist work, as well as work attentive to the ongoing impacts of the colonial project on contemporary socio-geographic relations, can be of great value. While this chapter has focused on the nature of private security in a contemporary neo-liberal context, there are historical antecedents to today’s risk markets. Exploring both risk markets and the how labour has been recruited to fill market demands at various historical junctures can point us toward some of the enduring features of capitalism that give rise to markets in policing, as well as help us understand how risk markets that are emerging today differ from those of even twenty or thirty years ago. The history of risk markets will be the focus of Chapter Four. 78 Chapter Four: Risk Markets and the History of Capitalism With neo-liberal economic policies come cultural and political changes. One of these shifts has been towards the increasing individualization of responsibility and the institutionalization of increasingly diffused governance models. Off-loading of governing and service delivery responsibilities to community and civil society groups has spurred demand for private security services. However, it would be a mistake to see the advent of risk markets as a distinctly contemporary phenomenon. Even a cursory look at the history of capitalist development demonstrates that particular risk markets have manifested at various historical junctures in the development of capitalism, and that enterprising individuals have been able to reap a profit by exploiting these markets as they emerged. This chapter will begin with a look at the history of private security work, arguing that we are seeing a re-emergence rather than an emergence of privatized forms of policing and security provision. The historical literature on policing suggests that the form policing takes, whether public or private, is reflective of the dominant mode of production. Thus specific risk markets have emerged at particular historical moments to facilitate dispossession of the British peasantry, to cope with changing social relations during periods of mass urbanization, and to control labour industrial towns. The size and shape of these markets have changed as the relations of production, consumption and governance have evolved. Through these periods, the role of the state in providing security services has waxed and waned. Where a market for security services arises, so too does a demand for labour to provide those services. It is important to look not only at the types of risk markets that emerge, but also at who does the work of meeting changing security needs. Private 79 security enterprises have tended to rely on relatively economically vulnerable populations as a labour force. In keeping with a risk markets approach rather than a social control approach, I suggest that private security guards should first and foremost be conceptualized as alienated workers. I am informed by Lombardo’s (1981) ethnography of prison guards’ work lives, where he takes what he terms a ‘worker perspective’ as his starting point for understanding what guards do. This approach opens up space for seeing guards as workers who could stand in solidarity with the working class, rather than only as instruments of class oppression. At the same time, a worker perspective leaves room to investigate how working class people are mobilized to do the work of social control. Contemporary private security guards are not the first group of workers to be mobilized to do policing work that may appear at odds with their social location. I end this chapter with a look at some of the historical manifestations of this phenomenon. Risk markets through history Jacques Donzelot (1979: 8) argues that it is a mistake to equate the emergence of new techniques of rule with decisive breaks with the older systems that came before. He writes: “people doggedly persist in seeing the approach of the final struggle every time a new rule of the social game makes its appearance”. Risk markets are not a new phenomenon; they emerge at various historical junctures, taking on distinctive forms to reflect the social, political and economic climate of the times. In his historical look at the evolution of policing in London, McMullan (1995: 121) writes: “[t]here is no dramatic divide which separates the old from the new police. Residues of communal policing carried over with, and blended into, more pecuniary and professional types of 80 enforcement.” Policing has evolved alongside capitalism and other aspects of social organization into its present form, and this evolutiOn is likely to continue. While I make a distinction between private and public policing, it is important to note that not all non-state forms of security provision can be defined as private. To do so would be an anachronistic way of understanding older modes of social control. The ancient tradition of the Hue and Cry in Medieval England, for example, was a “collective, informal unitary and relatively spontaneous reaction to crime” (Jones and Newburn, 1998: 35). This system, in which the community actively policed themselves, differs from policing for profit. There are also significant differences between older, paternalistic models of corporate security characteristic of “company towns” in early twentieth century America and contemporary contract security relations. Yet, all of these manifestations of policing are reflective of the distinctive phase of the organization of labour, residence and consumption out of which they emerged. They thus are important if we are to understand modes of policing as embedded in broader systems of social organization. Policing the Emerging Property Order: The Black Act Contemporary policing, built around the concept of private property, is in many ways the product of the brutal process of order creation during the time of the enclosures in England. That period in English history is integral to the story of property, as well as being an important moment in the creation of an urban working class and privatized forms of policing. E. P.Thompson (1975) explores the meaning of this historical period with a focus on The Waltham Black Act of 1723 (“Black Act”). The BlackAct was passed to outlaw resistance to the changes in access to forest resources. Thompson makes the 81 point clearly, although not explicitly, that while the creation of both property statutes and parallel criminal sanctions were bourgeois projects, the battle was waged on the ground by paid security staff and their servants. The time of the British enclosures is of particular importance because it is here that the social relations of the feudal system were erased through law and replaced with a liberal conception of property ownership, a model that was then exported to what is now Canada and much of the rest of the world. New laws resulted in the hegemony of a private ownership model of property that changed the underlying structure of society, effectively criminalizing traditional ways of living. It is through this process of privatizing property that wage labour began to take on a hegemonic form and that the process of mass urbanization began. The Black Act was composed of a number of laws that extended severe penalties for a series of new offences against property, as well as for “face blackening” (a practice used by poachers and wood thieves on private land). Understanding this period of history can tell us a lot about how risk markets emerge. Prior to the eighteenth century, the Crown, through the manor lords and landed gentry, controlled access to the forest and grazing lands in and around Windsor Forest. The changing political and property orders of the early eighteenth century resulted in the erasure of long-standing popular rights to turf cutting, wood collection, grazing and deer hunting. A changing political culture saw the emergent mercantile class replace the nobility as the dominant class. Laws were created to reflect changing views on the role of the state (Thompson, 1975). However, property was not, in 1700, protected by capitalist statutes. Rather, a legal property order had to be constructed and ratified in legislation. 82 The resultant changes in law were part of a fundamental shift in the relationship between the social classes in England. While there had always been official restrictions on deer poaching in Windsor Forest, the laws had not been enforced in the seventeenth century. Only after the Restoration, were laws consistently tightened and fines for deer poaching continually increased (Thompson, 1975: 59). Thompson (1975: 60) writes: “recourse to statute law was unpopular in forest districts. The keepers were more likely to get co-operation from the foresters if they affect an easy-going tolerance of small offences.” The manorial gamekeepers got little in the way of support from the local justices of the peace, and country people resented or ignored their authority in protecting their masters’ land and deer. According to Foucault (1977: 82), “one might say that under the Ancien Regime each of the different social strata had its margin of tolerated illegality: the non-application of the rule, the non-observance of innumerable edicts or ordinances were a condition of the political and economic functioning of society.” The Black Act, and its strict enforcement, served to turn the popular illegalities of country people into crimes that could and would be prosecuted. Thompson (1975: 207) argues that during the eighteenth century: “crime was coming to be defined by the propertied... since property was a thing it became possible to define offences as crimes against things rather than as injuries to men.” The Black Act served the purpose of criminalizing, often as capital crimes, the popular illegalities that had characterized communal life in a non-market economy. The local population fiercely resisted the legislated privatization of forest resources: Blackening arose in response to the attempted reactivation of a relaxed forest authority. This provoked resentment among foresters generally, whether small gentry, yeomen, artisans or labourers. The resort of deer poachers to more highly organized force may be seen as retributive in 83 character and concerned less with venison as such than with the deer as symbols of authority which threatened their economy, their crops and their customary rights (Thompson, 1975:64). The rigidification of property also held a purpose deeper than protection of the deer, peat, and firewood; in fact, it was questionable as to whether or not protection of those resources was even a concern. For example, in Windsor Forest the deer supply was so plentiful that in 1640 the Grand Jury of Berkshire presented a petition against “the innumerable increase of deer, which if allowed to go on for a few more years more will neither leave foode nor roome for any other creature in the forest” (cited in Thompson, 1975: 55). The Black Act was directed less against individual instances of criminality, and more against the resistance that was mounting in face of the legislative erasure of common rights. The Black Act was a clear response to the resistance of customary land users to a solidifying property order. Prior to the enclosures and the implementation of the Black Act, gamekeepers were employed by feudal lords to look after their forests. While there is a very clear overlap between the early gamekeepers of the feudal manors and the keepers who enforced the Black Act, some fundamental shifts occurred that speak directly to the specific role of the private security guard in capitalist orders. With the emergence of a privatized property regime, keepers saw a rise in their summary powers; they were empowered to confiscate not only timber but also tools and carts, to throw down fences, to search forest houses and to kill hunting dogs. These powers not only affirmed the right of property owners to protect their lands from encroachment, they also sparked fierce revenge among the forest people, creating a distinction between propertyless workers who served the interests of the propertied directly and other non-propertied persons. Thompson (1975: 63) characterizes the resulting animosity as, “in the most immediate 84 way, a conflict of force between Blacks and Keepers”. That is, while the Black Act was mainly a bourgeois project, the work of carrying out the desired social transformation was left to working people employed by the local bourgeoisie. Prior to the enactment of the Black Act, the keeper was of minor social importance and had limited power. The result of extended powers combined with greater risks of injury was to create a market for a new kind of keeper. An example of the changing nature of forest policing is the emergence of the post of ‘under-keeper’, a new position that emerged once the need for eyes to secure forest resources made the investment worthwhile. Under-keepers on larger estates often had one or more servants, increasing the power and prestige of the head keeper. Not only did the creation of a new property order require an accompanying criminal code, it required the creation of new law enforcement networks to ensure that the order took hold on the ground. These law enforcement networks were explicitly oriented toward serving the needs of one social class. Thompson (1975) notes that even important head keepers, despite their power in the community as the head of a vast network of under-keepers and servants, remained relatively powerless against people of a higher social class. In this emergent bureaucracy, “the actual work of law enforcement was performed by servants” (Thompson, 1975: 97). Some keeper’s servants were shot by dissenters within the community concerned about the erosion of their traditional common rights. They often had their cottages destroyed and were ostracized by customary networks. Often times, their pay was in peat and fallen timber, resources that had previously been part of the customary rights of country people. In this way, some local country people were placed on the front line of the class conflict 85 that accompanied the transition to a hegemonic system of private property relations, and ultimately to the urbanization and proletariatinization of the English peasantry. The dispossession of forest people through the work of the keepers fuelled the mass urbanization necessary to realize the industrial revolution. In the cities, new laws and opportunities for law enforcement networks -- and profits from law enforcement endeavors -- arose because, as Foucault notes, the illegal breach of property rights “while resented by the bourgeoisie where the ownership of land was concerned, was intolerable in commercial and industrial ownership” (Foucault, 1977: 85). Hence the ideology of private property would be even more firmly enforced in industrial urban centres, where the opportunity for ‘crime’ was higher because of the juxtaposition of wealth and poverty in close proximity and because the tolerance for breaches of the law and general ‘disorder’ was lower. The shift from communal to for-profit policing Urbanization required the creation and institutionalization of a property and economic order in the face of major demographic obstacles. Characterized by the dissolution of pre-existing communal relations and a great concentration of wealth, urbanization meant that there were many opportunities for profits in private policing. McMullan (1995: 122) documents the development of commercial forms of policing between 1620 and 1750 in London. He argues that public policing in London during this era “continued to operate as a patchwork structure of law enforcement and, in theory, policing was still thought of as a local government task dependent upon local citizens serving in an official volunteer capacity and generally for a limited time period, part-time, 86 and usually unpaid”. These policing networks were neither preventative nor detective. Rather, they operated simply as a presence on the street after dark. During this period “{a]pprehension was more often the task of the victim of crime and prosecutions of all kinds were primarily the business of citizens not government” (McMullan, 1995: 122). Risk was privatized, as the notion of a collective right to security had yet to be established. This lack of a public system resulted in a new market in private security. McMullan (1995: 123) writes: “policing in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries was being reconstituted as a mirror image of the times, as a private service where, generally speaking, you only obtained what you paid for”. The English state during this period lacked the coercive capacity to directly exert compliance from citizens, nor could it rely on older communal ties of social obligation. Thus “it relied in London on a strategy of expanding the punitive net by increasing the offences punishable by death, stimulating direct community involvement by developing a ‘system’ of rewards and pardons, and cultivating a private market in police services”. Order was to be maintained by private persons -- either criminals or private agents -- looking to capitalize on rewards and shares of fines that were offered by the state to persons who recovered stolen property or helped to apprehend criminals. Thus “there would no longer be any need to look for anything so nebulous and unrealistic as the public interest” (Pringle 1958 cited in McMullan, 1995: 123). Private entrepreneurs in search of a pay-off could be relied upon to provide policing services in the early industrial city. There were many manifestations of informing for profit (criminals reporting on other criminals for a fee or discharge) and private policing. In many cases, informers were entitled to a share of fines collected or property seized. In this way the state 87 contracted out policing work, albeit in a crude form. In other cases, informers collected rewards from private individuals who were the victims of crime. This practice developed into a market in ‘thief-taking’. Thief-takers often worked as prison keepers, functioning also as private entrepreneurs who, armed with warrants, profited from both ends of the patchwork criminal justice system by collecting a fee from the state for the criminals that they apprehended and additional fees for keeping the prisoners in their prisons. They also acted as informal insurance brokers, exploiting knowledge and connections in the criminal underworld in return for pay, and receiving stolen property to return to the original owner in exchange for payment. McMullan (1995: 125) notes that “profits were gained privately from rewards and forfeitures, and publicly an imperum in imperio was established whereby thief-takers became the informal, state-condoned local elite of crime as well as policing agents par excellence.” The thief-taking business, and the state’s decision to not only condone but to actively collude with it, reflects the capacity for privatized ‘problem solving’ built into liberal capitalism. The services provided by thief- takers were essential to the development of the sharply classed urban order of early industrial England. At this time, not only was new wealth counter-posed to new poverty - - a relatively enduring feature of capitalist urbanization -- private profits could now be generated by ensuring that the distribution of wealth remained intact. The growth of thief-taking also reflects the role of the state in providing the framework in which new sources of profit making can develop in the field of policing. Changes to English law in 1691, 1693, 1699 and 1706 institutionalized rewards for those engaged in the private apprehension of felons and burglars, as well as creating certificates of exemption for parochial offences in exchange for apprehending highway robbers 88 (McMullan, 1995). Yet these individual businesses were not part of an overall crime prevention strategy on the part of the state. Rather, a system of privatized crime control (which, ironically, was often accused of being a source of crime creation) emerged where public services were absent and where a legally-sanctioned market existed. Thief-taking was at times a physically demanding and dangerous task, but the most successful thief-takers -- who often had a criminal network working under them -- also worked as knowledge brokers: While buyers and sellers met in the marketplace as autonomous agents, thief-takers and informers held the upper hand. They controlled the intelligence networks, profited from finders fees and intermediary payoffs, settled grievances and delivered the final product -- felons, stolen goods, protection of property -- to those who contracted their services (McMullan, 1995: 140). While thief-takers were able to exploit specialized knowledges of both the criminal underworld and legal procedures, “those caught by thief-takers were frequently ignorant of the legal process and the ways in which it could be manipulated to their disadvantage” (McMullan, 1995: 140). Hence, thief-takers used not only the lack of public services to their advantage, but also the fact that those they policed were generally displaced country people and slum dwellers with little access to resources or formal knowledge. This dynamic is a relatively enduring feature of private security work, and explains how private security guards today are able to achieve results for their clients even though their legal authority is limited. McMullan (1995) notes that the demand for order led people of property to band together into private civic groups for the prosecution of felons, so that the costs of investigation, apprehension and prosecution could be shared. Yet, this development cannot be mistaken for a return to communal modes of policing characteristic of smaller 89 towns and villages. In fact, the commercialization of policing during this period “jeopardized the voluntary, customary and unpaid basis of the watch and ward system” (McMullan, 1995: 126). As urban elites in London during the seventeenth and eighteenth century grew in wealth, communal forms of volunteristic policing waned, in part because “the compulsory tasks of serving as constables or watch were unpaid, and directed valuable energy and time away from income earning ventures” (McMullan, 1995: 127). Financially-able citizens found ways to exempt themselves from policing functions, while continuing to control the policing process. In many cases they deputized their apprentices or domestics as replacements (McMullan, 1996: 122), creating a class of paid private police with an allegiance to those paying their salaries. This off-loading of policing services onto paid domestic staff undermined the legitimacy of the system of watch where policing was linked to traditional forms of authority. These forms of authority were, in fact, disappearing with the emergence of commodified relations during the industrial period. At the same time, the thief-taking industry devolved into a vast criminal network as warehouses, controlled by thief-takers and filled with stolen goods to be returned or sold for a fee, sprung up across London (McMullan, 1995). The waning ability of privatized systems to secure and legitimate order, as well as the growing resources of the state, paved the way for a public police force in London. The state enters Spitzer (1993: 585) reminds us that “socialized (public) policing did not spring full-blown from the heads of the capitalist class; it evolved dialectically through several imperfect and at least partially privatized forms.” Policing went through a phase of de 90 privatization in the early nineteenth century, in response to the growing inability of a patchwork of private policing agents to secure the urban environment, the illegitimacy associated with many of these private bodies, and the desire on the part of some members of the owning class to socialize the cost of theft and disorder. According to Jones and Newbum (1998: 4) the ‘modem’ period in policing in Britain began in 1829, with the creation of the New Police as a result of the Metropolitan Police Act 1829. In some ways, the Police Act was a state solution to a problem that the state itself had exacerbated, if not actually created though the thief-taking system. However, the creation of the Metropolitan Police did not fundamentally alter the class relations embedded in earlier private policing arrangements. The antecedent by two decades to the Metropolitan Police was the Thames River Police. This force was created through the efforts of the West India Company and represented the first large-scale sponsorship of a policing body. It is important to note that the creation of this body was directly tied to dispossession in England and the colonies during this period, which resulted in corporate bodies accruing sufficient wealth to sponsor an entire policing body. The Thames River Police were replaced after two years by the Marine Police Establishment which was publicly funded yet continued to operate in much the same way as it had as a private initiative. In fact, at the outset in 1829, the Metropolitan Police were receiving 80% of their funds from the West India merchants (Spitzer, 1993), making it ostensibly an early experiment in public/private partnerships. Risk and the company town The early industrial city resulted in a particular set of risk markets, which were directly influenced by both state policy and the limited level of public service provision. 