Dr Francis Dodsworth


I joined Kingston in September 2014 after ten years working at the Open University in the ERSC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), with a particular focus on urban studies and governmentality. Before that I studied the cultural history of crime and policing at the University of Manchester in the late 1990s during the era of the 'cultural turn', and this perspective continues to inform my research.

I have published in a range of fields from the material culture of religion and commerce, to urban exploration and improvement, but the bulk of my work focuses on the historical sociology of crime and policing.

My most recent book focuses on the history of security in modern Britain, particularly the gender dynamics of the politics of protection, from public policing to self-defence.

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Criminology


  • PhD, University of Manchester
  • MA, University of Manchester
  • BA (Hons.) University of Wales, Lampeter

Teaching and learning

My principal teaching in the Department of Criminology, Politics and Sociology, is on the following modules:

CM4005 Social Order and Social Control

CM5006 Policing and Punishment

CM5011 Crime Prevention and Community Safety

CM6019 Risk and Crime

I also make occasional contributions to other modules and regularly supervise both undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations.

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught


My research background is in historical criminology and criminal justice history. My research focuses on crime, policing and security in modern Britain with a particular focus on spatial justice and the ideology of protection.

Most recently I have explored the politics of protection within policing and security, focusing particularly on the gendered dimension of protection as a form of power. I relate this work to recent criminological work on 'security' and the 'new police science', as well as Foucauldian work on governmentality and Elias's concept of the 'civilising process', but the primary focus is on the the ways in which vulnerability and the power to protect have been configured in gendered terms. Methodologically this work is also informed by the linguistic approach of the cultural turn and cultural materialism. This work was recently published by Palgrave Macmillan as The Security Society: History, Patriarchy, Protection.

I am currently extending this into an exploration of emotion and identity in the fields of policing and security, particularly with regards to the agents and institutions of security. A particular point of engagement is the question of whether the late twentieth century saw a 'de-civilising process'.

I am currently co-supervisor of a number of PhD theses:

Aslam, Muhammad, ‘Exploring enhanced Understandings of Police Criminal Investigation on Cold Case Homicides in Pakistan Using Intelligence and Forensic Science' (2018, first supervisor, anticipated completion: imminent, early 2023)

Choudhury, Sharmi, ‘How school teachers in the UK conceptualise the Prevent duty and how they identify pupils who may be vulnerable to radicalisation'

Contreras Dordelly, Daniel, ‘Alternative currencies in comparative context: distinctive dynamics and the impact of mainstreaming on schemes in the UK, Mexico and Kenya'

Murfin, Russell, 'The impact and effectiveness of Manchester City's housing policy, 1945-79

Whitehead, Arthur, I. ‘Organised Crime in UK Sport

I am intertested in supervising further students in the fields of policing and security studies, cultural criminology and histories of crime and policing.

Areas of specialism

  • Policing
  • Security
  • Historical criminology
  • Cultural criminology
  • Governmentality

Scholarly affiliations

  • British Society of Criminology

Research student supervision


Number of items: 25.


Dodsworth, Francis (2013) Habit, the criminal body and the body politic in England, c. 1700-1800. Body & Society, 19(2-3), pp. 83-106. ISSN (print) 1357-034X

Dodsworth, Francis, Vacchelli, Elena and Watson, Sophie (2013) Shifting religions and cultures in London’s East End. Material Religion, 9(1), pp. 86-112. ISSN (print) 1743-2200

Dodsworth, Francis and Watson, Sophie (2012) Into unorthodox London: the religious ethnography of Charles Maurice Davies. Victorian Literature and Culture, 40(2), pp. 487-508. ISSN (print) 1060-1503

Dodsworth, Francis and Watson, Sophie (2011) Constituting religious publics: the tale of two non-conformist churches in London. Culture and Religion, 12(1), pp. 1-19. ISSN (print) 1475-5610

McFall, Liz and Dodsworth, Francis (2009) Fabricating the market: the promotion of life assurance in the long nineteenth-century. Journal Of Historical Sociology, 22(1), pp. 30-54. ISSN (print) 0952-1909

Dodsworth, Francis (2008) The idea of police in Eighteenth-Century England: discipline, reformation, superintendence, c. 1780-1800. Journal of the History of Ideas, 69(4), pp. 583-604. ISSN (print) 0022-5037

Dodsworth, Francis (2007) Police and the prevention of crime: commerce, temptation and the corruption of the body politic, from Fielding to Colquhoun. The British Journal of Criminology, 47(3), pp. 439-454. ISSN (print) 0007-0955

Dodsworth, Francis (2005) Virtus on Whitehall: the politics of Palladianism in William Kent’s Treasury Building, 1733-6. Journal Of Historical Sociology, 18(4), pp. 282-317. ISSN (print) 0952-1909

