Policing, Justice, and Community with Anthropologist Kevin Karpiak, PhD

League of Women Voters Washtenaw County

Sep 14 2021 • 1 hr 35 mins

Human societies go back thousands of years; policing as an institution for maintaining societal order is only 150 years old. Previous cultures had many ways of controlling behavior for the common good without the police. How did the institution as we know it arise? How might we move toward a system that holds police accountable and leads to more equitable and just application of the law?

Dr. Karpiak (he/him/his) is a Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology at Eastern Michigan University. He is a founder of the discipline of anthropological study of police, Director of the Southeastern Michigan Criminal Justice Policy Research Project (SMART), co-editor of the Cornell University Press monograph series Police/Worlds: studies in security, crime and governance and General Editor of the blog Anthropoliteia: critical perspectives on police, security, crime and punishment around the world.

He received his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley (2009), for which he conducted a multi-sited ethnography of French community policing reform.