Fighting the ‘Enemy Within’: Australian Police and Internal Security in World War I

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    During World War I an extensive security state developed in Australia, consisting of police forces at the state level, intelligence branches within the defence forces, federal surveillance organizations and a Commonwealth (federal) police force. World War I not only depleted the numbers of qualified personnel in the state police forces but also required them to pay an active role in the internment of ‘enemy aliens’, the suppression of political dissent and the maintenance of civic order during deeply divisive public debates about conscription. Given Australia’s convict past and anti-authoritarian political culture, police had already faced reputational issues. The war almost certainly fuelled this traditional distrust, given the police’s close, if unavoidable, association with a wartime government that used its emergency powers in an increasingly repressive manner.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationWorld Histories of Crime, Culture and Violence
    Editors Jonas Campion, Laurent Lopez and Guillaume Payen
    Place of PublicationSwitzerland
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-26101-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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