Call for Papers for AAA 2017 Meeting in Washington, DC
Session Title: Anthropology of Police: Techno-politics, Reform, and Questions of Violence
Organizer: Hayal Akarsu
Discussant: Kevin G. Karpiak
Proliferation of police-related crises, from discriminatory policing practices to juridical harassment and police-perpetrated executions, once again brought police reform to the global spotlight. Usually tied to broader security sector reform efforts, what might be called a ‘global police reform assemblage’ includes various actors (from ‘security bureaucrats’ to ‘security experts’ housed in global policing bodies or human rights organizations), and produces a range of new policing philosophies, approaches, tools, and technologies for ‘better’ policing. How is policing made and re-made through such ‘reform’ discourses and practices? What are some of the ways in which the power of police is reformatted through the very tools, objects, and idioms of police reform itself? Considering the rise of authoritarian governance practices in many parts of the world, which draws on xenophobic and populist rhetoric, how do these supposedly ‘liberal’ police reform interface with ‘non-liberal’ practices of security and policing? How can an anthropological study of security and policing-based reforms account for the understandings and experiences of the public coming into contact with policies and reform in everyday life? Instead of exploring ‘police reform’ either as a success or a failure story, this panel invites ethnographically-informed studies that explore: 1- kinds of socialities and subjectivities generated by such reform efforts; and 2- types of interventions, techno-political arrangements, and kinds of ethical/moral dilemmas embedded in that process. The panel also invites papers that take police-citizen encounters as a crucial site for anthropological inquiry in order to observe how dynamics of citizenship, power, security and governance are constantly challenged, reflected upon or reworked.
To be considered for this panel, please send your title and abstract (250 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 10, 2017.