91 While these markets emerged as cities industrialized and urban poverty grew, other forms of capitalist organization also spurred the growth of markets for private policing. In a liberal democracy the political sphere is governed by democratic principles, but those democratic principles are not extended to encompass the economic sphere. This situation paves the way for a class-based mode of privatized policing that is both hegemonic and paternalistic, even when a public police force governed by the rule of law is also in place. In company towns, class relations are characterized by a relationship of dependence between a single employer and a local labour force, even if public governing and policing bodies co-exist with the company. Paternalistic governance was the norm during much of the colonial period when large nationally-based corporations controlled newly colonized territories. In some company towns, internal private security was integral to how the company managed its own workforce, rather than being a source of direct profit. Other companies contracted out policing work, creating new markets for entrepreneurs with the tools needed to quell labour unrest. ‘Company towns’ grew rapidly in the United States after the civil war as the mode of production shifted from agriculture to resource extraction and industry (Spitzer, 1993: 577). In these towns a form of patemalist privatized governance developed, particularly in regard to immigrant labour. Companies often had local policing agents who would identify potential agitators and alert the company to possible sources of unrest. However, “under the pressure of working class militancy in the last quarter of the nineteenth century... industrialists began to look outside the local community to obtain more effective repressive controls”. The emergence of a national labour movement resulted in the growth of a market for firms like the Pinkerton Detective Agency, which could 92 provide espionage and strikebreaking services while leaving systems of dependence characteristic of corporate rule intact. Robert P. Weiss (1987) offers an example of the changing face of corporate rule within a single corporation in his exploration of the policing of labour at the Ford Motor Company from 1930-1947. He demonstrates the range of ways in which company policing can manifest itself. Ford moved from a paternalistic mode of policing labour where, in exchange for the hitherto unheard of five-dollar day, employees were subjected not only to scientific management on the factory line, but also to the regulation of their family and social lives. Ford’s company police were sent to taverns and bars to ensure that company employees were not thinking or engaging in extramarital sexual relations. During the Great Depression Ford moved to a “big stick” system, bringing in strikebreakers to ensure labour discipline through economic hard times. But Ford quickly found that “all private detective agencies were involved in a central paradox: they had a strong interest in prolonging the very strikes they were hired to suppress” (Weiss, 1987: 116). Unlike other automakers, Ford overcame such difficulties by developing an in- house policing system which “consisted of 3500 rougbnecks football players, wrestlers, ex-convicts, gangsters and broken down cops” (Weiss, 1987:115). Even the Knights of Dearborn and the American Nazis were involved in Ford’s police service (Weiss, 1987). The in-house system integrated policing back into auto-making. These changes did not represent major ideological shifts on Ford’s part. They were adjustments to the changing context in which his production process was embedded. Today, the decision to employ contract versus in-house private security is one that companies make based on the specific needs of their enterprise. 93 The National Recovery Act, 1933 and the subsequent Wagner Act, which together insured the rights of workers in the sphere of collective bargaining, resulted in a new comprise at Ford, facilitated by non-radical trade unions. As union membership was made mandatory, Ford was able to turn to union leaders to ensure that wage demands would not be unreasonable. In this way, labour became self-regulating. Through union dues, workers subsidized the cost of their own policing. At the same time, the post-war economic boom meant that the cost of wage increases could be socialized through higher prices for consumer goods. The Fordist mode of production then had a built-in policing mechanism that resulted in class relations that were less antagonistic than they had been in the past, and where particular policing markets disappeared or were greatly reduced in size. The shifting political and economic climates of both the depression and the post-war recovery shaped the face of corporate policing at Ford. Legislation affected the extent to which Ford could suppress labour, while the emerging social safety net meant that paternalistic social control was no longer viable. Risk markets and labour While security guards and their historical antecedents are workers, and low- waged and insecure workers at that, they are not ‘typical workers’. They exercise a great deal of power, both formal and informal. At present there is little research on security guards (Rigakos, 2002). Nevertheless, there is evidence to suggest that security guards’ working lives are generally structured through the long standing relations of wage labour that characterize capitalism. The power imbalance inherent in the wage labour relationship is intensifying due to neo-liberal economic practices aimed at reducing labour costs. This trend can be seen in the private security industry. South (1988: 103) 94 documents that the private security sector employs a disproportionate number of part- time casual staff. He also found that companies often hire moonlighters who will forgo pension contributions, or work under the table for a lower rate of pay. There is a more substantial literature on the working conditions and work culture of prison guards, another industry that, at least in the United States, is in the process of being privatized, in part to cut down on labour costs (Shichor, 1995). Lombardo (1981) and Shichor (1995) point out that prison guards are mainly working class people, with little education and few employment opportunities. In his study of the working lives of prison guards, Lombardo (1981) found that most guards, after having completed high school, some post-secondary or military service, spent a number of years in typical blue collar jobs such as trucker, construction worker or factory labourer. Lombardo (1981: 112) also found that guarding work was characterized by a combination of fear, powerlessness (in regard to both the inmates and the administration), and boredom. Most guards wanted to “serve their sentence” as quickly as possible. Turnover in the industry is found to be less during periods of high unemployment and in small towns where there are no other firms offering similar work. The enclosures and policing labour In assessing the role of working class people in the erasure of the commons in England, the policing of emergent urban centres, or the suppression of labour in the industrial United States, it is important to look at the tensions between oppression and agency. There is evidence to suggest that the work of policing capitalist development has long been accomplished through the use of recently dispossessed or historically marginalized collectivities. One manifestation of this process began with the British 95 enclosures during the sixteenth century. During this period large landowners fundamentally altered long standing agricultural practices by enclosing arable lands for private use. This resulted in a twelve-fold increase in propertylessness in a 100-year period. Linebaugh and Rediker (2000: 17) argue that since people are reluctant to give up a mode of subsistence that affords them some degree of independence, this new class had to be forced into factories and poor houses, criminalized, and even banished: “European capitalists had to forcibly expropriate masses of [peasants] from their ancestral homelands so that their labour power could be re-deployed in new economic projects in new geographic settings”. Through dispossession and the institutionalization of private property, peasants were forced into adopting a new class position in growing urban centres. This ongoing dispossession led to new problems related to social control. New risk markets emerged because the activities of the urban masses were seen as a potential source of disruption to orderly industrial development. The day-to-day work of policing did not fall to the industrialists, however. Some members of a newly emergent ‘respectable’ working class were deployed to this end. Servants and slaves Some of the ancestors of the dispossessed people that struck fear into the hearts of London’s respectable classes built the infrastructure of industrial capitalism. Without their labour, colonization and capitalism could not have developed into their contemporary hegemonic form. According to Linebaugh and Rediker (2000: 56), British colonialism was successful because England, through expropriation at home, created a huge desperate population that could be deployed to the new colonies. This population was in part achieved through the Beggar’s Act of 1598, which allowed offenders to be 96 banished from England after a second offense. These beggars were sent overseas to secure and lay physical claim to colonial territories. The English took possession of lands overseas “by building fences and hedges, the markers of enclosure and private property” (Linebaugh and Rediker, 2000: 44). In this way the most marginal English subjects did the work of actual physical dispossession across the empire. The colonization of Ireland took precisely this form. Through the workhouses that emerged in urban areas after the enclosures, many British peasants were formed into an army to overtake the Irish in their homeland. These peasants had been deemed redundant as farmers and were placed in what amounts to holding pens in the form of workhouses, until a new use for their labour emerged. Colonial endeavors provided just such a labour demand, and the bodies of dispossessed peasants were mobilized to this end. After their colonization, groups of Irish peasants were sent to Jamaica to work alongside African slaves. The island experienced what would be viewed today as “cross-racial” slave revolts. The revolts were a nightmare for the planting class, and without a police force in place to help quell these revolts, they were on their own to develop a solution. The solution they found was to redeploy some of their slave labour to stand on the frontline in the case of future unrest. The result was a legal differentiation between servants (Irish) and slaves (Africans). Both were heavily controlled. For example, the 1652 Act to Restrain the Wanderings of Servants and Negroes restricted the movement of Africans and Irish alike. However, “the planters legally and socially differentiated slave from servant, defining the former as absolute private property and offering the latter new protection against violence and exploitation” (Linebaugh and Rediker, 2000: 127). The servants became a labour elite, working as overseers in the fields and also as an armed 97 militia used to put down slave revolts. The dispossession of these Irish militiamen by underpaid British soldiers demonstrates the way in which a large hegemonic system like British Imperialism is able to subsume many into its project, despite very limited rewards through an intensive system of hierarchy. Conclusion I have argued that alongside changing relations of production and consumption have come changing policing needs. Various entities, large and small, public and private, have consistently stepped up to fill market demand. I have also argued that economic necessity, combined with a relative measure of borrowed power, have historically led economically marginalized people to provide the requisite labour to ensure that the work of policing and surveillance gets done in a cost efficient manner. There have been transitional changes in the culture of capitalism with the collectivized insurance programs of the post-war period. Neo-liberal thought has since repositioned the values of individualism and competition above the risk-sharing features of the Keynesian welfare state. As neo-liberalism has taken hold over the past thirty years, risk markets have re emerged and evolved. In the next chapter, I look at the range of contemporary risk markets emerging at the international, national and local levels. 98 Chapter Five: Emerging and Evolving Risk Markets Figure 2. Social Housing in Vancouver While risk markets have been a fairly enduring feature of western capitalist development, they have continued to evolve and take on new and distinctive forms. Accelerated globalization and the adoption of neo-liberal economic and governance principles at the international, national, and local levels have contributed to the changing form of some security services, as well as the emergence of new markets for security services. This chapter begins with a look at contemporary international risk markets. There have long been mercenary firms willing, for a price, to become involved in internal and external conflicts in foreign countries. Under the current US administration there has been an expansion and a mainstreaming of this type of militarized private security service. Although the sorts of services offered by firms, such as American-based Blackwater USA, on the surface appear to have little in common with the types of private security services 99 currently on the market in Canada, the activities of transnational mercenary-style private security firms have to be understood as emerging out of the same economic and political context as locally-based Canadian firms. This chapter then examines the changing face of Canadian private security. The private security industry in Canada is not only growing, the types of services available are evolving. Ross Mcleod (2002), CEO of the Toronto- based private security firm, Intelligarde, describes Canadian private security as having evolved from a night watchman or ‘warm body’ phase, to a low-profile or ‘guards with blazers’ phase, with his organization ushering in a ‘third wave’ in private policing in Canada ‘parapolicing’. McLeod’s company offers highly visible, proactive policing. His staff employ a range of tactics generally reserved for the public police, such as mass arrests, roadblocks, the use of body armour and even horses. I argue that while there are viable markets for all three types of services in Canadian cities, the demand for ‘parapolicing’ services is growing. This chapter ends with a look at the broad range of risk markets in Vancouver International risk markets Internationally, researchers interested in contemporary private security arrangements have covered topics as diverse as Disney World’s customized approach to private policing (Shearing and Stenning, 1987) to the engagement of transnational mercenary firms such as “Executive Outcomes” to ‘secure’ diamond mines in war torn Sierra Leone (Douglas, 1999). Making sense of Vancouver’s risk markets requires an understanding of the diversity of activities that make up contemporary private security work, as well as some of the underlying similarities across the industry. 100 While mercenary firms like ‘Executive Outcomes’, working at the international level, have a long history, since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, there has been a growth in that particular risk market. For example, many North Americans are now familiar with ‘Blackwater USA’. This private security firm has been integral to the ongoing occupation of Iraq. The type of work performed by Blackwater operatives is much more complex and far reaching in its implications that any private security work in Vancouver, not to mention being both more dangerous and more lucrative. However, it is important to bear in mind that as Blackwater and other firms with an international focus go about their work providing advanced law enforcement and military training, engaging in counter terrorism activities, antiterronsm and diplomatic protection programs, or deploying their parachute team in war-torn nations (Blackwater, 2006) they are doing so within the same economic and ideological context as local firms providing burglar alarm monitoring or patrolling suburban shopping malls. The context has less to do with a pervasive fear of terrorism than with a hegemonic faith among those in a position to influence security policy in the efficacy of free market principles for addressing security concerns, real or perceived. Blackwater USA claims to exist in order to support “security, peace, freedom and democracy everywhere” (Blackwater, 2006). The company works closely with local, state and federal law enforcement, the US Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, as well as non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations and ‘friendly’ nations from around the world (Blackwater, 2006). Blackwater markets itself as a problem-solving organization, able to respond to challenges faced by governments in a global context rife with sharp political and ideological cleavage: 101 We customize and execute solutions for a client to help keep them at the level of readiness required to meet today’s military, law enforcement, peacekeeping, and stability operations challenges. We continually prove to be faster, better, cheaper, and more efficient and effective than conventionally managed forces (Blackwater, 2006). From the perspective of Blackwater executives, the issues that have lead to current global conflicts and instability can be managed through customized policing interventions. Eric Prince, Blackwater’ s CEO, is a dedicated conservative Christian and has been actively involved in the movement to politically unite evangelicals, conservative Catholics and neoconservatives (Scahill, 2007). To focus exclusively on the company’s stated ideological position, however, directs attention away from the fact that Blackwater is, first and foremost, a for-profit enterprise. The company has more than $500 million in US government contracts, not even taking into account its secret “black budget” operations (Scahill, 2007). Blackwater has been so successful because the American government has adopted wholesale the neo-liberal economic principles of cost-cutting and increased efficiency through privatization. The executives and frontline operatives developing and implementing customized security solutions for their clients are not accountable to those who will be most affected by their work. The private security industry in Canada While there are no firms even approaching the size or status of Blackwater USA in Canada, since the 1 960s Canada has been home to a range of diverse firms filling a broad range of market niches. These firms include “private security firms, insurance companies, forensic accountants and private ‘in-house’ corporate security’ (Law Commission of Canada, 2002: 60). Since the 1980’s, growth in the private security industry has accelerated. While reliable data on the size of private security in Canada do 102 not exist, the actual number of police officers in Canada has steadily declined relative to the population while the number of private security officers has grown. It is generally agreed that, at some point in the late 60s or early 1970s, the number of private security officers surpassed the number of public police officers in Canada (Law Commission of Canada, 2002: 9). Statistics Canada reports that in 1996, Canada employed 59,090 public police officers and 