ROGER HOOD ANNUAL LECTURE: Unsettling States: From Civilizing Security to Decolonizing Police in the Anglosphere, and Beyond

Event date
30 May 2024
Event time
17:00 - 18:30
Oxford week
TT 6
English Lecture Theatre 2

Beatrice Jauregui, Associate Professor of Criminology and Anthropology, University of Toronto.

Notes & Changes

This will be an in-person only lecture. 

The talk will be recorded & made available on the Criminology website and YouTube channel at a later date. 



Police studies is at a crossroads. Over the past decade, a resurgence of anti-racist and decolonial social movements have compelled a globalized reckoning with police institutions as key figures in reproducing social orders of structural violence. This is reflected in a groundswell of contemporary scholarship on police and policing by self-identified abolitionists, and also by researchers and thinkers committed to decoloniality. But what does it mean, or what could it mean, to decolonize police in practice and, crucially, from within the police institution itself, a project that many would find counterintuitive at best, or even impossible? I address this question through a transnational ethnography and transhistorical comparison of attempts by a plurality of police to organize collectively and conduct their work in line with principled commitments to institutional transformation and community-oriented justice. My study traverses the distant and recent past of protests, uprisings, and unionist movements among police workers in what many still call India and Canada, and it lands with a deep engagement with ongoing advocacy and everyday practices by Indigenous police in multiple regions of Turtle Island (North America). The analysis examines Indigenous understandings and practices of “community policing”, as well as critical conceptions of police work as “essential” security labor, to elucidate the polysemy of decolonization and to clarify new possibilities for being police and doing policing in settler and “post” colonial states.


Beatrice Jauregui

Beatrice Jauregui is Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies. She is co-editor of the Handbook of Global Policing (Sage 2016) and Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency (University of Chicago 2010). Her monograph Provisional Authority (University of Chicago 2016) is an ethnography of everyday police life and work in northern India. Dr Jauregui has also authored numerous chapter contributions and research articles published in peer reviewed journals including American Ethnologist, Asian Policing, Comparative Policing, Conflict and Society, Journal of South Asian Studies, Law and Social Inquiry, Public Culture, Qualitative Sociology, and Security Dialogue. Her ongoing research program studies cultural and historical transformations of security actors and institutions, and she is currently Principal Investigator on a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Grant funded research project comparing forms of organized policing, identity- and labor-oriented police associations, and police governance and politics in Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico and the US.

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