Lund Critical Debate to examine global policing, social justice

In the wake of last summer’s protests against racism and police violence, this year’s Lund Critical Debate, “The Police and the Public: Global Perspectives,” will explore the contested ground between social justice and security, and weigh strategies for conflict resolution – both inside and outside the policing framework.

The event, hosted by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies in partnership with the Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS), will be held virtually on Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m.; registration is required. The panel welcomes questions in advance and during the webinar.

Panelists will be Luís Carrilho, United Nations police adviser, and Christian Davenport, professor of political science at the University of Michigan and a political conflict resolution expert. Their conversation will tackle policing, political violence, racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter movement from a domestic and global perspective.

This year’s topic is timely for nations around the world, said Rebecca Slayton, PACS director and associate professor of science and technology studies in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S).

“Police are charged with protecting and serving the public, but too often they protect wealthy and powerful publics at the expense of marginalized and politically repressed publics,” she said. “This dialogue will improve our understanding of how these dynamics play out around the world, and what measures can be taken to hold police accountable to all of the publics they should serve.”

Carrilho has served as director of the U.N.’s Police Division in the Department of Peace Operations since 2017. He previously worked as the head of security for the president of Portugal and as the commander of close protection for Lisbon’s security police.

Davenport’s research focuses on political conflict, racism and the making and measurement of peace. His 2010 book, “Media Bias, Perspective and State Repression: The Black Panther Party,” was named the Best Book in Racial Politics and Social Movements by the American Political Science Association.

Sabrina Karim, a PACS faculty member and assistant professor of government (A&S), will moderate the debate.

“From the U.S. protests after the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor to the protests against police brutality by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Nigeria, policing has come under scrutiny all around the world,” Karim said. “This debate will shed light on the international aspects of police reform.”

Created through the generosity of Judith Lund Biggs ’57, the Einaudi Center’s annual Lund Critical Debate gathers noted experts in international affairs to deliberate on pressing issues in world news and policy.

This year’s event aligns with the Einaudi Center’s Racial Justice research theme, which organizes Einaudi researchers for research, public engagement and advocacy to end racial inequality and violence.

Priya Pradhan ’22 is a writing intern for Global Cornell.

Read the story in the Cornell Chronicle.

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