82, 010 private security officers. However, the Law Commission of Canada (2002: 10) notes that “this figure underestimates the actual number of private security employees because it only includes private security officers and investigators and does not include forensic accountants, insurance investigators or private ‘in-house’ security officers”. This number is small when compared to the American industry where private security workers outnumber public police 7 to 1, but the private security industry Canada clearly has a sizable and longstanding presence. The changing face of Canadian private security Security companies in Canada are surprisingly diverse. Not only is there a broad range of services available, new markets continue to emerge. Ross McLeod (2002), CEO of Toronto based Intelligarde, explains that 20 years ago the security industry was populated mainly by solitary guards employed only to provide a ‘warm body’ at a site during off times. He calls this the “night watchman” phase of the industry. Night watchman work continues to constitute a major risk market. A guard named Paul who took part in this study explained, “I used to joke that you haven’t really done security until you’ve watched a hole in the ground, paint dry, or grass grow, until one day I realized I’d done all three”. Although Paul has moved on to more high profile security 103 work, the industry is full of night watchmen. This type of work, described by McLeod (2002) as the first wave of private policing, is generally the domain of elderly immigrants: I have seen different ethnic groups that have very elderly people still doing security work but it’s just sort of on site, just sort of watch some trucks in a parking lot or something like that, it’s not like any heavy duty security. (Jimmy) While there will likely always be a place for the night watch in the world of private security, there is also demand for new kinds of services. McLeod (2002) describes the second wave of private security as “low profile, or guards with blazers”. Night watchmen work, by and large, takes place outside of the public eye. As bank towers, business centres, and shopping centres became ubiquitous in North America, a market emerged for security people who were more presentable and professional. According to McLeod, most of the guards employed at these sites are younger than typical night watchmen, but in general, they are still not particularly communed to a career in the security industry. The job of a low profile guard is simply to observe and report incidents, and pass this information on to allow the criminal justice system to respond appropriately. These guards are there in large part for insurance reasons. Paul explained: You know, a lot of the time securing something is not that important, it’s just the fact that you were there. It is all about insurance. Not insurance in the sense of insuring things don’t go wrong, I’m talking insurance in the sense of the companies. There are profits to be made in providing “low profile guards in blazers”. In discussing the type of service provided by his company, the human resources director at Securiwise, the largest security company in BC, describes typical low profile security work: 104 We’re not compliance oriented, we are customer service oriented . . . Do we think that security officers need to be empowered to use force, or to use weapons? Not really, we don’t think that that is the role of security officers. Our role is to observe and report and not to take people down. While the market for low profile guards clearly remains lucrative given the ongoing success of Securiwise, many clients now expect a little bit ‘extra’ from their contract security provider. According to McLeod, that expectation has led to the third wave in private policing. McLeod (2002) argues that at some point in the 1 980s the assumption that guards should do no more than observe and report began to change. He writes, “the industry had to become more active, visible and professional” (McLeod, 2002: 32). He describes ‘parapolicing’ as high profile, well-equipped people who can command authority and respect. McLeod (2002) attributes the demand for this style of private security to more private property and visible wealth offering temptation to potential criminals, and to overburdened public police forces that cannot meet citizens’ demand for security. Parapolice will intervene and resolve a situation rather than merely observe and report. McLeod describes this company as “pushing the envelope” in terms of what the private security industry can offer clients. There are several companies operating in Vancouver that are pushing the industry in the parapolicing direction. These companies have not gone as for as Toronto’s Intelligarde in terms of adopting tactics generally reserved for the public police. However, they do engage in a highly visible and proactive form of private security work. Guards are likely to be trained in self-defense and are willing to actively engage in conflict situations. These guards and the companies that employ them also tend to be eager to distance themselves from the image of the security guard as ‘night watchman’. The co 105 owners of Streetwise, a small security firm in Vancouver, want to see the industry become more proactive and interventionist in its approach. They describe what they see as the problem with traditional security: I mean if you’re 70 years old and you can barely walk and you’re watching a job site, I mean you’re not very productive so the police are just dealing with more work from them at the end of the day following up on all of the draw backs that we in the security industry have. We should be competent to get the job done. They explain why they went into business: We want to be proactive. We want to be on site. We wanted to bring something a little more security based, a little more focused to the needs of Vancouver, a little more professional. We kind of did our research into what was going on out there, you know, just the type of security that was out there was lacking in a lot of ways.. .We did some training in the states with domestic terrorism and stuff like that, so we also wanted to bring that aspect to here. After 9-11, we felt that that might be a kind of marketing tool that we could use to sort of ‘up’ our services. So that was our primary reason --just sort of overall noticing what was going on out there and realizing that we had skills and the training to maybe take it to the next level. These security entrepreneurs note that there is a growing market for the style of services that they provide: We are usually the second line. So what happens is, they usually hire these East Indian companies to go in at a very small wage, and when something major occurs and these people do not perform, then we go in and clean up their mess. It’s unfortunate but that’s usually how we’re getting our work. And then we usually establish ourselves as a pretty decent company from that point we just carry on from there. In the downtown core, where there are so many different factors here with homelessness and B&Es and you name it, we usually haven’t had many problems getting [contracts] down here just because of our service and what we do down here (Streetwise). Parapolicing is a very different job than traditional forms of private security work. ‘Parapolice’ are more than just a set of eyes and ears, they work proactively to deter 106 criminal activity and actively intervene in the face of behaviour they consider to be undesirable. With this style of private security, size and physical power become much more important. Thomas, who works for a company doing higher-end proactive security work, explains: You’ve got a lot of security people that are, I’m not going to say smaller in stature but they don’t have the presence. If somebody was to say something and they were to say something back, there not going to look at ‘em and think “This guy means business”. Whereas I’m 6’2, 200 pounds. I don’t have a problem throwing people around. Parapolicing tactics contrast considerably with more conventional, night watchman or low-profile approaches to security work. It is about being proactive, highly visible and interventionist. Vancouver currently has markets for all three styles of private security work. In this context multiple companies can coexist, providing a range of services while consumers are offered ‘choice’ in terms of the style of policing they feel is right for them given their needs and budget. The range of risk markets in Vancouver Security companies generally provide a range of services in order to access many risk markets. A representative from Cavalry Security, a firm with approximately 750 employees in Vancouver and four to five hundred employees in Alberta, describes the diversity of functions that his guards perform: It really varies site to site. In general security is just a lot ofjust presence and providing a deterrent from people trying to break in. Say hospitals, they’re there to help locate missing patients, keep an eye on violent patients, anything in between. Fire alarms, fire watch, it’s really broad. There’s other things that we do. We have canine patrols, bike patrols, concierge stuff, everything. A single security guard may find himself deployed to a wide variety of sites: 107 I’ve worked lots of malls. I’ve done Plaza of Nations a number of times. I’ve done private apartment building fire watch when the panel goes out. Lots of raves, I’ve done a couple of clubs. I started out doing a lot of strikes. (Names a mid size firm) actually got contracts out of the country, San Francisco, and sent a bunch of guards to do some strike fighting. I didn’t get to do that, I did the Molson Indy. (Jimmy) Thomas also works at a range of sites: I do construction security, so night shift or day shift when they are not working. We do concierge slash security services for different towers downtown. The company itself does personal security, so I’ve done security at people’s houses, personal protection. The general manager of Charger Security, a mid-sized firm that started out doing mainly night club and special events work, explains that in order to compete in the world of private security, it is necessary to grow and branch out into new markets as they emerge: Well, as a company, if you want to expand you’ve got to grow. You’ve got to move into new areas, so we got into mobile patrols, static sites, alarm response, private investigation, personal protection loss prevention, pretty much everything except for canine, which is the dogs. There are a number of fairly standard services that can be purchased in Vancouver. They range from services targeted to individuals to those targeted toward multinational companies. Strikebreaking “Labour relations”, also referred as strikebreaking, is a risk market with a long history in North America. From the Pinkerton Detective Agency, employed to break mining strikes, to the policing of labour relations in Ford’s automotive factories, private security has historically been an important tool for disciplining labour. Securiwise, Vancouver’s largest company with over 100 employees and 30 years of business experience, began operations in the 1 970s as a security force for the resource extraction economy that dominated in the province. Vancouver is now the centre of Securiwise’s operations, although they also have offices in Nanaimo and Victoria, as well as Dubai. 108 Although strike breaking is no longer a major aspect of their operations, in British Columbia today the policing labour relations is re-merging as a profitable risk market. AFT International Group, an Ontario based company specializing in strikes and lockouts, has recently set up shop in British Columbia (Vancouver Sun, May 6th 2004). Company president, Darrell Parsons, explained to the Vancouver Sun: “all we do is labour”. The company works with employers to draw up contingency plans in the event of a lockout, to provide safe passage in and out of workplaces for managers, and gathers evidence for legal proceedings. AFI has over 400 employees that it moves around the country as needs arise, exploiting risk markets wherever they emerge. Contracting out ofpublic security services Federal, provincial and municipal decisions to contract out formerly public security-related jobs have lead to new opportunities for security entrepreneurs. Across British Columbia there are now private guards working in security jobs, as contract security agents, that were once held by public employees. Vancouver Coastal Health, for example, contracted out their non-healthcare related services as a cost-saving measure. Housekeeping services were contracted out to Aramark Canada, laundry services to K Bro Linen systems, and food preparation was handed over to Sodexho Canada ltd, which received a ten year $330 million contract (VCH, 2003). Security was in large part handed over to Cavalry Security, a Vancouver-based company. Cavalry was awarded a five year $23 million contract to provide security at hospitals. The contract offers Vancouver Coastal Health five million dollars in savings while security services will be expanded across the authority by 23% (VCH, 2003). Those savings will likely come mainly from lower labour costs. Cavalry will be joined at 109 Vancouver General Hospital by Firstcall Security. San Antonio-based Firstcall Security was established in 1948. The company has 45 branches across the United States as well as 17 offices in Canada. Special Events, Bars and Night Clubs Bars and special events are a long-established risk market. For example, Charger Security, which has grown to over 300 employees in under ten years, began doing only special events and nightclub security. The company was initially founded to offer licensed and bonded personnel to provide security services to the nightclub industry. They have covered events ranging from the Vancouver Molson Indy and Canadian Idol to private raves. Charger security got in on the ground floor of a burgeoning private security market. As Vancouver develops its tourism and entertainment districts, new risk markets are continually emerging. In 2004, the City of Vancouver launched a pilot program to have bars in the downtown core to stay open until four am. In order to monitor the change, a group of 22 bar and club owners organized themselves into ‘Barwatch’. The later closing times were part of Vancouver’s attempt to revitalize the downtown core and bring in money. The later closing times have also resulted in a host of security concerns. Some of the issues are being dealt with technologically, with bar owners attempting to bring in ID machines where club patrons swipe their drivers licenses before coming inside. The demand for guards has also grown. Barwatch originally paid $735,000 to bring in extra public police, and eventually hired private security to augment the police presence. The security company ensures that there are more bodies patrolling the street, particularly along the Granville strip between nine pm and five am on weekends. The company’s guards “maintain constant contact with the police and doormen to make sure everyone is aware 110 of the troublemakers” (Vancouver Courier, August 5”, 2005). The company provides four patrol guards (working in groups of two) along the busiest four blocks of Vancouver’s nightclub district, along with a roving supervisor for back-up when needed. Mobile patrols Mobile patrols covering a limited area represent a newly emerging risk market in Vancouver. Business improvement areas and residents’ associations are major consumers of patrol services, because they have a vested interest in controlling a limited geographical space. Mobile patrols are a shared service carried out by a security guard or team of guards who patrol a predetermined area. Generally these patrols provide an agreed upon number of checks each night, at irregular intervals in order to ensure that potential criminals cannot discern their schedule. These services are available for residential and business clients. Patrols can be carried out on foot, bicycle or in a car. As Dark Pillar’s website explains, mobile patrols serve a number of functions, including: removal of undesirable persons from the client’s property, bylaw/parking enforcement; customer service; and deterrence of criminal activities by patrolling parking lots, roadways, pathways, buildings residence and the perimeter of any area. These patrols are interesting because even though security guards have little power when they patrol public streets, their presence can be a very effective tool for relocating undesirable persons, providing an overall feeling of security for clients. Concierge and residential services Another area of substantial growth for the private security industry in Vancouver has been in concierge/security positions, where a security guard is hired by a strata condominium complex. I asked the co-owners of Streetwise, which provides security for 111 many high-end buildings, why new residential towers in Vancouver were opting for security rather than traditional doormen: They want the security mentality. They want the presence, the deterrence. When you put somebody in a building, like say this tower, part of it is customer service. But then, you’re also checking all the doors around the building. You want to check downstairs. You want to check the vehicles, make sure no one breaks into any of the vehicles so that’s the security aspect of it, right. So if you can put the two together with security and customer service. Kirk, a guard who works in a residential tower, explained that these services do seem to make a difference for the residents: Some of the sites that our company works at we’ve had very little break and enter, very little theft. The building that I’m at now has been there for three years. I’ve been there for two years and we’ve had one break and enter. So we’re a very visible presence. I make sure that all of our staff including myself, is out doing perimeters on a regular basis. Given the level of high-density development currently underway, the demand for concierge/security services is likely to grow. However, other people want more individualized attention than a security/concierge service can offer. This has led to a market in higher-end personal protective services. Executive protection According to the co-owners of Streetwise Security, the market for high-end executive protection services has risen in Vancouver: The executive of Telus, right now has security going with their kids to the park and everything. There’s a lot of prominent families that no one even knows about around the city. Like we were just fortunate enough to be involved with the owner of the Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club, Iranian gentleman. We’re talking chauffeurs, Bentleys, you name it he’s got it. And he’s got security at his place all the time. They don’t want problems, right. A number of Vancouver-based companies offer custom protection for individuals, their spouse and family, or nanny. These companies will provide a team which can include 112 any or all of the following: a team leader, responsible for running the operation; a personal escort section; a residential security team; a security advance party; security drivers; and operations room staff to manage the operation from an off-site location. The level of protection is limited only by the individual’s willingness to pay. Canine Another burgeoning risk market in Vancouver is canine patrols. Dark Pillar Security Services Ltd. prides itself as being the pioneer in canine security services in British Columbia. The company’s website describes an impressive array of canine-related services that extend beyond run of the mill watch dogs: Our canine detection experts can scan your organization or facility for contraband odor including explosives, narcotics and weapons in just a few hours. Companies of all types, which are concerned about drug abuse making their way into the workplace and on campus, all over the world are employing K-9 detection teams. Cavafry Security provides some canine services. According to their human resource manager, canine patrols are popular with both clients and guards: People want it, but they have to be able to justify paying extra money for a dog. It’s essentially a higher billing rate. . .We’re starting up canine mobile patrols responding to alarms and stuff like that. It’s more of a presence. A lot of the guards want to do that [canine patrol], get experience. Canine patrols are appealing to property owners precisely because they add an element of authority to a patrol that an unarmed guard cannot command on his own. Community policing as neo-liberalpolicing Private security companies are increasingly taking over the function of “community policing”. In Vancouver, privatizing tendencies in the area of policing have been exacerbated by the withdrawal of support for publicly-funded community policing 113 programs. While it was never clear that these programs were genuinely ‘community’ controlled, given the importance of sponsorship in financing community policing centres, they did include the opportunity for some measure of input and participation from interested residents. In 1996, the Provincial NDP government began providing $150,000 per year toward the funding of 17 community policing centres in Vancouver. This funding was matched by the city, putting the total budget for community policing at $300,000, which could then be supplemented by local communities through the provision of space, equipment and services. In 2002, the Provincial Liberal government announced that it would cut the funding and replace it with $5000 one-time grants for special projects (Vancouver Courier, October 27th 2004). This cut came in the wake of a comprehensive restructuring of the provincial economy, which included cuts to most social services and a move towards privatization and off-loading of service provision to local governments and the voluntary sector. The city of Vancouver adopted the position that their participation in community policing funding was always conditional on the provincial contribution. While city council noted that community policing had been successful, they chose to end funding and to replace it with transition! terminating grants for centres that met certain criteria, including a large active volunteer base, the operation of an office with consistent hours, diverse funding sources, and the engagement of local residents and business community (Vancouver City Counsel, 2003), all of which are easier to