Fall 2022

Police Power

Listed in: Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-228


Michaela J. Brangan (Section 01)


Demands to reform, defund, or abolish the police have a long history, even as contemporary calls to curb law enforcement are hotly debated. Some worry that demands for radical changes to policing spell political doom. Others hope they toll the final bell for racism. And some think even minor cuts to police will trigger a Hobbesian “war of all against all.” What is the relationship between the police and what jurists name “police power”: the state's legal authority over public health and welfare? How did this relationship originate, and how has it changed? What does it look like outside of the US? What other social and economic factors intersect with law in debates over the redistribution and transformation of police power? Can the US continue without police as we know them? We will examine these questions using cases and statutory law, critical race and feminist scholarship, political theory, and literary and visual culture to guide our inquiry.

Limited to 36 students. Fall semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Brangan

How to handle overenrollment: Priority given to LJST Majors

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Class interaction (large/small groups): writing (formal/informal); research; presentation; study course materials

LJST 228 - LEC

Section 01
M 2:00 PM - 3:20 PM SCCE E210
W 2:00 PM - 3:20 PM SCCE E210

This is preliminary information about books for this course. Please contact your instructor or the Academic Coordinator for the department, before attempting to purchase these books.

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
If Beale Street Could Talk James Baldwin Amherst Books TBD
The City and the City China Mieville Amherst Books TBD
A Critical Theory of Police Power Mark Neocleous Amherst Books TBD
The End of Policing Alex Vitale Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Spring 2024