DragNet, March 2014

♫ Duh duh duh duh ♫  The editors of Anthropoliteia would like to introduce yet another new regular feature: DragNet.  An addition to our “Round Ups” series, DragNet will offer monthly highlights of the English-language academic blogosphere for topics related to policing, security, crime and punishment around the world.  We’re thrilled to have Kristin Castner serving as the Section Editor and lead author for the feature. ♫ Duh duh duh duh DUH ♫


Around the web this month were noteworthy posts dealing with issues of surveillance, race, incarceration and political transformation.

Here on Anthropoliteia we’ve featured significant coverage of developments in Ukraine, Taiwan, Venezuela and the Pistorius trial in South Africa, as well as special commentaries from Nolan Kline on the new Robocop and myself about the implications of a post-panoptic society for policing.

Of course there was equally valuable coverage elsewhere around the web.   Two critical resources for up-to-the-minute coverage of all things Ukraine/Crimea can be found on Radio Free Europe and Critical Legal Thinking. The Funambulist featured a post relating to the Pistorius trial, focusing on the role of clothes in the courtroom.

Posts about surveillance expose the need to define and enforce boundaries at both the state and local levels. Although government agencies regularly receive public attention about their surveillance practices, other articles highlight the fact that these aren’t the only entities “watching” civilians. Digital Journal, for example, details the ways Bank of America kept tabs on the activity of Occupy movement members. As NPR’s post about social media surveillance insinuates, we need to start talking about who should have access to what information, and under which circumstances. Mother Jones invites you to reflect upon whether we should be “excited” about the State Department’s decision to “troll for terrorists” on social media. Think Progress considers instances where the focal subject of surveillance flips from citizens to that of officers.

As usual, race and ethnicity were central to stories of policing, security and citizenship. Whether these themes appear in the context of faculty member/student, victim/offender or perhaps minority group/majority group, several red flags were raised. Alexandra Topping’s feature in The Guardian covers the increasingly common role of UK university members to act as a kind of “back-up immigration control” for starters. Of particular salience were the ways race was said to shape the prison system in America, with authors from Jacobin Magazine pointing the finger of blame at the educational system among other things. Are a greater proportion of minorities truly being incarcerated by private (versus public) prisons? Rina Paita presents this and other racially charged hypotheses in a post on NPR News. Meanwhile Rick Perry offered a rather uncharacteristic critique of prisons in America, stating that only a “rich and dumb” country would continue to stand for an incarceration rate of 1 in 100 citizens.

And lastly (but importantly), Anthropoliteia launched new sections in March (besides DragNet of course!): In the Journals, Dossiers and Dispatches. Plan to visit In the Journals on a quarterly basis for the latest scoop on all things Anthropoliteia-focused. A new section editor, David Thompson, will be in charge of managing the Journals series. Notable Dossiers from March included a three-part series about policing and protesting in Taiwan, authored by our own Jeff Martin. We also featured coverage of the recent political developments in Venezuela, penned by our special guest poster Rebecca Hansen. From Dispatches, Charlie Hahn contemplates the impact of everyday encounters with mass surveillance as he navigates through Oakland, CA.

As always, we welcome your feedback.  If you have any suggestions for sites we should be keeping tabs on for this feature, or if you want to call our attention to a specific post or blog, send an email to anthropoliteia@gmail.com with the words “DragNet” in the subject header.



One thought on “DragNet, March 2014

  1. Pingback: New Feature: Book Reviews | Anthropoliteia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s