achieve in areas with more resources. After 10 community policing centres were closed in June 2003 due to budgetary cuts (Vancouver Courier, October 27, 2004), citizens began taking matters into their 114 own hands in some areas. For example, members of the Dunbar Resident’s Association, claiming to be “under siege from an increase in graffiti, vandalism, car thefts and break- ins,” began a volunteer foot and bike patrol. The community originally had its own community policing centre. With the budget cuts there was an amalgamation, and the Kerrisdale/Oakridge/Marpole community-policing centre is now responsible for patrolling the city west of Granville Street. The Kitsalano area, which was also affected by the amalgamation of community policing offices, started its own volunteer patrol. The Dunbar area has become part of a very telling project. In June of 2005, Charger Security announced that it would offer a year-long free patrol service to the community between West Boulevard and Dunbar Street and 33rd Avenue and 49th Avenue as part of a pilot program that they labeled “community smart patrol” (Vancouver Courier, June 15, 2005). The company’s general manger explained his position to the Vancouver Courier: “the police have ajob to do. But in today’s society everybody in every aspect of the workforce is getting stretched in their job duties. We’re there to work with the police and be proactive with the community” (Vancouver Courier, June 15th, 2005). The program will, according to Charger, target property crimes, missing or lost children, unsecured homes and businesses, nuisance vagrants, aggressive panhandlers, and abandoned vehicles. When questioned on how the program would run for free, the company’s director of business development explained that the initiative will cost the company more than $150, 000 as guards will use a Smart Car equipped with GPS, laptop computer and video surveillance to patrol the neighbourhood 24 hours a day seven days a week. He concedes that the program cannot run for free indefinitely and tells the Courier “the goal is to prove that once you build a sense of community and work together 115 you can beat crime.., the secondary goal is proving that it can be an affordable and effective means of combating crime” (Vancouver Courier, June 15th 2005). Despite claims that the program is free, Charger has asked that residents and businesses pay 30 dollars per month for alarm monitoring (Vancouver Courier, June 20th, 2005). The bigger issue, however, is the way in which risk markets are being simultaneously picked up as public services decline, and constructed as people become accustomed to services such as a patrol that deals with “nuisance vagrants”, a service that the public police are not able to provide unless a crime has been committed. At the same time, the banner of ‘community’ is being used to describe a process that was entirely spearheaded by a private company based out of another area of the city. On July 10th of 2006, Charger Security’s president announced on his “Community Patrol Blog” that the “Community Patrol Program” would be expanded. He committed one million dollars to the project by 2010. The program is now running in Kerrisdale, a high-income Westside neighbourhood. Layering ofprivate security provision The belief that the public police are no longer in a position to mitigate the risks posed to individuals’ homes, neighbourhoods or businesses by criminals of all types seems to be growing. In this context, many security companies are claiming to be complete security providers, the message being that all of an individual’s or business’s security needs can be met by a single private provider who can better understand and meet their needs than the public police. When a resident, business or organization employs private security in any of the capacities mentioned above, security work does not happen in isolation. For example, IMC Concierge & Security Inc., which specializes in providing security services to residential towers, offers a bike patrol program to 116 complement the security inside residential towers. They market this program on their website: An increasing number of Vancouver area residents are asking for the extra security that bicycle patrols provide. A trained security guard on a bicycle is flexible and mobile enough to respond quickly, protecting property and preventing small incidents from snowballing into emergencies. Now IMC Concierge & Security Inc. has designed a Shared Bike Patrol service that is both effective and affordable. When three or four neighbouring strata title or rental properties share one bicycle patrol that coverage can cost as little as $5 per unit per month The owners of Streetwise explained that this type of multi-layered private security service expanding to cover an enormous range of public and private spaces: When we first started it was construction sites and buildings. Now, we’ve got security within security. We’ve got mall security and then we’ve got our own security which we do within stores that we do for people. Then we’ve got loss prevention. It’s everywhere. Kirk explains how multi-layered private security functions in the downtown neighbourhood where he works. He does concierge/security work in a tower. He is responsible for the perimeter and parking garage in the building, but not the streets or public space around it. He notes that: “There’s street patrol, but that’s run by a different company. It’s an independent company that does bike patrol and street patrol”. While individual strata councils are responsible for providing internal security, the developer is responsible for street patrols. Kirk explains, “They need street patrol to monitor all the sites that are being built”. While services are provided by a number of different companies, he notes that: “It’s good to maintain [communicationi, yes, not every security person does but the supervisors try to maintain open communications with all the other agencies because sometimes you never know you might need back up”. By purchasing dedicated on-site security along with mobile patrols that can be redeployed should a 117 situation arise, Vancouver’s urban condo dwellers can provide themselves with optimum security for a ‘reasonable’ price, while having the assurance that the shopping centres, entertainment districts, and public buildings that they frequent are also patrolled by private security guards. Conclusion Risk markets continue to expand and evolve at the international, national and local levels. At the global level, private security firms are taking on a more pronounced role in major international conflicts. In Canada, domestic risk markets continue to expand. The nature of services companies provide are, in some instances, becoming more heavy- handed and beginning to more closely resemble those provided by the public police. However, there is still a lucrative market in more traditional, lower-profile private security services. In Vancouver, markets have emerged for services ranging from ‘labour relations’ to canine patrols. Private security providers are also filling a number of service gaps left by the withdrawal of public funds from community policing programs and the contracting out of formerly public security services. Whether a security company is intervening in international conflicts or guarding parking lots, these companies exist because there are clients willing and able to pay for the services they provide. This willingness to expend resources on private security services is due in part to perceptions of growing risks to persons and property. These perceived risks are as diverse as international terrorism and concerns about panhandlers driving away shoppers. Importantly, in each of these cases a decision has been made to address these insecurities through the private market. Within Canada, this demand for security services is concentrated mainly in urban areas (Law Commission of Canada, 118 2002). In the next chapter, I draw on the literature on neo-liberal and post-industrial city building practices to argue that inner city gentrification in post-industrial locales opens up a range of risk markets for security entrepreneurs, and that, in fact, the existence of cost effective private security has made some city-building enterprises that would have otherwise been untenable, not only possible, but quite successful. 119 Chapter Six: City Building and Risk Markets: A Review of the Literature Figure 3. A Vancouver Neighbourhood in Transition Neo-liberal policy choices have had a profound impact on the emergence of new risk markets. While the language of neo-liberalism is often applied to processes occurring at the international and the national level, “urban processes and conflicts are not often framed in a similar language” (Blomley 2004: xv). Yet it is in the everyday space of interaction, where people live and work, that neo-liberalism happens as a practice rather than a discourse. It is in these spaces, for example, that racialized immigrant workers cook and clean for those at the upper end of the post-industrial labour market and where the wealthy and the poor alike, limited only by their access to resources, make ‘choices’ related to housing, childcare and transportation. It is also in these everyday spaces that feelings of security and insecurity manifest themselves. For example, in public parks and 120 at bus stops occupants of new upscale developments come face to face with those rendered homeless as a result of inner city gentrification and restrictive income assistance policies. George Rigakos (2002) notes that the emergence of new risk markets in Canada is primarily an urban phenomenon. In a report written on behalf of the Law Commission of Canada (2002:11), he explains that while statistical data about the security industry tend to be national in scope, “it is important to keep in mind that much of the discussion around these trends largely arises from developments in urban areas. Rural communities, out of economic necessity and/or tradition, tend toward a more voluntarist approach to augment local public policing”. Thus, the growing prominence of privatized policing should be seen less as a shift in Canada’s policing practice and more as a shift in the social relations of cities. In 1984, Jane Jacobs critiqued economists from across the political spectrum for their reliance on national measures to attempt to explain and predict economic trends. She argues that even Marxism, with its orientation towards class rather than nations, focuses on national economies in any jurisdiction where variants of Marx’s theories have been put into practice. Jacobs (1984) argues that the assumption that the nation state is the best unit of analysis for studying how economies function is so deeply embedded in economics that it is taken for granted and so flawed that no economic theory has been successful in predicting the impact of the policies that they espouse. Nations are political and military entities, and so are blocs of nations. But it doesn’t necessarily follow from this that they are also the basic, salient entities of economic life or that they are particularly useful for probing the mysteries of economic structure.., once we remove the blinders of the mercantilist tautology and try looking at the real economic world in its own right rather than as a dependent artifact of politics, we can’t avoid seeing that most nations are composed of collections or grab bags of very 121 different economies, rich regions and poor ones within the same nation (Jacobs, 1984: 31). Out of that ‘grab bag’ of economies, cities are among the most powerful. Urban economies have the ability to shape the economic life of other regions while containing a distinct and ever-changing economy of their own. Conversely, cities and their economies cannot be understood in isolation from the broader economic context in which they are embedded. Cross and Moore (2002) explain that, in both North America and Europe, the rapid globalization of the economy is having a profound effect on the structure and function of cities, and that global cities have become critical nodes in advanced restructured economies. Blomley (2004) uses the term ‘urban neo-liberalism’ to describe the ways in which cities have restructured themselves in order to fit into that emerging global economic order. Through policies of de-regulation and fiscal austerity that emphasize public-private partnerships and ‘market-based solutions’ to urban problems, neo-liberal practices have had a profound effect on many cities. Urban neo-liberalism has been described “as a ‘process’ rather than a ‘fully actualized policy regime’. It is expressed through various forms of ‘creative destruction’ where the dismantling of Fordist relations and forms goes hand in hand with new structures and modalities of rule” (Blomely, 2004: 30). Neo-liberalism is not just an ideology or a set of economic practices; rather, urban neo-liberalism requires the adoption of particular spatial, such as the tactical cleansing of urban spaces (Blomely, 2004). In this way the work that security guards do can be seen as central to the neo-liberalization of cities. I am interested in how the work that security guards do links up with the broader work of city building in Vancouver. Neo-liberal discourse stresses the role of individuals 122 and communities in governance, suggesting that they should retain control of resources and make choices that fit their individual needs, while finding customized solutions to problems that may emerge. In urban areas, private security patrols hired by individuals and local groups fit well with this governance strategy. Ironically, despite the focus on individual choice and customized problem-solving in neo-liberal discourse, there is remarkable congruence in terms of the choices that are being made and the development path being followed in western cities. This chapter examines the literature on contemporary urban development practices in post-industrial cities. I look at the range of actors identified in the literature as having a role to play in terms of how cities are being developed and how risk markets are unfolding. I then move on to explore the concept of ‘quality-of-life’ in both city-building and policing discourses, as well as the socio-economic impact of building cities for tourists. I then turn my attention to the literature on city-building in Vancouver. This literature suggests that trends in Vancouver can be understood in the context of ‘policy drift’ from one location to another. These trends are also reflective of processes underway in much of Western Europe and North America. The locally-based literature points to the specific form city-building is taking in Vancouver. Taken together, these two bodies of literature illustrate how neo-liberal practices involve simultaneous homogenization and fragmentation, a twin tendency that has resulted in the growth of risk markets both across Vancouver and across the OCED states. Global cities and the new world economy For centuries, the world economy and the shape of cities have been deeply intertwined. While the early phase of industrialization led to practices that contributed to 123 the growth of an urban proletariat and of policing structures to manage this newly formed class, later phases led to company towns with a uniquely paternalistic mode of class rule. Sassen (2001:3) explains, “Beginning in the 1960s, the organization of economic activity entered a period of pronounced transformation. The changes were expressed in the altered structure of the world economy, and also assumed forms specific to particular places.” Some of the changes include the de-industrialization of former industrial centres, the rapid industrialization of the third world, and an increasingly internationalized financial industry. Her study of three ‘global cities’-- New York, London and Tokyo -- offers insights into the position that First World cities occupy within the international economic order, as well as into the social relations that emerge in cities in the context of advanced globalization and neo-liberalism. Sassen (2001: 4) argues that comparing three cities with such diverse histories, but which have all undergone similar transformations within a briefperiod of time, requires “not simply a point-by-point comparison, but situating these cities within in a set of global processes”. Sassen focuses on global cities as sites of production, producing the specialized services needed by an increasingly complex and internationalized financial market. She also makes it clear that global cities are much more, in that they also are places where social relations embedded in the macro processes of global capitalism become concrete. Cities are central nodes in processes that extend beyond their borders, but they are also key physical spaces where social relations are played out and where new markets for policing services emerge. As Sassen explains, the actual physical space of these key nodes in the global economy becomes an important commodity. “The sharp increase in 124 prices of central urban property we see beginning in the 1 980s in cities such as New York, London, and Tokyo captures the new phase of spatial organization of the economy and the role of cities within it” (Sassen, 2001: 190). Cities that have become integrated into this global system as gateways and financial centres have experienced a parallel growth in international property markets. A concentration of financial and service firms and high-wage workers associated with those firms has contributed to the trend of rapidly increasing real estate prices. This process, while having direct local implications, is part of an international process of economic and spatial restructuring. The gateway function of global cities has raised the importance of being located in these centres to participate in business, while the escalating prices have enticed international investors and buyers to become involved in property development in major cities. While the desire of firms to be located in the central business district of these cities has led to a pooi of bidders -- some local and some foreign -- willing to pay high prices for downtown office space, the concentration ofhigh-income earners associated with these firms led to a parallel market in residential property. “This led to a process of rehabilitation of what had been considered marginal areas and their reconstruction into ‘central’ areas... Only a few years earlier, these areas had been defined as undesirable, derelict, unworkable parts of these cities” (Sassen, 2001: 191). Hence the internationalization of the financial system has changed the physical space and social organization of major cities. Given the trends she describes, Sassen (2001) argues that we are seeing the emergence of a post-industrial economy. She takes issue with the post-industrial model that was originally posited, “where the expansion of the highly educated workforce and 125 the centrality of knowledge industries will lead to an overall increase in the quality of life and a greater concern with social rather than narrowly economic objectives” (Sassen, 2001: 253). While she recognizes that several of the elements of the post-industrial thesis have been realized, as service industries have grown and high income gentrification has led to the increase in the quality-of-life for some, she also explores the effects of these developments on low-income residents in these cities. Alongside the new knowledge elite, there has been an increase in low-wage jobs and a growing casual workforce in post-industrial centres. Since in the 1970s, there have been job losses in the manufacturing sector in New York, London, and Tokyo. Since then there has been a movement towards a ‘service’ economy, not just at the upper levels but also at the bottom levels of the labour market. She argues that these two groups of service workers do not simply exist along side one another, but rather that the development of a global city requires a large pool of low-wage workers in order to meet the needs of elite knowledge workers. There have not only been changes in the types of work that individuals do, but also in the relative wages that they receive for this work. “Wages and salaries are embedded in a set of broad economic and political processes.. . Today there is a fairly solid consensus about the fact of growing earnings inequality in most highly developed countries” (Sassen, 2001: 223). In spite of diverse starting points there has been an increase in earnings inequality in most OECD countries, unrelated to initial levels of inequality. Canada and the United States have the most unequal distribution of earnings for both men and women (Sassen, 2001: 224). According to Sassen, increasing inequality can be partially explained by the growth of service industries, which have high 126 concentrations of high and low paying jobs. This type of labour market developed, in part due to deregulation of the labour market and the retrenchment of social programs in countries that have undergone a shift from Keynesian to neo-liberal economic policies. At the same time, the processes that polarize wealth in major cities have fuelled international property markets that push up housing prices in these cities, further exacerbating inequality between those who move to the city to be part of new knowledge industries and those who either lived there previously as part of the industrial working class, or have relocated, either internally or as international immigrants, to serve those elite workers. According to Sassen, this is not just a case of growing inequality but also of a qualitative shift in the class relations of increasingly polarized cities. She explains that different types of economic growth promote different forms of social organization. The Keynesian and Fordist modes of production created a form characterized by the dominance of a middle class culture premised upon suburbanization and mass consumption. This mode of production shaped the socio-spatial relations of that era. She describes changing social and consumption patterns arising among the new middle class: The new high-income workers are the carriers of a consumption capacity and consumption choices that distinguish them from the traditional middle class of the 1950s and 1960s. While their earned income is too little to be investment capital, it is too much for the basically thrifty, savings-oriented middle class. These new high-income earners emerge as primary candidates for new types of intermediate investments: