New book series, Police/Worlds: studies in security, crime and governance

When we started this blog over 8 years (!) ago, part of the motivation was that those of us working on issues of policing from within the discipline of anthropology felt relatively disjointed and in need of a common forum to figure out just where we could go with our research as a collective project.

One of the benefits of entering the “Associate Professor” stage of one’s career, I suppose, is that you get to start seeing some of your long term goals for the discipline take form: I’m happy to announce the launch of Police/Worlds: studies in security, crime and governance, a new monograph series for Cornell University Press edited by myself, Ilana Feldman, William Garriott and Sameena Mulla (all of whom will be familiar to dedicated readers of this blog).  Everyone involved with Police/Worlds is hoping that it become a forum in which new approaches to studying police can find space and talk to each other.

The series will publish innovative ethnographic scholarship that illuminates the contemporary practices and contexts of policing. Policing today encompasses a wide array of world-making practices, from the activities of official state forces to the everyday lives of those who are policed. Policing is central to concerns over crime and security, as well as the cultural forms that sustain them. Books in the series will underscore the broad reach of policing, while also highlighting how it constitutes a distinctive art of governance specific to the contemporary age.

Sage House News, the blog for Cornell University Press, recently published a short accessible interview with the four co-editors in which we discuss our goals for the series, as well as its parameters.  Of particular note here, I think, is the way Will Garriott ties the book series directly to the work we’ve been doing here:

Will Garriott: For the past few years, a group of us have been working on issues of police and policing in anthropology. For example, the blog Anthropoliteia has been a central place to develop the anthropological focus on policing. And this has put us in conversation with scholars of police in neighboring disciplines. It’s provided us with a particular perspective on issues such as crime, security, and governance. We’ve found this to be a very productive space. We hope the series will reflect this.

I think I speak for us all when I voice my hopes that this new venue can build upon–and develop a productive relationship with–this space.  In that vein, I invite the readers of this blog to follow the series, either on Facebook or Twitter (or both) so that you can remain updated as our initial projects come to fruition

Police/Worlds is also accepting proposals. We seek books from scholars in anthropology, sociology, geography, history and allied disciplines that expand our understanding of policing and its relationship to security, crime, and governance.  Topics of interest include:

  • Cultures and histories of policing
  • Everyday lives of the policed
  • Non-state forms of policing and counter policing
  • Surveillance and counter surveillance
  • Police, media, and technology
  • Gender, sexuality and policing
  • Health, the body and policing
  • Crime and crime control
  • Punishment, penality, and the carceral state
  • Policing and security assemblages
  • Institutional practices of policing

Authors should send inquiries to Cornell University Press Senior Editor Jim Lance at Guidelines for submitting proposals can be found at

Facebook: @PoliceWorldsBookSeries
Twitter: @Police_Worlds

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