I like this paper. The topic isn’t exactly my expertise (I’ve written about it, but still), so I can’t speak to the substantive area in a specific sense (e.g., whether the findings are original). Instead, I keep my comments to more general issues: First, I argue it’s ok that the paper is based on “only” 15 participants, but suggest how to make that “look better”; second, I suggest minimizing and isolating the country-specific info; and I ask for more on deterrence. These comments also reflect the 30 page limit. I’m not a fan of asking authors to do a tone more when such limits practically prohibit it.
When considering the number of participants, what I think of is the population size. If someone interviews 10 people, that’s more reasonable if the population is small (e.g., 30 police officers in a department) than larger (e.g., a 1,000 police officers in a department). This paper falls into the former category, which is good. When I first read the abstract, this wasn’t an apparent. Thus, I’d add this info so readers know from the start that there’s a focus on workers in a particular bar. Would also press, from the start, that observation is involved too.
I may be alone in this suggestion, but it could be useful to contain the country-specific info to a certain subsection (e.g., “Legal Context”) or otherwise isolate and minimize within the paper. My thinking is this will make the paper of greater interest to readers, if only subconsciously. It also would be good to define “public house”; this term won’t be familiar to all readers.
I’d like a little more background info on interpersonal deterrence. This concept is key to the paper but understated. I’m not suggesting it has to be a lot, but, at a minimum, defining deterring, discussing its place in criminology, and explicitly connecting to feisty feminism (e.g., ‘this is an example of deterrence in that the worker makes the perpetrator fearful of further untoward behavior). Speaking of which, would be good to discuss “absolute” vs. “restrictive” deterrence, the importance of informal deterrence, and whether/why/how unwanted acts relate and escalate to (or not) formal control (e.g., calling the police).