Date of Degree
Jacqueline Nassy Brown
Ruth Wilson Gilmore
Social and Cultural Anthropology
Race, Racism, Policing, Technology, Infrastructure, Urban Governance
This dissertation draws on three years of ethnographic and archival research to explore the relationship between technology, policing and race at the NYPD. In focusing on the ways problems are constructed and police power enacted, I explore the more-than-human entanglements in the production of race and the governance of cities under racial capitalism. My overarching claim is that urban governance works through contentious techno-political arrangements I call race-police regimes, which sanction and elicit race by enacting forms of exclusion and belonging. Racial capitalism in New York City, I argue, is governed through a technocratic mode of policing which leverages and entrenches a liberal faith in crime statistics and a common sense regarding the objectivity of crime phenomena and the proper means of upholding social order. Even as it convenes carceral publics across class, race and gender divides, it also underwrites moral panics directed at presumptively criminal anticitizens which are figured archetypically as black. Race-police regimes produce their own justifications and so can remain viable when called into question by protests. Yet they are also riven with antagonism and thus constantly propelled toward rupture and reinvention.
Liu, Elliott, "A Race-Police Regime: NYPD Technology and Urban Governance in New York City" (2023). CUNY Academic Works.