stock, arts, antiques, and luxury consumption. The conjunction of excess earnings and the new cosmopolitan work culture creates a compelling space for new lifestyles and new kinds of economic activity (Sassen, 2001:341). While the new middle class is not an elite economic class, the worlds of work and home of those who make up this class are increasingly differentiated from the worlds of 127 home and work of those at the bottom end of the service economy. This differentiation is creating a new class structure in global cities: The high-level professional workforce in global cities is characterized by work and lifestyles that distinguish it from earlier forms of small elite of urban rich or the broader middle class. Their numbers are large enough in many cities and their preference for urban living is high enough that they have, as a stratum, re-inscribed a good part of the urban landscape (Sassen, 2001: 244-245). The result is new socio-spatial relations where high-income gentrification and massive construction projects exist alongside increasingly spatially concentrated poverty. Residential gentrification is more than just the rehabilitation of housing stocks. Rather, Sassen found that: Residential rehabilitation was only one facet of a far broader process linked to the profound transformation in advanced capitalism: the shift to services and the associated transformation of the class structure and the shift toward the privatization of consumption and service provision. Gentrification emerged as a visible spatial component of this transformation (Sassen, 2001: 261). Gentrification, then, creates its own social dynamics where wealthy individuals increasingly monopolize the space of the city, even as poverty levels grow, resulting in further privatization of the city. In the new urban order, low-income workers are both essential to the changing city and repelled from it by the very processes that require their labour for fhll realization. Dispersed governance and post-industrial city-building In his study of Los Angeles, Mike Davis (1990) describes how cities organized around upscale consumption and property markets imagine themselves, market themselves, and produce and reproduce class relations though the interaction of variously situated actors. His work offers insight into how markets in private security emerge in 128 response to contemporary city-building practices. Davis’s work is relevant for this project because, like Vancouver, Los Angles is a relatively new city positioned on the western edge of the continent, and increasingly integrated into the Pacific Rim economy. Davis is clear that the city of Los Angeles has been constructed discursively as much as it has been built materially. The city is more than a collection of distinct publicly and privately held properties. Los Angeles itself has been marketed on the national and international stage to attract investment. He quotes Morrow Mayo, who says of Los Angeles: “it should be understood, is not a mere city. On the contrary, it is, and has been since 1888, a commodity, something to be advertised and sold to the people of the United States like automobiles, cigarettes and mouth wash” (Davis: 1990:17). In arguing that Los Angeles is a “creature of real-estate capitalism,” Davis (1990: 25) suggests that Los Angeles had to be ‘sold’ to affluent mid-west residents as a whole rather than as a series of parcels of land as had been the pattern of development in the American west up until that point. He also argues that “the massive flow of wealth between regions produced population, income and consumption structures seemingly out of all proportion to Los Angeles’ actual production base: the paradox of the first post- industrial city in its pre-industrial guise” (Davis, 1990: 25). The major influx of capital to Los Angeles continues to be international real estate capital. “Large scale developers and their financial allies, together with a few oil magnates and entertainment moguls, have been the driving force behind the public private coalition to build a cultural superstructure for Los Angeles’s emergence as a ‘world class city’ (Davis, 1990: 71). Davis’s work is of particular value because he ties together multiple processes and actors (developers, homeowners, local politicians) 129 involved in creating and marketing Los Angeles without ever loosing sight of underlying relations of power at work. He also reconciles the material and representational, writing that “compared to other great cities, Los Angles may be planned or designed in a very fragmented sense (primarily at the level of its infrastructure) but it is infinitely envisioned” (Davis, 1990: 23). The fragmentary nature of the planning process is understood within a broader context of imaging a city that can be sold to potential homeowners or investors. Politicians, developers, homeowners and business people are all important actors in the revitalization of small areas of any city, as well as the re envisioning and re-development of cities on the whole. At the same time, politicians supporting privatization, development companies, homeowners groups and business improvement associations are all major consumers of private security services. Politicians as city-builders The way development happens in today’s post-industrial urban centres diverges sharply from previous eras of city-building. Inner city re-vitalization is not a new phenomenon, although the relative role of the public and private sector has changed. While there is a tendency to think of inner-city revitalization as a novel contemporary trend, the outflow of middle class residents from the central city and the lack of interest in inner city development in the post-war period were, in fact, a short lived phenomena in North American history, with big city mayors already pushing for redevelopment in the early 1950s. The 1950s were a time of frantic rebuilding of inner cities although the relative involvement of various institutional actors looks very different from the current fragmented neo-liberal approach to gentrification. The post-war period was the era of large-scale, government-sponsored urban renewal projects. At that time, the conventional wisdom was that “in order to save 130 downtown, it was going to be necessary to destroy it” (Frieden and Sagalyn, 1989: 16). Whole blocks were to be demolished. These plans relied on clearing large areas for housing projects and freeways, and waiting for developers to come to them. Not only were these plans financially unviable because of a lack of developer interest, they were unpopular politically. Some of the major trends in American cities (and Vancouver, see Gutstein, 1975) included “slum” clearances and freeway projects. City governments went to work, clearing areas with federal monies in the hopes of attracting developers to build new projects. Developers did not want to build in these areas, however, as they did not believe that they could attract middle-class home buyers to the heart of the inner city. Local residents, displaced by the thousands, were outraged. This approach to urban development was soon to change. Developers and the privatization ofcities The failure of large-scale government sponsored redevelopment was an impetus behind a new era in inner city redevelopment in major American cities. Frieden and Sagalyn (1989 explain that with the end of the renewal era, downtown coalitions were at a turning point. Their crusade for downtown was by no means a failure; they had built strong political alliances, both federal and local and had laid the groundwork for successes that would come later in response to new opportunities and new strategies. While all levels of government continue to be involved in the transformation of large cities, the key component of the new approach was the use of public-private partnerships to drive development and to encourage private enterprises to solve public ‘problems’. The new leading role played by the private sector changed the institutional matrix of city building. As the private sector became an equal partner in -- if not the guiding force behind — development, the process became increasingly fragmented. Along with 131 increased reliance on the private sector to design cities came an increase in the flexibility of arrangements between governments and developers. This era marked the dawn of neo liberal redevelopment policy in North America. The new style of negotiation between private developers and governments was “out of line with long-held notions of fairness in government” (Frieden and Sagalyn, 1989: 215). Yet, by the 1970s, public-private partnerships, negotiated on flexible terms, had gained considerable political support. Frieden and Sagalyn (1989) locate the move towards this type of venture in the failure of state-backed urban renewal programs in the USA, a general lack of faith in government in the era of Watergate and the Viet Nam war, and the inability of governments to reduce poverty and prevent crime in inner cities. At the same time, local governments were facing revenue shortfalls and thus looking for new sources of capital. “Encouraging private enterprise to solve public problems was one of the big ideas in government in the 1970s” (Frienden and Sagalyn, 1989: 216). However, re-building cities is only one part of the equation, a second part is attracting the ‘right’ kind of people back to the city. Neighbourhood Associations Davis (1990) criticizes the failure of urban scholars to notice the importance of residents’ or neighbourhood associations in the development of post-industrial cities. Collectively organized, homeowners groups have been responsible for renaming local neighborhoods in order to raise property values, enforcing racial segregation in residential areas, and securing infrastructure improvements in localized areas at government expense. Some of these organizations have also mobilized to prevent treatment facilities and other services for the poor and addicted from coming to their neigbourhoods (Davis, 1990). 132 Davis recounts the story of an organization calling itself the ‘West Hills Open Zone Victims,’ a vocal southern California neighbourhood association, to illustrate the key role that these organizations play in shaping the social relations of areas within cities. In discussing the Open Zone Victims lobbying efforts, Davis (1990: 153) writes: From their agitated tone the innocent observer would have guessed that they had been the victims of some great, uncompensated tragedy. . . In fact no one in their neighborhood has died, the school was intact, the pollution was no worse than in any other part of the smog-choked Valley, and there had been no encounters of a third kind. What had happened was that these homeowners officially remained residents of the Canoga Park district, despite their desire to be referred to as residents of West Hills in order to raise property values. Canoga Park was seen as “very slumish” and “to further fuel West Hills” search for community, local realtors spread the rumor that re-designation would raise home values by an instant $20,000” (Davis, 1990: 154). This story raises issues about the importance of representation in real estate capitalism. However, it also points to the ways in which homeowners associations and other groups with social and economic power are able to defme the problems that they see as pressing and, in the process, co-opt terms like ‘community’ and ‘victimization’ to their own ends. Davis lays out three ‘facts’ to help the reader understand homeowners in Southern California: fact one: Los Angeles homeowners, like the Sicilians in Prizzi’ s Honor, love their children, but they love their property values more. fact two: ‘Community’ in Los Angeles means homogeneity of race, class and especially, home values. Community designation -- i.e. the street signs across the city identif’ing areas as ‘Canoga Park,’ ‘Holmby Hills’, ‘Silverlake’, and so on, have no legal status. In the last analysis, they are merely favors granted by city council members to well-organized neighborhoods or businessmen’s groups seeking to have their areas identified. 133 fact three: The most powerful ‘social movement’ in contemporary Southern California is that of affluent homeowners, organized by notional community designations or tract names, engaged in the defense of home values and neighborhood exclusivity (1990: 153). A fourth fact about homeowners’ association and strata councils is that they constitute a major risk market as consumers of mobile patrols, home alarms and security/concierge services. Business improvement associations Homeowners groups are powerful actors in contemporary urban governance, but they are not alone as non-elected representatives of community. Another powerful force in neo-liberal city-building has been Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). The world’s first BID was developed in Toronto, Canada in 1971 (Hoyt, 2005). A jewelry store owner and chairperson of the Bloor-Jane-Runnymede Businessmen’s Association Parking committee came up with the idea of a business district with a self-imposed tax on local property owners as a means of financing collective improvement of their area. He struck a committee that realized that such a project would require enabling legislation. The committee lobbied government and the requisite legislation was passed in December of 1969. Business Improvement Districts are generally considered to be a North American phenomenon. However, more recently the phenomenon has spread to other regions of the globe, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (Hoyt, 2005: 3). BIDs engage in what has been termed community-based governance, allowing local participants within the business community to “craft solutions in a way that is sensitive to the local context and where state and local funding is limited. . . The BID model also 134 allows commercial interests to aggressively promote downtown areas by managing sophisticated marketing campaigns and outdoor events that attract visitors” (Hoyt, 2005: 3). The spread of the BID model reflects the increasing fragmentation and devolution of powers characteristic of neo-liberal discourse city-building, as well the homogenizing tendencies inherent in globalization. In her cross-national comparison of BIDs, Hoyt (2005) found a high degree of policy transfer between states with BIDs. The concept of policy transfer refers to the way that policies and practices in one context are used to develop policies and practices in other settings. According to Hoyt (2005: 4), policy transfer occurs within networks, made up of public, private, or public-private actors, who collectively constitute a transnational system for promoting these transfers. This system leads her to suggest “the BID has emerged as an international model for urban revitalization because network actors, operating within policy networks, deliberately transferred BID policy and practices from one context to the next over time.” These organizations are quintessentially neo-liberal governing tools, with ramifications for social equality, democracy, and policing in cities. Although rarely framed as such, BIDs are new governments, and operate with considerable autonomy. On the one hand, these privately funded organizations foster a changing attitude in the approach to revitalization, by aggressively promoting downtown as an exciting place to live. . . In contrast critics contend that BID-lead capital improvement campaigns encourage generic design schemes and diminish the perceivable distinction between different parts of the city or between cities. Additionally critics contend that BID ambassadors discriminate against people who live on the street by aggressively directing them to adjacent neighborhoods or to homeless shelter programs 135 and that BID retail strategies discriminate against merchants that target low income customers (Hoyt, 2005: 21). Currently, the cities with the most BIDs are Toronto, Canada (43), Vancouver, Canada (21) and Cape Town, South Africa (18). This growth in Toronto and Vancouver is due, in part, to encouragement by Canadian government. In Ontario, the provincial government made infrastructure grants available for city improvement, but only for BID organizations. In fact, 40% of Canadian BIDs receive financial support in the form of subsidies and grants from the government (Hoyt, 2005: 15). Despite the fact that most BIDs in Canada have fewer than 10 members on their governing board, 53% of BLDs report that they are very involved in policy advocacy, with only 9% reporting that they are not involved at all. These figures raise questions about who is representing communities in this era of neo-liberal governance. In order to frilly understand the link between security provision ands neo-liberal city-building, it is important to understand that 30% of BIDs claim that they are very involved in the provision of security and maintenance. One of the most important elements of neo-liberal governing strategies is that older modes of social exclusion are replaced with newer, more politically palatable approaches. BIDs have proliferated in South Africa recently, where 100% of BIDs report being very involved in the administration of security provisions (Hoyt, 2005). The first statute in South Africa enabling the work of BIAs was enacted in 1999, and there are currently 21 BIDs operating the in the major cities in the country, with 21 more under consideration. The BID model gained popularity in South Africa in the late 1990s. With then end of apartheid business owners were becoming increasingly concerned with urban crime 136 and decay. Jean and John Comaroff (2006: 273) note that “the burgeoning violence endured by segregated black communities under apartheid has, especially since the late 1980s, spilled over into once-tranquil, tightly policed ‘white’ cities and suburbs.” However, they qualify this observation by explaining that there is more fuelling the obsession with crime and disorder in South African cities than actual rising crime rates. Images related to crime, security and ‘white’ vulnerability in the face of unruly racialized others are a pervasive feature of contemporary South African culture. “Bolted doors, patrolling dogs defending gated communities and dark figures cocking guns in the shadows appear even in adds for toilet paper and popcorn... Texts like these are haunted by the specter of imminent attack, above all, attack by unruly black youth” (Comaroff and Comaroff, 2006: 275). With the end of the formal apartheid system, which provided police with legal tools for regulating the access of ‘unruly black youth’ to ‘white’ urban spaces, a predicament has emerged “wherein disorder seems to exceed the capacity of the state to discipline or punish” (Comaroff and Comaroff, 2006: 292). In this context, a market for privatized security services has emerged. South African business interests researched urban renewal models in North America and adopted strategies that focus on the criminalization of ‘disorder’. In Cape Town, the Central City Improvement district’s number one focus is crime prevention. “The security program includes 160 dedicated security personnel in the CBD [Central Business District], including 60 Community Patrol Officers (reservists from the South African Police) and 100 private security officers that patrol on foot, horseback, and motorized vehicles” (Hoyt, 2005: 7). As older models for imposing segregation were disallowed, neo-liberal solutions were borrowed from North America where formal 137 apartheid has long been over but where racial and economic segregation has taken on new forms. Quality-of-life districts and private security in the post-industrial city Maj or cities are changing -- physically, demographically, and in terms of their production and consumption patterns. While changes are tied to global shifts in the organization of capitalism, they are localized in their manifestations. In Los Angles during the 1980s, the gulf between property owners and non-owners intensified as “[sJtarter homes for under $20,000 (in real terms) -- the basis for family formation in the 1 950s -- became extinct, while the percentage of Southern California households with incomes at the minimum mortgage threshold fell from over half to barely a quarter” (Davis, 1990: 174). It was also at this historical moment that the shift away from suburbanization as panacea for class-based and racial conflict began. Developers found a new market in multi-unit inner-city housing projects. “At the upscale end they introduced planned communities of condos and ‘townhouses’ (i.e. rowhouses for the middle class); at the lower end they constructed seeming infinities of ‘dingbat’ stucco tenements” (Davis, 1990: 176). The inner city was being re-envisioned and remade for a post-Fordist age. While housing was being created for two types of residents, only one group would have the power to form associations and make claims to community that would be recognized within a neo-liberal governing regime. This process was replicated in New York City, where there has been a sharp increase in homelessness since the 1980s. Several factors have contributed to this increase. They include larger numbers of low income households, resulting in a growing number of homeless families -- particularly women with children -- and reductions in government subsidies for housing, due to 138 conversions and high-income gentrification (Sassen, 2001). While the low-cost housing supply shrank, the market in high-end housing grew. The major development projects currently underway in these cities are upscale residences close to downtown, increasingly combined with boutiques, restaurants, spas, and major tourist attractions. These new developments are not only marketed for their use value; they are in large part marketed for the ‘lifestyle’ they represent. Nevarez (2003) explains that, with the advent of a large pooi of elite workers in post-industrial industries such as entertainment, software development and tourism, a new force emerged. These workers are in a position to demand good housing, recreation, entertainment and an aesthetically pleasing setting with restaurants and other upscale services, as well as proximity to their places of work. He dubs the areas that develop in response to these demands ‘quality-of-life districts’ in order to accentuate the extent to which place-based amenities are valued by elite workers. I borrow the term ‘quality of-life districts’ from Nevarez to describe some of the re-development projects underway in Vancouver. Nevarez’s (2003) study centres