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Week 1

This week's introductory lecture will:

  • identify and discuss some key moments, institutions, people and issues in the history of the modern French policing and criminal justice system;
  • reflect critically on different ways of defining policing and outline the concept of 'coercive governance', its techniques and modes of resistance to it.

In the seminar we shall discuss ways of understanding 'policing' in a broader sense, in particular Jacques Rancière's idea of 'policing' in its opposition to 'politics', and situate the module's objectives, approach and selection of texts in relation to these ideas. As you read the material, please try to identify and summarise concisely, in your own words, those parts of the author's argument relevant to policing, also noting any questions you think the extracts raise.

Core reading

Further reading

Lecture slides

Available for download here.