top of page

AGOPOL Final Conference: Algorithmic Governance and Cultures of Policing

Algorithmic Governance & Cultures of Policing

AGOPOL Final Conference

18th March 2024

10:00 – 17:00

Professorboligen, Karl Johans gate 47, Oslo, Norway


Film Screenings

19:30 – 22:00

Auditorium 2, Domus Juridica

Kristian Augusts gate 17, 0164 Oslo, Norway


This is the final conference of the research project Algorithmic Governance and Cultures of Policing: Comparative Perspectives from Norway, India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa (AGOPOL) funded by The Research Council of Norway (313626). Presenting some of the key results, we will also outline new perspectives on algorithmic governance, predictive and pre-emptive modes of policing, the pluralization and privatization of policing, and the effects of algorithmic governance as a form of management on police as an organization, which have emerged from this project – drawing on ethnographies and qualitative research from across the globe. In this final AGOPOL conference, we will present 3 published monographs and our forthcoming joint edited volume, which are some (but far from all) results from this project. In the evening, we also invite you to the screening of two films made by our researchers, both focusing on Brazil. Join us for the engaging book launches, panel discussions with authors, teaser of our forthcoming edited volume comprising a series of short presentations by authors and film screenings! We hope to see you on the 18th of March and do not forget to register!

AGOPOL Final Conference Programme
Download PDF • 8.68MB


Conference Organizers

Tereza Østbø Kuldova, Oslo Metropolitan University

Helene Oppen Ingebrigtsen Gundhus, University of Oslo

Christin Thea Wathne, Oslo Metropolitan University


This conference is part of the project Algorithmic Governance and Cultures of Policing: Comparative Perspectives from Norway, India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa (AGOPOL), funded by The Research Council of Norway (313626). The event is organized jointly by the Oslo Metropolitan University and the University of Oslo.

Conference Program

10:00 – 10:10

Opening and Welcome

by Christin Thea Wathne (Oslo Metropolitan University) & Tereza Østbø Kuldova (Oslo Metropolitan University), Project Leader & Co-Leader of AGOPOL

10:10 - 10:40

Book presentation: Compliance-Industrial Complex: The Operating System of a Pre-Crime Society by Tereza Østbø Kuldova (Oslo Metropolitan University)


10:40 - 11:10

Comments by discussants and Q&A

Discussants: Aurelija Puraite (Mykolas Romeris University) & Dean Wilson (University of Sussex)


11:10 - 11:30 Coffee Break


11:30 - 12:00 

An Ethnographic Study of Delhi Police by Shivangi Narayan (Jawaharlal Nehru University)


12:00 - 12:30

Comments by discussants and Q&A

Discussants: Ursula Rao (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology) & Mikkel Flyverbom (Copenhagen Business School)


12:30 – 13:30 Lunch


13:30 - 14:00 

Book Launch: Policing in Rio de Janeiro: Cosmologies of War and the Far-Right by Tomas Salem (University of Bergen)


14:00 – 14:30

Comments by discussants and Q&A

Discussants: Einar Braathen (Oslo Metropolitan University) & John Andrew McNeish (Norwegian University of Life Sciences)


14:30 – 14:50 Coffee Break


14:50 – 15:10

Edited Volume Teaser / Short Presentation

Policing and Intelligence in the Big Data Era: Towards New Critical Perspectives on Algorithmic Governance (Volume I and Volume II)

by editors Tereza Østbø Kuldova (Oslo Metropolitan University), Helene Oppen Ingebrigtsen Gundhus (University of Oslo) & Christin Thea Wathne (Oslo Metropolitan University)


15:10 – 16:20  

Presentations of Selected Chapters

Russian Intelligence-Driven Technopoly: Efficiency, Positivism and Governance by Data in a Country at War by Jardar Østbø (Norwegian Defence University College)

E-Governance and Smart Policing in Kerala, India: Towards a Kerala Model of Algorithmic Governance? by Ashwin Varghese (O.P. Jindal Global University)

A Historical Perspective on Civil Society Activism and the Campaign to Ban Digital Facial Recognition Technologies in Public Security in Brazil by Paulo Cruz Terra (Universidade Federal Fluminense)

Musical Policing in Today's Brazil: A Study of Jingles in the Bolsonaro Movement by Kjetil Klette Bøhler (University of South-Eastern Norway)

The Platformization of Policing: A Cross-National Analysis by Simon Egbert (Bielefeld Univeristy), Vasilis Galis (IT University of Copenhagen), Helene Oppen Ingebrigtsen Gundhus (University of Oslo), Christin Thea Wathne (Oslo Metropolitan University)

Outsourcing Security Intelligence: The Risks of Digital Litter in Contemporary Policing Cultures by Veronika Nagy (Utrecht University)

Artificial Intelligence and Moral Responsibility in Law Enforcement by Jens Erik Paulsen (The Norwegian Police University College)


16:20 – 16:40 Q&A


16:40 – 16:45

Closing Remarks

Tereza Østbø Kuldova (Oslo Metropolitan University)


17:00 Dinner for Speakers


19:30 – 22:00 Movie Screenings and Q&A with directors moderated by Einar Braathen

Smile, you are being recorded!

