Recently several of us here at Anthropoliteia were able to participate in a conference organized by Ian Loader, Ben Bradford, Jonny Steinberg and our own Beatrice Jauregui in preparation for a volume they are editing, the SAGE Handbook of Global Policing. Kate West, has a nice summary of (only a small portion of) some of the papers over at the Criminology at Oxford Blog. Here is an excerpt that may be of particular interest to our readers:
In what follows, I discuss three draft papers for the Handbook; those by Kevin Karpiak, James Purdon, and Ben Bradford and Ian Loader. My aim, in respect of bringing together scholars from such varied disciplines to construct this new field of global policing, is to offer some reflections on canonicity to acknowledge the privileged position the authors occupy in shaping the field.
The discussion that arose from Kevin’s paper, ‘The anthropology of the police,’ highlighted what policing studies might mean for different disciplinary methodologies. Kevin spoke of anthropological method as representation, a conception of method that criminology has historically struggled to accept. In short, positionality, or subject-position, shapes epistemology, method and therefore academic labour as representation and perhaps discussions of this kind might foster scholars to consider the position from which they write—for example, one author highlighted a very real concern he and his co-author shared because of their respective nationalities and how their identities intersect with the political context of their research to shape both what and how they research. I don’t cite their names or discuss their research here in order to honour that concern.