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Students educating students: insights from organising an international, interdisciplinary conference on surveillance and policing

Maria-Amelia Viteri and Aaron Tobler

This article illustrates the multiple ways in which anthropology graduate students crossed the boundaries of educational discourses by encouraging themselves, other students, activists and community leaders to speak in dialogical contexts (Giroux 2005: 73). They did this through the organisation of the Interrogating Diversity Conference. The authors organised this conference in March 2007 at the American University, Washington, DC, to expand scholarship on surveillance and policing in an egalitarian forum. We discuss how students can engage their departments and faculty in building the students' knowledge of both anthropological theories and methodology through shared scholarship. We show how students can 'apply' anthropology to audiences, which will in turn influence policy decision making. In addition, the authors explore how academics can transform knowledge sharing into tools that shape broader political and social dialogue.

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Police Prejudice or Logics?

Analyzing the “Bornholm Murder Case”

David Sausdal

, “A Black Man Was Tortured and Killed in Denmark. The Police Insist It Wasn't about Race” (Erdbrik 2020) not only because a young man was the victim of what the prosecutor described as “hell-like violence,” but also because of the possible reasons for

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Emergent Police States

Racialized Pacification and Police Moralism from Rio's Favelas to Bolsonaro

Tomas Salem and Bjørn Enge Bertelsen

Complexo do Alemão, a group of favelas in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro (© Tomas Salem) In recent decades, the presence of armed drug traffickers and paramilitary groups (known as milícias ), along with the actions of the Military Police's Special

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F*ck the Police!

Antiblack statecraft, the myth of cops’ fragility, and the fierce urgency of an insurgent anthropology of policing

Jaime A. Alves

morning of 6 May 2021, the military police invaded the favela of Jacarezinho, one of Rio de Janeiro's slums, and killed 28 people during a military operation tellingly named Operation Exceptis. Photos of dead bodies in the alleys of the favela and

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The Missing Policing

The Absent Concept of Policing and Its Substitutes in Israeli Military Doctrine

Ofra Ben-Ishai

Although the Israel Defense Force (IDF) has been engaged in policing for over 50 years ( Yossef 2019 ), like Western armies ( Beers 2007 ) it has done little to develop a general policing doctrine ( Michael and Siboni 2016 ). This is particularly

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Identifying ‘Terrorists’ in Paris

A Political Experiment with IBM Machines during the Algerian War

Neil MacMaster

The Paris police faced considerable problems in trying to identify migrant workers who, during the Algerian War, provided a support base for the Front de libération nationale. In order to overcome the failings of manual card-index systems (fichiers) the Préfecture of Police experimented in 1959-62 with IBM punch-card machines. The origin of these powerful identification techniques can be traced back to the inter-war statistical services headed by René Carmille. Although such methods were banned after the Liberation because of their repressive potential, they were discretely revived to track Algerians. Although the experiment proved successful, the proliferation of numerous decentralized fichiers continued to make the process of identifying wanted Algerians slow and cumbersome and this enabled FLN clandestine networks to survive intact to the end of the Algerian War. However, while rapidly superceded by true computers, the punch-card experiment was a precursor of contemporary, high-speed "Panoptican" systems and the computer driven" "révolution identitaire".

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Military (Non-)Policing in the Occupied Territories

Nir Gazit

logic of policing in the occupied West Bank, one needs to adopt a more holistic approach that pays attention to the dialectical relationship between two modes of policing: the mode applied when policing the settlers, as citizens of the Israeli state, and

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Who Controls the Israeli Policing Army?

Yagil Levy

structural change that has led to the gradual creation of two armies within the IDF. Alongside the ‘official’ army, a ‘policing’ force has emerged in the West Bank. Although it is ostensibly subordinated to formal political authority, it has become a quasi

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Policing at a distance and that human thing

An appreciative critique of police surveillance

David Sausdal

colleagues, and we need to use technologies that allow us to track their movements. Look!” Detective Nielsen of the Danish police tells me as he points to the screens in front of us, “from here we can see what's happening at every train station. And soon we

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Travelling police

The potential for change in the wake of police reform in West Africa

Jan Beek and Mirco Göpfert

Police models travel around the globe and many arrive in the shape of police reforms in West Africa. On the ground, these transnational connections are composed of interactions between police officers carrying and receiving such models. Similar to the travel of other models, African officers usually adapt and subvert official reforms. In this article, we argue that the potential for wide‐ranging organisational change is caused not so much by these reform programmes, but rather emerges from the encounters that such travels bring along. In these encounters, officers tell stories that challenge or stabilise notions of police work for those involved.