Direction: Maria Rita Nepomuceno

Script and research: Maria Rita Nepomuceno and Paulo Cruz Terra

Funded by: The Research Council of Norway (313626): Algorithmic Governance and Cultures of Policing: Comparative Perspectives from Norway, India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa (AGOPOL).

Length: 35 min.


Facial recognition technology has spread very rapidly in the field of public security in Brazilian cities in recent years. The film addresses the perspective of civil society and the mobilization to ban this technology – an apparatus of the security forces. Through the researcher Paulo Terra, we meet activists involved in the civil society organization initiative ‘Get my face out of your sight,’ and we are invited to think about the relationship between this technology and other forms of surveillance in Brazil’s history. What has facial recognition technology brought to policing? What does it have to do with the country’s past? What are the new challenges for activists?

Jingles as Affective Politics in Brazil’s 2022 Election


Directed and produced by: Kjetil Klette Bøhler, João Neves, Gabi Perissinotto, Marcel DaVelha

Funded by: The Research Council of Norway (313626):

Algorithmic Governance and Cultures of Policing: Comparative Perspectives from Norway, India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa (AGOPOL).

Length: 45 min.


Jingles as Affective Politics in Brazil’s 2022 Election explores how political candidates used jingles to recruit voters in Brazil’s 2022 election. The film has a particular focus on Bolsonaro and Lula’s use of jingles, and how music created political awareness and affective mobilization among voter groups. It features in-depth interviews with influential jingle producers such as Hilton Acioli and Juliano Maderada, as well as with scholars working in the field of music and politics in Brazil. It also contains interviews with voters and volunteers that worked for different political campaigns. The film draws on material gathered throughout the 2022 election campaign, including film of political events, movements, street protests and other political events.


About the Books


Tereza Østbø Kuldova


This is the first book to examine the growth and phenomenon of a securitized and criminalized compliance which relies increasingly on intelligence-led and predictive technologies to control future risks, crimes, and security threats. It articulates the emergence of a ‘compliance-industrial complex’ that synthesizes regulatory capitalism and surveillance capitalism to impose new regimes of power and control, as well as new forms of subjectivity subservient to the ‘operating system’ of a pre-crime society. Looking at compliance beyond frameworks of business management, corporate governance, law, and accounting, it looks as it as a social phenomenon, instrumental in the pluralization and privatization of policing, where the private intelligence, private security, and big tech companies are being concentrated at the very core of compliance, and hence, governance of the social. This critical work draws on transversal, rather than interdisciplinary, approaches and integrates disparate perspectives, inspired by works in critical criminology, critical algorithm studies, critical management studies, as well as social anthropology and philosophy.


‘It’s often been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Kuldova's cutting-edge research into what she calls the ‘compliance-industrial complex’ reveals in fine detail how new hi-tech systems of algorithmic information gathering and social management, while claiming to make the world a safer and better place, are dehumanising our everyday lives, displacing democratic politics, threatening hard-won freedoms and pushing us along that very road at an increasing pace. Very few academic research monographs can be legitimately described as ‘page-turners’, but this is one of them.’ - Professor Steve Hall, author of Theorizing Crime and Deviance


Shivangi Narayan


This book provides a cultural investigation of the police in India and how it uses data and algorithmic tools for crime mapping. The book draws on an ethnographic study of Delhi Police's hotspot mapping endeavour. It provides a sociological investigation of the police in India and how they use data and algorithmic tools for crime mapping. It discusses how ‘criminals’ are constructed in these systems, typically, the marginalised residents of slums and immigrant colonies. It explores how the algorithm reifies existing assumptions and prejudices about 'criminals' as artificial intelligence systems are deeply intertwined with the culture and beliefs of those who make and use them. It pays special attention to the discriminatory practices of relevant police officers and how this ‘predictive’ policing perpetuates harm to the most marginalised. This book contributes to discussions around big data and surveillance studies broadly.


Tomas Salem


This book offers a unique look into the world of policing and the frontline of Brazil’s war on drugs. It analyzes the tensions produced by attempts to modernize Rio de Janeiro’s public security policies. Since the return of democracy in 1985, Rio's police forces have waged war against armed drug gangs based in the city’s favelas, casting the people who live in these communities as internal enemies. In preparation for the Olympics in 2016, the police sought to ‘pacify’ the favelas and their populations through the establishment of Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) in many of the city’s favela communities. Drawing on eight months of ethnographic fieldwork with the police, this book follows officers across the institutional hierarchy in their daily activities, on patrol, and during training. Tracing the genealogies of contemporary forms of policing-as-warfare through the notion of ‘colonial war’ and ‘cultural war’, it highlights the material and ideational dimensions of war as a cosmological force that shapes Brazilian social relations, subjectivities, landscapes, economies, and politics. It draws on the Deleuzian notion of ‘war machine and state dynamics’ to show how practices of elimination co-exist with attempts to transform favela territories and their people and analyzes the link between the moral universe of policing and right-wing populism in Brazil. Through rich and nuanced ethnography, it offers a critical perspective on militarized policing and 21st century forms of authoritarianism. 




bottom of page