Reimagining & Reinventing Policing

Jul 30, 9:00 AM - Jul 31, 5:00 PM

This event is organized by the Department of Sociology and will be held via Zoom Webinar on July 30 and July 31. The program will be announced in early July. 

The recent murder of George Floyd, the subsequent protests, and the police response are only the latest events to expose the often brutal and racialized character of policing in the United States, leading many to renew long-standing calls for police reform. Previous calls for reform led to the institution of new training modules (“bias training”) and other incremental measures, but recent events belie the shortcomings of such reforms. This two-day zoom conference will bring together leading social scientists and practitioners who will offer their views on how policing may be reimagined and reinvented, rather than just reformed. Speakers will discuss the promises and pitfalls of existing reforms and policies and the contours and potential for radically new alternatives. What existing proposals and policies fall short of inducing fundamental changes in policing practices? What would, or what should, structural and institutional transformations in policing involve? What alternative possibilities to policing as way know it can be imagined and invented? How might the very idea of “policing” be rethought entirely? The conference seeks discussions of practical solutions, however informed by social scientific research, social theory, historical perspectives and international comparisons.