Policing and its search for meaning: Procedural Justice with Inochi

Mulqueen, Michael orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9344-4246 (2023) Policing and its search for meaning: Procedural Justice with Inochi. In: Meta Science: Towards a Science of Meaning and Complex Solutions. University of Groningen Press (UGP), Groningen, -NA.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.21827/648c59a2087f2


This chapter breaks new ground by drawing upon Japanese mystical thought to reimagine procedural justice. It, thus, conceives, procedural justice as an agent-centred, normative approach in a novel way. So recast, procedural justice may provide an enlightened pathway to underpin a recovery from what may be described as a crisis in professional meaning among police personnel, manifesting in police criminality and disillusionment generally.
Central to the contribution of the paper is the Eastern tradition of Inochi. Conscious awakening to Inochi moves the lens of enquiry from the “we” of police structural reform towards the public to the “I” of individual transformation in relationships with the world. A state of being at oneness with each living thing and, so, being conditioned to eschew power over others, points, inevitably, at social endeavour done equally and as one. Inochi, thus, renders meaningless police engaging in acts of gaining or abusing power and points instead towards individual cherishing of vulnerable and marginalised people especially.
Not least of the counter-intuitive outflows of recasting procedural justice in policing in this way is considering the potency of love as a professional quality in policing reform. It is, thus, similar in concern although distinctive in conceptualisation from Frankl’s practice of logotherapy. In this unusual context, the paper concludes that the police service, as primary law enforcer, can readily move from a posture of “holding power over” to “sharing power with”. Therein is derived a clement environment in which policing lives are lived more fully and with richer meaning.

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