around emerging ‘quality-of-life’ districts along California’s coastline. Many firms have relocated to cater to the preferences of elite workers who are tired of life in the Silicon Valley. While these districts are outside of the city, they boast many of the city’s services. He notes that: Elite workers for whom city living does not detract from quality-of-life but rather constitutes it (in the form of nightclubs, cultural opportunities, and so on) are likely to prefer an urban setting. For this reason, firms that place a premium on cutting-edge creativity, aesthetic experimentation, and (sub)cultural savvy tend to cluster in revitalized city centers like San Francisco’s South Market District, New York’s Silicon Alley, or Chicago’s Wicker Park (Nevarez, 2003: 67). These districts become sources of great profit for business owners, developers and real estate holders within these areas. However, because many of these districts are 139 emerging in areas that either border on or replace long-established low-income communities, the development and marketing of ‘quality-of-life’ districts is constantly challenged. Quality-of-life is achieved by ensuring not only the right mix of amenities, but also the right mix of people. Hence, ‘quality-of-life districts’ are ideal breading grounds for new risk markets. Gentrification within a neo-liberal economic context creates fears for residents and consumers spending time in inner-city ‘quality-of-life districts,’ as well as perceived ‘problems’ for developers and marketers in the area, such as homelessness, panhandling and groups of disenfranchised young people. In this way, the development of ‘quality-of- life districts’ in inner-city areas leads to new markets for privatized security services. In many ‘quality-of-life districts’ local business improvement districts pay for private security patrols. In some cases business and residential associations are also pressuring governments for legislation that allows for the prosecution of ‘quality-of-life crimes’ such as loitering, panhandling, littering and sleeping in public -- behaviors that detract from the quality-of-life that consumer groups come to these areas to enjoy. The term ‘quality-of-life policing’ was first popularized in New York City in 1994. At that time, then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced a policing strategy of proactive, aggressive enforcement of misdemeanor laws. The policy became know as the quality-of-life initiative (Harcourt, 2001). Giuliani’ s initiative and others like it are informed by the Broken Windows thesis on crime control, which postulates that unaddressed signs of disorder in a neighbourhood, such as broken windows, invite further, more serious crime. Through the application of this thesis, the urban poor are criminalized even when no major offence has occurred. Those who commit minor 140 offences such as loitering can be scapegoated for violent crime, as well as for creating unease among consumer groups and standing in the way of revitalization. Fundamentally,”[t]he broken windows theory has transformed conduct that was once merely offensive or annoying into positively harmful conduct -- conduct that causes serious crime” (Harcourt, 2001:8). There has been significant policy transfer in terms of quality-of-life policing, with similar initiatives being adopted in other cities across North America. One American approach to addressing urban disorder that has gained popularity in Canada is recent years is the adoption of ‘safe streets legislation’, a particularly aggressive type of anti-panhandling and anti- homeless legislation (Hermer and Mosher, 2002). The emphasis on ‘disorder’ in the form of panhandling and squeegee work6 in safe streets legislation “has created a climate where poverty and other expressions of social and economic inequality are translated into narrow questions of criminal justice and law and order” (Hermer and Mosher, 2002: 16). In this context, the social groups who are believed to detract from the ‘quality-of-life’ of consumers of the revitalized city are redefined as engaging in criminal behaviour and can therefore legitimately be physically excluded from ‘quality-of-life’ districts. In Ontario, where legislation designed to create ‘safe streets’ has been in place since 2000, there has been a reduction in so-called ‘quality-of-life crimes’ including the incidence of squeegee kids approaching motorists in revitalized areas. Because of the privatized nature of enforcement and pressure on the public police to focus their attention on tourist areas, this legislation has created no-go 6 Squeegee work refers to the practice of approaching motorists and offering to clean their windshields in exchange for spare change. 141 zones for the urban poor, alongside districts where these laws are not enforced (0 ‘Grady and Bright, 2002). The result has been intensifying ghettoization. The ghettoization that accompanied quality-of-life initiatives in Toronto has also occurred in New York. Sassen (2001: 265) notes that in New York City, “segregation of blacks and whites has actually increased over the decades, reaching an all-time high in 1990, the latest year for which data was [sic] available.” Thus, as explicitly race-based segregation policies disappear, new modes of social exclusion maintain the imbalance of social power, as well as the level of social comfort of certain groups. Security and quality-of-life are so intensely intertwined that as districts are ‘beautified,’ they are also fortified. Davis (1990: 223) sees post-liberal Los Angles as characterized by the defense of luxury through the repressive use of space: The carefully manicured lawns of Los Angeles’ Westside sprout forests of ominous little signs warning: ‘Armed Response!’ Even richer neighborhoods in the canyons and hillsides isolate themselves behind walls guarded by gun-toting private police and state-of-the-art electronic surveillance. Downtown, a publicly funded ‘urban renaissance’ has raised the nation’s largest corporate citadel, segregated from poorer neighborhoods around it by monumental architectural glacis. One challenge for developers is to create spaces that are inviting to desirable persons and, at the same time, uninviting to undesirable bodies. The exclusionary features built into urban redevelopment projects are oftentimes barely recognizable to those for whom fortified spaces have been designed, hence they do not detract from their overall quality-of-life. Spatial hardening practices, such as sleep proof benches, the removal of public toilets, and sprinkler systems meant to drench the homeless all mark out spaces that are off-limits to those who ‘do not belong’, while making spaces inviting for the target consumer group. In Los Angeles, this process is racialized as well as classed in its effect, the same can be said of similar processes underway in Vancouver. In 142 contemporary Vancouver, undesirable bodies are disproportionately Aboriginal bodies. Aboriginal people represent only 1.8 percent of the general population of Greater Vancouver, but make up 30 percent of the total homeless population in the region (Greater Vancouver Regional District, 2005). About 70 percent of the homeless Aboriginal population is ‘street homeless’, meaning that they have no access to shelter and sleep on the street, in parks or in doorways (Greater Vancouver Regional District, 2005). Thus Aboriginal people are more likely, even than their non-Aboriginal homeless counterparts, to be considered out of place and to be negatively impacted by exclusionary features built into the urban landscape. These statistics illustrate Blomley’s (2004) contention that while the dispossession of Aboriginal people is nearly complete in Vancouver, their displacement from urban spaces is not. In this context, spatial hardening practices associated with inner-city gentrification must be understood as directly contributing to the on-going denial of the presence of Aboriginal people, and by extension Aboriginal property claims, in the city. Ensuring the quality-of-life of some residents may put the basic physical safety of those who have been banished from revitalized areas in increased jeopardy: In the propaganda of official boosters, nothing is taken as a better index of Downtown’s ‘livability’ than the idyll of office workers and upscale tourists lounging or napping in the terraced gardens of California Plaza, the Spanish Steps, or Grand Hope Park. In stark contrast, a few blocks away, the city is engaged in a merciless struggle to make public facilities and spaces as ‘unlivable’ as possible for the homeless and the poor (Davis, 1990: 232). The presence of homeless persons betrays the promise of a downtown renaissance in the polarized city, resulting in the use of containment strategies by public and private policing bodies. “But this containment strategy breeds its own vicious cycle of contradiction. By condensing the mass of the desperate and the helpless together in such 143 a small space, and denying adequate housing, official policy has transformed skid row into probably the most dangerous square blocks in the world” (Davis, 1990: 233). In this way, the growing consumption of security services in some parts of the city has intensified social polarization as ‘crime’ and poverty are relocated and concentrated in ever-shrinking low-income areas, making these areas increasingly crowded and less safe for residents who are excluded from quality-of-life districts except perhaps as part of the new ‘serving class’. Security and the tourist city While the changing demographic mix of post-industrial urban centres has resulted in new markets in private security, it is not only local residents who are being protected by low-paid guards. Tourism often goes hand in hand with gentrification. Quality-of-life districts not only provide a space for new middle-class residents, but also for their peers from other cities around the world. The growing market in tourism has had a serious impact on planning priorities, as well as on the policing priorities of many cities. Judd (2003) notes that, while a century ago cities were engaged in a process of redevelopment to convert industrial spaces into livable places with water and sewage facilities: More recently, a new round of infrastructure development has transformed cities. Cities all over the world have entered into a vigorous international competition for tourists. The terms of this competition require not only that they market themselves, but also provide a constantly improving level of facilities, amenities and services (Judd, 2003: 3). Across the United States cities of all sizes have made the promotion of tourism a high priority, with 63% having built or planning to build a convention centre, 66% undertaking to build a sports stadium, 65% building or planning to build a festival mall, 144 an arts or cultural district, entrainment/restaurant district, or a cultural or historic site (Judd, 2003). The privatization of cities through the use of security measures, including private security guards, is tied to the emergent post-industrial economy where tourism is a major revenue source. There is major competition among cities to attract tourists. In order to benefit from the growing tourism industry, cities have to market themselves as a product, rather than the goods that they produce. Part of this marketing involves creating an image of the city as safe and welcoming. However, Judd (2003:7) notes: A burnished image [is] worthless unless the city came to reflect it in some essential respects. By building demarcated and defended tourist spaces, cities could hide the sordid and unsightly aspects of urban life. Domed stadiums, festival malls, and convention centers provided perfect enclosure and control. Pedestrian malls, redeveloped waterfronts, entertainment districts and parks are less encompassing environments, but they also can be reclaimed through intensive policing and surveillance. The issue Judd raises does not mean that the city as a whole has to be revitalized. Rather, the space of the city is increasingly polarized, with significant public and private investment going into areas aimed at tourists, while other areas, such as those housing low-income residents, are simply kept out of view. Judd (2003: 6) writes: “like the downtown office complex, tourism has frequently developed as islands of renewal in sea of decay”. The problem of creating districts in which tourists can consume leisure and entrainment in cities where crime and poverty are significant issues has been solved through the creation of tourist bubbles. A tourist bubble is an area that tourists are urged to remain inside. All the facilities that tourists require are located within the bubble. In Miami, a tourist city with a reputation for crime, the local government implemented a program involving road signs designed to help tourists find their way from the airport to their seaside destinations without seeing the racialized 145 poverty of the city. The program placed large solar symbols on freeway exists that were deemed appropriate for tourists traveling to the beach. However, as Jonathan Simon notes: Beaches lie at the end of virtually every Florida freeway, so that at some interchanges virtually all of the links are marked with the sun sign. The difficulties of the sun symbol reflect the political constraints on putting up the signs that would no doubt do the job -- the international distress symbol -- discouraging tourists from exiting the freeway into high-crime areas of the city. In effect, of course, the absence of a solar symbol does the same thing (2000:107). Local governments and others with a stake in the tourist industry mediate tourist interaction with the spaces of the city. Their efforts make their cities palatable, and even pleasant for those with resources without addressing the root causes of poverty and urban decay. Private security outside ‘quality-of-life districts’ While some of the largest new markets for private security services have been in emerging quality-of-life districts and tourist bubbles that cater to more affluent classes, there is a parallel market emerging in the policing of poorer communities. Unlike their well-to-do counterparts, these communities are not in control of the security services in their neighbourhoods. For example, in Los Angeles inner-city malls make extensive use of built-in security features, such as cameras and observation towers. These design features make it more inviting for businesses to operate in poorer communities. In these areas, local residents rarely have access to transportation, so that people have little choice but to accept these private policing tactics. As security is enhanced in semi-public spaces catering to low-income people, so too are their places of residence increasingly policed. Some housing projects in Los Angeles are fortified with fencing, mandatory ID passes, 146 and one even houses a substation of the LAPD (Davis, 1990). Visitors to housing projects are routinely frisked and tenants are forced back into their homes at night. The phenomena Davis observed in Los Angeles have begun to emerge in Canada, as inner cities become polarized and antagonisms escalate. In Toronto, Ross McLeod’s Intelligarde has brought US-style private security to public housing. Intelligarde has taken over some public housing contracts in Toronto, where guards have been mobilized to engage in roadblocks and other heavy-handed techniques. These guards use both dogs and horses, while wearing bulletproof vests and ‘high authority uniforms’ (McLeod, 2002). They have pioneered the use of mass arrest techniques in Toronto social housing projects, using the Trespass Act as justification. Low-wage security work and the post-industrial city As markets emerge for security services on both sides of the residential spectrum, there are profit-making opportunities for managers and owners in the security industry, as well as employment opportunities for low-income people as frontline guards. Davis (1990: 250) notes that within Los Angeles County, where the security service industry tripled its sales and workforce between the early 1980s and the early 1990s, “[i]t is easier to become an armed guard than it is to become a barber, hairdresser or journeyman carpenter.” Security is big business, and “[a]lthough a majority of patrolmen are minority males earning near the minimum wage, their employers are often multinational conglomerates offering a dazzling range of security products and services.” The growth in markets for private security services reflects one side of the polarization of wealth and the creation of quality-of-life districts: it also reflects the creation of a privatized post industrial workforce and the erasure of good paying jobs in the public sector. In Los 147 Angles, as in other post-industrial cities, “[tjhe private sector, exploiting an army of non union, low-wage employees, has increasingly captured the labor-intensive roles (guard duty, residential patrol, apprehension of retail crime, maintenance of security passages and checkpoints, monitoring of electronic surveillance, and so on), while public law enforcement has retrenched behind the supervision of security macro-systems (maintenance of major crime data bases, aerial surveillance, jail systems, paramilitary responses to terrorism and street insurgencies, and so on” (Davis, 1990: 251). City-building in Vancouver Vancouver has followed the path of many post-industrial cities, orienting development around urban professionals and tourists. The result of this orientation has been increased polarization between the wealthy and the poor in the city, leading to growing concern over petty crime and general ‘disorder’. Blomley (2004) explains that downtowns have become sites of massive re-investment, with resources being poured into public and private amenities such as libraries, recreational areas, sports complexes, and convention centres. Downtown has also become a site of middle and upper-class residential development. “Urban housing markets have become important sites for neo liberalization, as witnessed by the elimination of rent controls, state withdrawal from housing provision, and the facilitation of speculative investment in inner city sites” (Blomley, 2004: 31). Hutton (1998) delineates processes that have shaped city-building practices as they have manifested themselves in Vancouver. He argues that while Vancouver is not a world-class city -- despite the claims of boosters -- along with other second tier cities (those with populations in the one to three million range), it is distinguishing itself as a 148 gateway and centre of innovation and technology-intensive production (Hutton, 1998: iii). Second tier cities “are also subject to the imperatives of economic globalization and market integration and are thus increasingly part of extensive urban networks, markets and cultural systems” (Hutton, 1998: 3). Second tier cities also have much of the needed infrastructure to attract to elite workers wanting to escape either the suburbs or busier cities, leading to the development of ‘quality-of-life districts’. Integration into global networks means that cities like Vancouver are increasingly part of international property markets. Vancouver has seen high rates of growth in population, employment, investment and trade over the past decade, even as other Canadian cities have lost ground in those areas. The city is one of the fastest growing urban centres in North America, and is currently becoming increasingly integrated into both the Pacific Rim economy and Vancouver-Seattle development corridor, rather than into the national economy. As Hutton (1998: 17) notes “over the past decade or so, the pervasive trend toward market deregulation and integration has also served to modify city-regionlnation-state relationships in favor of city-regions”. Vancouver has grown in some of the key areas characteristic of post-industrial ‘global’ cities -- finance insurance and real estate (Hutton, 1998: 6). The economic restructuring of cities sets the stage for wider aspects of urban transformation, “including the interconnected processes of occupational, social, cultural, spatial and physical change” (Hutton, 1998: 6). Artibise and Meligrana (2003) claim that Vancouver has been successful because city-builders have focused on making the city a great place to live, and hence a great place to visit, in order to attract both potential homeowners and tourists. Their work focuses primarily on the growth of Yaletown and the False Creek area. In many ways 149 these developments echo trends in other maj or urban centres that have developed ‘quality-of-life districts’ to accommodate the growing number of young professionals opting for ‘urban village-style’ living in reclaimed industrial and warehouse disthcts. These areas combine upscale condos with a park-like setting along the waterfront and retail, restaurant and entertainment outlets. While the trend towards densification in the urban core and mixed-use development has been heralded as enhancing both environmental quality and livability, these developments also have negative effects for less well-to-do residents. In East Vancouver the average two storey house now costs $437, 000 (a 58% increase in four years). On the west side of Vancouver an average two-storey home now costs $900,000 (an 89% increase over four years) (Seven Oaks Magazine, May 31, 2005). During this period real incomes in Vancouver have fallen by 2.7% (Seven Oaks Magazine, May 31, 2005). On the surface, Vancouver has been successful in re-orienting itself toward a restructured economy. However, Hutton notes that Vancouver’s transformation has not affected all Vancouverites equally: Occupational trends suggest the emergence of a two-tiered employment structure -- also prevalent in other Canadian cities -- whose effects include social polarization and a disturbing increase in poverty. The growing contingent of urban poor and the emergence of a distinct urban underclass appear in even starker contrast against the highly visible prosperity of much of the city -- as evidenced by gleaming commercial buildings, new theaters and other arenas of consumption -- the affluent and even opulent residential neighbourhoods (1998: 29). Hutton (1998: 124) claims that the urban core of Vancouver is “contested space”. While a range of actors are actively engaged in pushing Vancouver toward ‘Global City’ status, other groups of Vancouverites are increasingly excluded as land-values increase, real 150 wages stagnate and as strategies to “cleanse’ the streets add to the stresses of the poorest of the poor in the city. Who is building Vancouver? Donald Gutstein (1975) offers a detailed account of the range of actors who shaped city-building in Vancouver in the early neo-liberal period. Gutstein explains that Vancouver’s development trajectory cannot be understood by examining the grand abstractions of geographers or planners: I do not talk about pressures for redevelopment, market forces, location theories. In our society development is not caused by pressures, it is caused by individuals and corporations searching for profitable ventures... Individuals do appear throughout the book, but by virtue of the roles they occupy -- the mayor of the city, or the president of the corporation. To understand these roles we need to look at both the formal legal prerogatives of the role -- the mayor has the legal power to appoint aldermen to committees -- but just as important is the informal culture surrounding the role -- most recent Vancouver mayors have been millionaires or developers or both (1975: 7). Gutstein identifies some of the familiar agents of downtown redevelopment -- investors, developers, financiers, real estate agents and real estate lawyers, construction companies, architects and government departments. He goes on to explain that there is not only a range of actors at work, but that there is also a hierarchy of decision makers, as city planning departments busy themselves with “a few more buildings here, a few less there, a little taller, a little shorter” (Gutstein, 1975: 21). Other actors direct the trajectory of the city, with multinational corporations steering the process while working with charter banks, law firms, old downtown families and associations, and finally city politicians. More recent observers of Canadian cities (Hutton, 1998; Ley, 1996) have also noted the important role of the “new middle-class” in Vancouver city-building. As well, Vancouver is a growing international tourist destination. The city core serves a large and growing 151 international clientele, a trend that was greatly accelerated by Expo 86 (Hutton, 1998: 61). This expanding tourist market has lead to the growth of five star hotels, specialty shopping precincts and a major cruise ship terminal. While it would be a mistake to look at consumers as guiding the development of cities, well-educated service elites and professionals who generally work in the central business district and prefer urban living have also been a driving force by making gentrification a profitable venture. Vancouver’s real estate heritage Gutstein (1975: 8) explains: “Vancouver has always been in the grip of promoters and speculators. Its history has been a series of real estate booms and busts. The majority of its politicians have always been associated with the real estate industry in some form or another.” Hence the story of Vancouver’s redevelopment is not a new one, nor has it happened in isolation from the past -- the city’s history of land giveaways and planning priorities comes to bear on the present. According to Gutstein (1975: 11) “Vancouver is nothing more than an overblown company town. The company, of course, is the CPR.” At one time the railway company owned most of the land base that it is now Vancouver. Vancouver may have never developed to be anything more than a small logging community if it were not for the CPR. Vancouver’s growth can be attributed to an agreement between the provincial government and the CPR to make Vancouver the western terminus of the CPR. The railway was originally to end in Port Moody where, in anticipation of the boom that its completion would bring, real estate speculation was rampant. As land around Port Moody was being bought by speculators, the Provincial government was involved in secret negotiations with CPR executives that would eventually expand the railway to Coal Harbour in Vancouver. CPR executives recognized the potential profits awaiting anyone 152 who invested in real estate wherever the terminus was located. The company did not own any land in Port Moody aside from the site of the terminus itself and was therefore not enthusiastic about ending the railway in Prot Moody. Despite their strong bargaining position, the provincial government gave the CPR 6000 acres of land in downtown Vancouver, as well as one third of the lots in each privately owned block. The agreement with the CPR was not the first such deal in Vancouver’s history, nor would it be the last. According to Gutstein (1975: 11), BC’s early provincial governments “had enacted a policy of the most reckless give-away of provincial lands and resources to private interests to undertake the most meager of developments.” These major land giveaways and the prospect of the railroad terminal drew waves of real estate speculators to the city, creating the first real estate boom in Vancouver’s history. Vancouver’s first mayor, Malcolm McLaren, was part of this early wave of real estate speculation. One of the largest property-owning syndicates in Vancouver, which made its fortunes when it received advanced notice of the CPR’s intention to end the railway in Vancouver, included David Oppenheimer, Vancouver’s second mayor, and John Robson, future premier of British Columbia (Gutstein, 1975: 61-62). It seems that in the Vancouver land development history, private interests have always superseded the public good. Despite ebbs and flows, the overall pattern has been “immense profits for a few property speculators, both local and foreign based, behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing between property interests and political parties, and a city administration controlled by real estate interests actively aiding developers and speculators in their activities” (Gutstein, 1975: 71). 153 Contemporary city-building in Vancouver Vancouver’s post-industrial city building has focused on a number of high density neighbourhoods which have, according to the City of Vancouver publications, revitalized downtown and offered a viable alternative to suburbia. Projects have been developer driven to the extent that the private sector has become the creator of complete communities, developing park systems, walkways, and amenities. While this amenity building has been sold to residents as the City extracting a toll from developers, it must be noted that these developers are marketing a lifestyle: landscaping and amenities are essential to the product they are creating. At the same time, zoning concessions granted to developers by the City, which greatly increase the value of land, have made city-building in Vancouver a very lucrative business. Through these projects, the city is moving in the direction of private sector lead development. The micro-neighbourhoods that are being produced in the process are themselves privatized both through built features and through the introduction of private security patrols into these spaces. Hutton (1998: 33) points to some of the key physical sites that have helped create the physical infrastructure of post-industrialism in Vancouver. He includes “downtown corporate complexes; tourism, cultural and entertainment precincts in the central city; concentrations of design-oriented firms and institutions on the downtown fringe and in the inner city; a mid-town medical precinct, one of the largest in North America; the Port of Vancouver and Vancouver international Airport; and the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and several other colleges and universities.” Interestingly, all of these sites contract private security services. Hutton (1998: 33) further cites urban mega projects as also having left a major imprint on Vancouver. These sites include Concord Pacific Place, which incorporates one sixth of downtown, 154 the Marathon development project which spearheaded the re-development of the city’s formerly industrial waterfront, and the construction of two large sports stadiums. Private security is an important feature of all of these projects. Gentrification projects in Vancouver have been able to attract both investors and consumers to Vancouver’s inner-city. This gentrification is happening within the context of increased social polarization. Hence there is a growing demand for policing services, both public and private. Blomley (2004) explains that public space is increasingly under surveillance, while legislatively there has been a series of initiatives to target the poor and the homeless, including the regulation of panhandling, and zero-tolerance policies for actions particular to the poor, such as sleeping in public. Private security work, from site security to mobile patrols, to canine patrols, is integral to neo-liberal city building. By policing private space and helping to regulate public space according to middle-class values, security guards are at the frontlines of urban neo-liberalism. Conclusion With the shift to a post-industrial economy come new strategies to attract investment capital, homebuyers and tourists to the city. This shift has also resulted in a new occupational structure with jobs polarized at either end of the service economy. In many urban centres, including Vancouver, these trends have led to in increased inequality and tensions between the haves and the have-nots. One result of these tensions has been that post-industrial urban centres have become major sites for emerging risk markets as developers, business owners and residents attempt to deal with the fall-out of polarization and gentrification. Increased use of quality-of-life policing tactics and private security patrols cannot be understood solely as a ‘war on the poor’. Rather, ‘cleansing’ downtown 155 is a spatial strategy that links up with broader goals such as the maximization of the value of downtown real estate, bringing in investment and attracting consumers to downtown businesses. Ironically, most of the guards carrying out the social cleansing work integral to current city-building practices are finding themselves excluded from enjoying the quality-of-life the city they are helping to create has to offer. In the next chapter I look at the working conditions of private security guards. I examine the ways in which the restructuring policies introduced to make Vancouver attractive to investors have affected security guards, paying attention to the impact that neo-liberal city-building practices have had on the lives of these workers. 156 Chapter Seven: Private Security Guards as Low Wage Workers Figure 4. The Flexibilization of Labour in Post-Industrial Vancouver Private security is a labour intensive industry. This chapter describes how individuals come to security work, as well as the political and economic context in which they become security guards. I begin by presenting some of the reasons guards had for coming to the security industry. I move on to look at wages and working conditions for private guards, with a focus on labour legislation, regulations, and the administration of labour standards in British Columbia. I argue that security guards tend to be vulnerable workers, and that neo-liberal policy prescriptions in the realm of labour law, as well as cuts to social programs and the privatization of former public service occupations, have facilitated the growth of risk markets. These policies have at once exacerbated social problems such as homelessness, generating demand for security services, and have 157 ensured that security workers, as part of the emerging post-industrial serving class, are readily available to do the work of policing neo-liberal city-spaces. I share guards’ stories of how lax enforcement of labour standards, disregard for health and safety standards, and irregular schedules have affected them and their families. I also examine how security guards reconcile their position as protectors of capital and property and at the same time as exploited workers. While changes to employment standards affect all security workers, the position of immigrant workers in the labour market generally, and in the security industry specifically, are the focus of the last section of this chapter. Vulnerable workers and the post-industrial economy: Coming to security work Security guards occupy a paradoxical social location with in the broader relations of ruling organizing Vancouver’s city-building trajectory. These workers are called upon to stand on the frontline of neo-liberal urban redevelopment projects and to police emerging quality-of-life districts across the city. They are employed to protect the homes and property of the wealthy and to do ‘loss prevention’ work for major corporations, all the while securing large profits for their employers. They are even employed to provide services to employers involved in labour disputes with their employees and to police public demonstrations against government policies that negatively affect poor and working-class people. Yet, guards cannot afford to move into gentrifying neighbourhoods, even as renters. They do not have the disposable income that would allow them to participate in the ‘lifestyle’ that Vancouver city-builder are working to cultivate. Often, guards find themselves working two or more jobs just to afford housing and transportation. These guards are not seeing the economic benefits of being employed 158 in a high growth industry; rather, they are often asked to work without proper safety equipment and forgo benefits and overtime while working for near minimum wage. Security guards I spoke with often had a keen sense of the contradiction inherent in their position as low-wage workers and their work on the frontime of capitalist development: If there’s some guy who wanders in off the street, you’re seen as some authority figure to him. But you’re completely powerless to people that are higher up the class scale. (Christopher) I could see my boss went from a couple of trucks to all of a sudden a Hummer and he traded up the Durangos to bigger SUVs. It seemed like the office staff were getting paid more and more while the guards were getting worked harder and harder. (Jimmy) Many of the guards I spoke with did not come to security work by choice, but rather out of economic necessity. Most workers in the security industry can be characterized as vulnerable workers. Vulnerable workers are those who are least able to negotiate fair and decent working conditions. They are not represented by unions and are disproportionately women, recent immigrants, racial minorities and young people (Fairey, 2005). South (1988: 103) found that the private security sector employs an abnormally high proportion of part-time casual staff. Oftentimes companies hire moonlighters who will forgo pension contributions or work ‘under the table’ for a lower rate of pay. His findings bore out among the guards I spoke to. Overall, there is more scholarly work available on prison guards than on private security guards. However, in the United States, a larger number of prison guards are now private rather than public employees (Shichor, 1995). In his literature review, Lombardo (1981) shows that many people took prison jobs after a period of unemployment or lay-off, or because an injury prevented them from engaging in their former occupation. These findings were replicated among security 159 guards in Vancouver, who often have more in common, from a socio-economic standpoint, with those they police than those they protect. Security guards are disproportionately young and/or non-white. As a representative from management at Securiwise, a large firm with over 1000 employees in Vancouver alone, explains: We hire a lot of people between the ages of 20 and 25, that’s the economics of the industry, a lot of people who are recent immigrant, whatever age, I don’t know 35-55 about that. While guards are overwhelmingly male, Rigakos, in a report produced for the Law Commission of Canada (2002) claims that there are proportionately more women in private security than in public law enforcement. Most guards come to the security industry for lack of alternatives, not because of an underlying desire to get into this line of work. The private security industry is one of the most rapidly growing employers in Vancouver. Many people looking for work quickly find themselves putting on a security guard uniform, as these men explain: I realized how many jobs I coulcia had if I just had those security tickets (BST7 land 2). Anytime I wanted to look for a job I am almost guaranteed work and that is something that you don’t find too often in Vancouver. So I decided one fine day I didn’t have the energy to go and pound the pavement, so I decided I would get the tickets and take the easy way out. (Daniel) It’s just a paycheque. I don’t know if I’ve ever met anybody who wanted to be a security guard and then became a security guard and then continues to be a security guard as a career. I personally have never met one, it doesn’t happen. You take the job out of necessity and then you keep it because you have it. (Christopher) A friend of mine needed ajob and I knew one of the security instructors that was doing basic security training. I called to get the information for my friend who was 18 and not old enough to do it, but I needed a job anyways. So I said “What the heck. I’ll go take the training and do it for a “ Basic Standards Training 160 job”. Then it has just been the easiest job ever to get, so if I’m ever out of work, guaranteed security work anywhere, any time, all I need is to call somebody and get a uniform. (Jimmy) When guards choose security work, they are generally choosing among a range of less-than-desirable options. Matt outlined his work history before he came to work in the security industry: I’d been doing recycling work, I worked at a recycling depot, I’d done the odd telemarketing, door-to-door sales (Matt). Security work is constantly available making it very difficult for guards with low levels of education to get out: I didn’t even have my grade 12 and that’s kind of one of the reasons I’ve been doing this so long... I tried to move away from the city and get my education and do those things. I moved back to the city just to do a bit of security work at [high profile event] and because of this relationship I was in and the constant work available I just got suckered back into it for another three or four years. (Jimmy) While younger guards often come to security work because of a lack of better alternatives, some older guards have had better jobs in the past, but have been negatively impacted by the restructuring of the labour market. Paul, a security guard for over a decade, discusses the way in which corporate downsizing left some older middle management workers in the position of working security: Right now at [names a downtown site] they have a guard who was an accountant but he got a golden parachute. He’s actually living off that but he’s doing security mostly to keep himself busy, and so he doesn’t dip into the golden parachute too much. He’s one of the lucky ones, most of them they didn’t get anything or their golden handshake wasn’t all that golden. I mean they have kids, they’re stuck. I talk to these guys about their experience and I’ll be like “So why are you doing this? You’d think people would want your background and your experience.” They’re like “No, there are younger people with newer educations”. 