[URBANTH-L] CFP: Policing and Justice: Exploring Alternatives and Furthering Old Debates

Angela Jancius jancius3022 at comcast.net
Fri Jun 26 22:29:50 EDT 2009

Call for Papers
Special Issue for Contemporary Justice Review: 
Policing and Justice: Exploring Alternatives and Furthering Old Debates

It has become somewhat axiomatic to refer to the police as the "gatekeepers" of the criminal justice system and a mechanism for the provision of "justice". And yet, when we conceptualize the police thusly, we take for granted the actual empirical nature of the 'gatekeeping' role and its larger social meaning. A number of scholars have argued that democratic policing systems are necessary for the delivery of justice within liberal regimes, but just exactly how and if the various symbolic and operational functions of the police serve the goal of justice remains a question of empirical research and debate. Certainly, we have also witnessed a wealth of critical scholarship that contests the view that public policing serves all citizens equally or serves as a mechanism for accessing justice. The latter perspective raises another series of questions on possible alternatives to existing structures and processes that could make justice more widely accessible. For example, scholarship in this area has been near-exclusively focused on public policing, neglecting the plethora of private or community-based policing forms that operate beyond, below, outside, or parallel to the state. Whether or to what extent such forms assist in providing access to justice (through the state, private, or community means) remains ill-understood. 

This special issue will address this deficit by collecting and publishing papers that foreground questions on the role and/or possibilities offered by public, private, or community-based policing forms as they seek justice for various populations. Generally, papers should explore alternative configurations of policing that go beyond the narrowly understood "gatekeeping" role. To this end, we seek papers from various disciplines and theoretical standpoints that explore the following areas: 

-- The role of the public police in fostering or limiting access to justice for individuals and/or groups; 

-- Public policing policies, programs or practices that aim to increase access to justice for marginalized groups or citizens; 

-- Forms of non-state policing (or policing 'below the state') with the potential to widen citizens' ability to access justice through formal or informal means;

-- Community-based and/or activist forms of policing or social control that replace the need for state-based initiatives.

-- The general relationship between public or private policing and social justice. 

We are also open to other subjects not outlined above that speak to the relationship between policing and justice as a special theme of scholarship. Please contact the guest-editors (Luis Fernandez, Northern Arizona University at luis.fernandez at nau.edu or Laura Huey, University of Western Ontario at lhuey at uwo.ca) in advance to discuss proposed topics. All papers must be completed and submitted electronically no later than February 15th. Please use standard formatting and submit the papers in a Word file format. 

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