Politics of Policing

SOCIOL 214

Introduction to Politics of Policing course by new Assistant Professor Tony Cheng.

Dr. Tony Cheng 

TuTh 11:45am-1:00pm

This course examines the historical and contemporary intersection between policing and politics in the U.S.  We first study the political history of policing, tracing its development from the colonial era to today.  Next, we evaluate police incentives and power, covering theories of public legitimacy and organizational independence and strategic practices used to maintain social order, especially in marginalized communities.  We then assess consequences of policing for social justice and civic incorporation.  We conclude with an eye toward policing’s future given controversies over racialized uses of force.

Drawing upon social science research, methodologies, and theories, this course examines the historical and contemporary intersection between policing and politics in the U.S. We first study the political history of policing, tracing its development from the colonial era to today. Next, we evaluate police incentives and power, covering theories of public legitimacy and organizational independence and strategic practices used to maintain social order, especially in marginalized communities. We then assess consequences of policing for social justice and civic incorporation. We conclude the course with an eye toward policing's future given ongoing controversies over racialized uses of force.
Photo of back of standing police officer in uniform in front of blurred crowd in distance
Curriculum Codes
  • SS
Typically Offered
Fall and/or Spring