Justice, Security and Public Safety beyond the Police

9 Jan 2023 to 20 Jan 2023

There is a tendency to understand the police as the core provider of public safety and security –as the thin blue line between order and chaos. Police as an organized force and policing as a diverse set of practices, however, are under growing scrutiny globally, and alternative ways of understanding police, its role, and public safety are on the agenda. Debates about the police sometimes provide critical and radical ideas for structural change and at other times argue for modernization and redirecting of public resources towards the police institutions.

The necessity of police and policing, as self-evident as it may appear at the first glance, has not always been so pervasive or commonplace, nor has policing always been seen as the primary remedy to all sorts of social harms and insecurities. In this course we are particularly interested in how ideals like public order, safety, security, and justice have come to such an inseparable linkage with police and police work, both in legal and political discourse and in the public and cultural imagination. A close study of current local and global developments in policing, as well as historical examinations and case studies are central to the ambition of this course and will be instrumental in understanding what sort of sociality the current rapid and multifaceted changes within police force around the globe reflect.

The reading will be sorted according to the 10 sessions of the course:
1. Penal Populism
2. Predictive policing
3. Carceral feminism
4. History of policing
5. Being the target of policing
6. Police work
7. Policing the crimes of the powerful
8. Global policing
9. Representations of police in popular culture
10. Reimagining the police (public lecture)