Policing Networks: The mobilisation of actors in the relations between the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Tampa Bay and Pinellas County institutions, Florida, USA
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This thesis explores the network of private and public policing in Pinellas County, Florida, USA. With a focus on the SPCA Tampa Bay and Pinellas County Animal Services, the two main animal shelters and 'animal cops' in the area, and the local police forces. By focusing on the policing network's fluid and complex connections and relationships with the local policing agencies the network's actors become visible. By using the Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as methodology and theory, moving through its four pillars of identification, framing, enrollment, and mobilisation, we gain a better understanding of the network and its actors. The ANT calls for a nondualistic approach, contrary to a dualistic one, proving that actors and organisations are not isolated units, but a collective. The thesis suggests a solution to the problem of individuality amongst the policing agents and the citizens' inclusion of animals in society by opening up for a blurring of the lines separating them. Hence, this approach makes it possible to see nonhumans as actors in this public and private policing network. By providing a foundation for seeing policing as networks whilst it also to open up for a better understanding of the nodes and actors connected to the network, such as citizens, animals, and local policing agencies. The argument that nonhuman actors has a mobilising effect on the policing network is brought forward by leaving behind the human-animal dichotomy and rather follow the tendency of applying personhood and human emotions to animals, including them in the human sphere.