161 Kirk, in his fifties, explained how the economic downturn of the 1 990s forced him into security work: I used to have my own store and then in 1991 the economy took a little bit of a dive. The business that I had took a real big dive. I started doing things independently for a while and things weren’t happening very well. I needed something, I needed a job. I was nrnning out of money. An acquaintance of mine who works at a sports facility here in Vancouver said they were looking for people to do building security, I said, “I’m sure I could do that”. So I went down and applied for a job and got the job, no problem. (Kirk) Once in security, Kirk found himself trapped there despite his wealth of experience and excellent communication skills: I applied for different jobs within [large attraction where he worked contract security]. Because I was hired as an independent contractor with an outside company they figured, “Well he only works security. He must not be good for anything else”. So the mindset was wrong on the part of the building. While many security guards come to security work because they have few options in the labour market, there are some workers in the industry who are committed to a career in law enforcement. For example, Larry, who now works both in public corrections and private security: I had a goal of getting into law enforcement as a career. They always said security is a step in. It’s good experience. So you’re kind of encouraged to do it when you’re out job searching... The company that I worked for, a lot of guys actually were out of the military, so they had the experience and the skill set to work in that environment. Larry was able to use his experience in private security to make a move into public corrections. However, he has been unable to make ends meet with his public sector job, even though he lives in an outer suburb where housing costs are lower. He now commutes into the city for both of his jobs. 162 Christopher makes a distinction between workers committed to law enforcement and guards there for a paycheque: There is a big difference between, for the most part, the mentality of a cop and the mentality of a security guard. Cops want to be cops. They go to school to become cops. It’s their dream to be a cop. Security guards need to pay the bills. That’s it. There’s no real allegiance to the job. Nobody really has any noble sense attached to what they do. They, for the most part, sit around and talk about how bulishit the job is. While it is clear that the current structure of the labour market leads a range of people into the security industry, it is by no means random who ends up in this low wage occupation in a city with as much wealth as Vancouver. I found that it is not unusual for security guards to come from the same social background as those they police: I have a bit of a unique perspective on panhandlers. My dad was an alcoholic and he panhandled for many years. He kicked the habit and I got to hang out with him and talk about things. I got to meet a lot of his street people friends. (Jimmy) Christopher put it bluntly, “You know there’s not many billionaires’ Sons or anything like that [working in security]”. While class plays a role in who goes into security work, there are other factors that force some people into the industry, as Paul, a long time guard explains: Like say you had coke bottle thick glasses, like what kind of regular retail job could you get? You might be able to get a job at a McDonald’s, but there are plenty that wouldn’t. Or say you just weren’t quite clean cut enough, you can’t get ajob right. Or what if you’re just a really really big guy. You’re not going to be able to get a regular retail job if you just don’t look right. The move towards a post-industrial, service-lead economy in North America may mean that more working-class individuals will be integrated into for-profit policing work as other blue-collar jobs move offshore. For example, in California in the 1980s and 1990s, 163 prisons were used as a source of employment to jumpstart failing local economies (Gilmore, 1999: 184). In California, prison growth has taken the form of public/private partnerships. In these partnerships, working-class people are integrated into the prison economy either as workers or as prisoners. In Vancouver, the working-class people who find themselves in the private security industry are contending with a labour market and broader economic context where employment standards have been eroded and wages are low, even in high growth industries. Labour market restructuring in British Columbia and private security work British Columbia has undergone a process of economic restructuring over the past six years. This process had included large-scale tax cuts, reduced spending on social services, and the de-regulation of the labour force. This process brought much government policy into line with the neo-liberal principles of pnvatization, de-regulation, and liberalization. These changes have had an effect on the experiences of working people. Interestingly, the policies that have led to the increase in homelessness in Vancouver, and hence have driven the growth in risk markets, have also driven young men into the security industry: I was destitute and it was the only job I could get. Literally one month of a welfare cheque and I was like ok, I’ll take the security job. (Christopher) There were several major changes to income assistance implemented by the provincial Liberal government which made the program more difficult to access and more difficult to survive on. They also introduced time limits on the eligibility for benefits. These changes were meant not only to save money, but also, according to then-minister responsible Murray Coell, to curb ‘the culture of entitlement’ among welfare recipients in British Columbia. Punitive welfare policies have served their intended purpose of driving 164 large numbers of individuals into whatever work they can get. However, the changes to income assistance did not happen in isolation. Those who can no longer access income assistance or survive on welfare payments have been. confronted with a restructured labour market which makes low wage work an only slightly better economic prospect. By making alternatives in the form of social programs unviable, workers are forced to accept low wages and poor conditions, allowing for further retrenchment of labour standards in the province. According to David Fairey (2005: 4) of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives: British Columbia’s employment standards system has undergone a dramatic overhaul in recent years, with substantial changes made to nearly every significant aspect of the law and its enforcement. Three government bills between May 2002 and May 2004 (Bills 48, 37 and 56) made approximately 42 changes to the Employment Standards Act, and a further 40 changes were made to the Employment Standards Regulation since 2001. At the same time there has been a radical reduction in budgets and staffmg resources for the Employment Standards Branch. Employment standards “deal with issues such as minimum wages, minimum and maximum hours of work, overtime pay, parental leave and statutory holidays. They represent the minimum labour rights to which employees are entitled, a basic floor below which employers cannot go” (Fairey, 2005: 6). Changes came about in British Columbia because the provincial government was committed to increasing ‘flexibility’ in employment standards law and administration. Minister of Labour Graham Bruce explained that: “[t]hese changes are designed to promote self-reliance so employees and employers can build mutually beneficial workplace relationships” (cited in Fairey, 2005: 11). The flexiblization of labour standards is in keeping with the neo-liberal principle that the government should not interfere in the working of the private market, even a 165 labour market characterized by power imbalances between workers and employers. Fairey goes on to explain that, while the government stated that part of the motivation behind introducing these changes was to protect vulnerable workers, in reality they did the opposite within a labour market environment characterized by growing segmentation and polarization. Fairey argues that the concept of ‘flexibility’ reflects the role of neo liberal theory in policy making in British Columbia. According to neo-liberals, ‘flexibility’ will increase competitiveness, creating more jobs. Certainly, there is some validity to this line of thinking, as demonstrated by the growth of the security industry. However, the question comes down to the types ofjobs being created. Fairey (2005: 11) explains that the neo-liberal approach to job growth rests upon the notion that if workers know they cannot demand too much of employers or expect too much support from government, they will lower their expectations and wage demands, so that employers are more likely to hire them. This approach does not take into account whether or not people will be able to survive on the wages they are paid in these jobs, especially in areas like Vancouver where the cost of living is very high. A review of actual changes to BC’s employment standards shows that, on the whole, the provincial government’s policies increase worker’s vulnerability and reduce their bargaining power relative to their employers. Fairey explains that BC’s employment standards regime is composed of three elements: legislation, regulation, and administrationlenforcement. These three elements, taken together, exert a strong influence over people’s experiences as workers in the province. Changes have been made to all three areas in the pursuit of a flexible labour market. Below, I will outline these changes and their impact on security guards. 166 The legislative regime Legislation, specifically the Employment Standards Act, sets out the overall framework of employment standards in the province of British Columbia. Bill 48 (May 2002), Bill 37 (May 2003), and Bill 56 (May 2004), collectively, made 42 changes to the Employment Standards Act, most of which had a negative impact on workers. The provisions of the Act no longer cover unionized employees. Prior to this change, unionized staff could not sign a collective agreement that provided them with working conditions below the minimum standards outlined in the Act. While the vast majority of security guards are non-unionized, this provision sets up the possibility of pseudo-unions, which eliminate workers’ protections. As South (1998) notes, in Britain many security workers afready forgo their rights in order to work. As you will see in the next section, many Vancouver-based guards are afready forced to forgo their rights to breaks and overtime in order to get work. While these practices are technically illegal, the type of union envisioned in this legislation would allow employers to persuade guards to collectively sign away those rights. Even where pseudo-unions are not in place, the Act has been modified to allow individual employees to enter into agreements with employers to forgo overtime pay they are technically entitled to. Employers are also no longer required to give employees 24 hours notice in the event of a shift change. The minimum daily shift for which a worker must be paid has been reduced from four hours to two, meaning that more of workers’ earnings and time are eaten up by the cost of commuting, particularly given that many security workers, like other members of the post-industrial serving class, live in the outer suburbs because they cannot afford to live in the inner city where most security work is located. 167 While workers can now be required to work shorter days without compensation, they can also be required to work longer days without overtime pay. “Overtime pay was previously required for work in excess of eight hours per day and/or forty hours per week. Under new hours averaging agreements overtime may not apply for up to 12 hours of work per day, provided hours do not exceed an average of 40 hours over a four week period” (Fairey, 2005: 20). In the security industry, guards will often be asked to work an event for 12 to 14 hours of its duration, and then forfeit any shifts until another event. This law allows companies to use their non-standard staff to make lower bids on events contracts. When I asked Matt about pay, benefits and overtime he responded: There was a bit of that but they kept most people in the part-time category to avoid that. They’d work you as much as they could without having to pay those sorts of things. For employees who do not have an overtime averaging agreement with their employer, the shift length at which double time is paid was extended from 11 to 12, while double- time for all hours worked in excess of 48 per week was reduced to time and a half. The ability of part-time workers, of which there are many in the security industry, to access statutory holiday pay was reduced as employees now have to work 15 out of 30 consecutive days to be eligible. In addition, the requirement to schedule an alternate day off with pay for employees working statutory holidays has been eliminated. According the Fairey (2005: 21) “some of the most significant changes to the Act have been to Part 10 with respect to the rights of employees to file complaints in the event of employer violations, and how complaints are to be handled by the Director of the Employment Standards Branch and his/her staff.” The Director is no longer required to investigate all complaints, only accept and review them. The onus is now on the employee to prove that they have taken the requisite steps to resolve or facilitate the 168 investigation of the issue. The employee is now expected to confront the employer on their own, using a 16-page ‘self-help kit’ before they are allowed to file a written complaint with the Employment Standards Branch. There is also a new mediation process which attempts to obtain settlement agreements between the employer and employee, but does not allow for the investigation of systemic abuse by the employer. Given that the employer tends to have legal counsel, while employees tend to represent themselves (Fairey, 2005: 22), the process is inherently biased. At the same time, according to a former branch official (cited in Fairey, 2005), because full branch investigations are no longer mandated the intimidation of employees by employers is more likely. As we will see later in the chapter, these changes to the legislation have certainly ‘flexibilized’ the security industry, while seriously negatively impacting the lives of security workers. Regulation The Employment Standards Regulation “is the part of the law that is decided upon by the government’s executive and does not require the assent of the legislative assembly” (Fairey, 2005:15). While legislation deals with the broad parameters of employment standards in British Columbia, regulation establishes policies stemming from the Act, which change much more frequently than the Act itself. These changes include such things as setting the minimum wage. “Over the period July 2001 to June 2004 there were 12 provincial government executive Orders in Council to make approximately 40 changes to Employment Standards Regulation. Of those 40 changes, 34 were assessed to have either a negative affect on workers (the majority) or to be legislatively neutral” (Fairey, 2005: 24). 169 An important change is the addition of a new regulation pertaining to the minimum wage, which allows employers to pay those with less than 500 hours of employment experience six dollars an hour instead of the regular minimum wage of eight. This change is important because security is an industry that tends to pay near the minimum wage, as Kirk explains: In general, wages for security is minimum wage. That’s where we start at. I’ve heard people starting at eight dollars an hour. I’ve heard people starting at nine dollars. I’ve heard of people starting at 10, it varies, but it doesn’t go real high. Not only is the industry highly competitive; many workers have no employment experience in Canada and hence are made vulnerable by this regulatory change because the onus is on the worker to prove they have worked 500 hours. Administration and enforcement Regulations, in and of themselves, are not always followed by employers in competitive low-wage industries. The administration and enforcement of the Act is therefore a key aspect of the employment standards regime in terms of the day-to-day experiences of employees. The administration, policing and enforcement of the Act is the responsibility of the Minister of Labour and Citizens’ Services, through the director of the Employment Standards Branch and his or her staff. The Employment Standards Branch has seen radical reductions in its budgets, staffing levels and resources since 2001. Staffing was reduced by a third between 2001 and 2004 (Fairey, 2005: 29). The budget of the branch was reduced by 16% over the same period, but Fairey notes that the reduction would have been greater if the cost of early retirement severance packages, and other short-term costs associated with office closures were taken into account. During the same period, the number of offices province-wide was reduced from 17 to 9. The 170 Lower Mainland now has only three: one in Vancouver, one in Port Coquitlam and one in Abbotsford. Changes were made to the Act in anticipation of these cost-cutting measures to ensure that there would be fewer complaints coming through the offices. One employee of the Employment Standards Branch described these changes as “like turning off the tap” in terms of numbers of complaints (Fairey, 2005: 31). They included removing the section of the Act that required that Employment Standards to be posted in workplaces, office closures, the introduction of the lengthy self-help kit, the expectation that employees first confront employers on their own and the introduction of “so called partnerships with employer associations” to sort out complaints quickly (Fairey, 2005: 31). Without enforcement, Employment Standards are essentially meaningless. One regional manager who resigned in order to protest the changes to the Act stated that: I always believed that the current employment standards legislation and branch policies, imperfect as they are, constituted an honest attempt to provide reasonable standards for employers and employees alike. This is no longer the case. The intent of this government is clear; create a façade of minimum standards that masks the reality of rampant exploitation. (Fairey, 2005:36) This claim rings particularly true if you take into consideration that there are now few social programs in place for employees who leave an abusive employment arrangement. Labour market de-regulation and the emergence of risk markets These changes to the Employment Standards regime have had a negative impact on all low-wage workers, including security guards. Not only are conditions deteriorating in the private sector, but better paying public sector jobs are being replaced with low- paying contract employment. Some guards found work in the low-wage private security 171 market as public institutions laid off unionized staff as part of the overall drive towards ‘efficiency’: They were trying to save money. There was a big shift towards privatizing or outsourcing and that [security] was one place where they could get away with doing it without too much hassle, so they did. They put out a bid for companies. I don’t know exactly when it started but I think it was about around the time that I got hired. (Carlos) There was this one guy I worked with a really, really long time, which was frnmy because he was working in the hospital and then all of them got their pink slips when it went private. So he was unemployed and he got a job with us. (Larry) Even full-time public sector wages are not keeping pace with the cost of living, prompting some workers to hold two jobs. Thomas, who was in the military for eight years right out of high school, explains that he works in both corrections and private security: I started doing some fill-in stuffjust here and there to make a little extra money. Then I decided I could dedicate more time so I got placed on the payroll. So I dedicate two days of my four days off from my full time job. He had originally gone into corrections because it was a stable job: It kind of fell in order coming out of the military. A friend of mine I was in the military with got out and got into corrections, so that was my incentive. It’s a good job, stable, I figured I may as well. I’m not going to go back to school, I’m not going to go work at McDonald’s coming out of the military. (Thomas) However, a full-time job is no longer enough for many to support a family, even in the outer suburbs where Thomas, like many guards I spoke with, lives with his family. When I asked Kirk -- who will have to work security until he is 65 and then live on a government pension because he has no workplace pension or savings -- if there was anything he would like to add at the end of the interview, he said: 172 Whoever is licensing security, they should have proper guidelines for giving them proper benefits because it is a high risk job. Also, I think that it is time that the industry wakes up and the government issues a directive that the minimum wage in this industry should not be less than 10 dollars an hour because of the high risk involved, and graveyard shifts. These are not union jobs. Most of the companies do not provide any benefits and I think the government should do something about this. On the whole, the risk markets that have offered these individuals employment emerge in the context of a low-wage economy. If wages get too high at a particular company, guards end up out of work: I have had a lot of sites basically yanked out from underneath me. They either found somebody cheaper or they thought that they didn’t need security anymore or whatever. I asked the two guys that hired me how secure does this contract look, and they said we do a great job here, don’t worry you’re not going to have any problem. Low and behold a year later we were all out of work. [Names another large company] took over, and why did they do it? huge savings. (Paul) What is important here is that the government is, in fact, regulating the industry, in so far as it regulates the working conditions in all areas, in accordance with neo-liberal principles. As we see below, these principles do not often benefit workers. The reality of private security work When private security guards describe their lives it becomes apparent how closely the challenges and struggles they face resemble those of other people living in poverty in Vancouver. While their policing function and the authority they exercise over even more economically marginalized people obscures the commonality of their situation, security guards often feel powerless in the face of exploitative employers and fmd themselves engaged in a constant struggle to survive in the face of low wages, a rising cost of living and an erosion of protection for workers. 173 Over the course of conducting interviews, I asked a number of guards about the biggest challenges facing them as security workers. Several mentioned working conditions: I’d say hours and money, hours and money, the hours aren’t consistent enough. You may work one day, or one week and not the next so to do it as a full-time job. I don’t see it as feasible. I know people who do it full time and they work for two or three companies just to make ends meet. (Larry) While Larry had the benefit of a public sector job, many workers in the industry do in fact work full-time. Not only are hours inconsistent and wages low, some guards have a hard time getting paid for the hours they had worked: I mean that was one of the worst things about working with [large company], or with any company is that there will be massive discrepancies on your check right or, even small discrepancies. Since you’re paid so little, even if you miss a day of work you’re going to notice. There’s no way you could miss it right, and you always had to be calling up and having to hassle them, right... I knew people who had been fighting for over a year to get money that was owed to them. They had to keep on calling, and they’d be told “Hey your money’s going to be put on your next check”. (Paul) Guards’ dissatisfaction with working conditions have to be understood within the context not only of their particular employers, or even of the security industry more generally, but within the context of a de-regulated employment standards regime geared toward creating a flexible labour market. The underlying rational, at the level of both government and individual finns, is that if people want to work, then regions and companies have to make themselves competitive. A competitive labour force generally means that investors and developers want to come to BC, while a competitive security industry means that more and more businesses, groups and individuals feel that it is something they can afford. While new jobs have been created, they are not jobs that provide workers with security, financial well-being or flexibility in their own lives. Rather, as we will see, in order to 174 survive in a restructured economy guards are forced to work long hours without overtime pay and deal with shift changes with less than twenty-four hours notice. They are also less likely to be able to make a complaint and have it heard, even in instances where the already lax labour standards have been violated. Overtime Security guards tend to work irregular hours and often long shifts. Jimmy brought up overtime on two separate occasions over the course of the interview: They just sent a bunch of us out there with like no training, no idea what to do -- just a couple of sta