Dodsworth, Francis (2004) 'Civic' police and the condition of liberty: the rationality of governance in eighteenth-century England. Social History, 29(2), pp. 199-216. ISSN (print) 0307-1022


Dodsworth, Francis (2019) The security society : history, patriarchy, protection. London, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. 339p. (Crime Prevention and Security Management) ISBN 9781137433824

Dodsworth, Francis and Walford, Antonia, eds. (2018) A world laid waste? Responding to the social, cultural and political consequences of globalisation. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. 176p. (CRESC) ISBN 9781138244986

Book Section

Dodsworth, Francis (2022) From the ‘old’ to the ‘new’ : corruption and the police, c. 1750–1910. In: Cawood, Ian and Crook, Tom, (eds.) The many lives of corruption : the reform of public life in modern Britain c.1750-1950. Manchester, U.K. : Manchester University Press. pp. 54-74. ISBN 9781526150035

Dodsworth, Francis (2022) Security : history, genealogy, ideology. In: Gill, Martin, (ed.) Handbook of security. Cham, Switzerland : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 19-38. ISBN 9783030917340

Dodsworth, Francis (2020) Fighting for the right to the streets : the politics and poetics of women's self-defence. In: Watson, Sophie, (ed.) Spatial justice in the city. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 118-135. (Space, Materiality and the Normative) ISBN 9780815394532

Dodsworth, Francis (2020) Protection : selling self-defence in twentieth-century Britain and the United States. In: Churchill, David , Janiewski, Dolores and Leloup, Pieter, (eds.) Private security and the modern state : historical and comparative perspectives. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 154-171. (Routledge SOLON Explorations in Crime and Criminal Justice Histories) ISBN 9780367183493

Dodsworth, Francis and Watson, Sophie (2018) Coping with change : community, environment and engagement in a London Buddhist community. In: Dodsworth, Francis and Walford, Antonia, (eds.) A world laid waste? Responding to the social, cultural and political consequences of globalisation. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 88-108. (CRESC) ISBN 9781138244986

Dodsworth, Francis (2016) Risk, prevention and policing, c. 1750-1850. In: Crook, Tom and Esbester, Mike, (eds.) Governing risks in modern Britain : danger, safety and accidents, c. 1800-2000. London, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 29-53. ISBN 9781137467447

Dodsworth, Francis (2015) Epochalism and the society of security : continuity and change in self-defence culture. In: Lytje, Maren , Nielsen, Torben K. and Ottovay Jørgensen, Martin, (eds.) Challenging Ideas? Theory and Empirical Research in the Social Sciences. Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. : Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 88-107. ISBN 9781443883726

Dodsworth, Francis (2012) Men on a mission: masculinity, violence and the self-presentation of policemen in England, c. 1870-1914. In: Barrie, David G. and Broomhall, Susan, (eds.) A history of police and masculinities, 1700-2010. Oxford, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 123-140. ISBN 9780415696616

Dodsworth, Francis (2012) Shaping the city, shaping the subject: honour, affect and agency in John Gwynn’s London and Westminster improved (1766). In: O'Brien, Gillian and O'Kane, Finola, (eds.) Portraits of the City: Dublin and the Wider World. Dublin, Ireland : Four Courts Press. pp. 76-90. ISBN 9781846823466

Dodsworth, Francis (2011) Mobility and civility: police and the formation of the modern city. In: Bridge, Gary and Watson, Sophie, (eds.) The New Blackwell Companion to the City. Oxford, U.K. : Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 235-244. ISBN 9781405189811

Dodsworth, Francis (2008) Governing conduct: law, order and violence. In: McFall, Liz , Du Gay, Paul and Carter, Simon, (eds.) Conduct: sociology and social worlds. Manchester, U.K. : Manchester University Press. pp. 121-151. ISBN 9780719078132

Dodsworth, Francis (2007) Masculinity as governance: police, public service and the embodiment of authority, c. 1700-1850. In: McCormack, Matthew, (ed.) Public men: masculinity and politics in modern Britain. Basingstoke, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 33-53. ISBN 9780230007635

Conference or Workshop Item

Aslam, M., Barker, J. and Dodsworth, F. (2021) Intelligence as a source of cold case homicide investigation : a cross national perspective. In: Hot Leads for Cold Cases, Spring Event 2021; 30 Apr 2021, Held online.

Scholarly Edition

Dodsworth, Francis [Editor] (2014) The 'idea' of policing. London, U.K. : Pickering and Chatto. (The making of the modern police, 1780-1914, 1(1)) ISBN 9781848933712

This list was generated on Wed Apr 24 07:17:17 2024 BST.

Leadership and management

I am currently course leader for our BSc in Criminology and our BSc in Criminology & Forensic Psychology. I also contribute to our BSc Sociology programme and our BSc in Criminology & Sociology, so do get in touch with me about any of these programmes.

University responsibilities

  • Course leader for BSc Criminology
  • Course leader for BSc Criminology and Forensic Psychology