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CFP: Algorithmic Governance and Cultures of Policing (1)

AGOPOL workshop / Algorithmic Governance Research Network

Time: April 8, 2022 – 9:00 – 18:00 Oslo time

Hybrid Event: Work Research Institute, Oslo Metropolitan University & Zoom

Photo by Darlene Alderson from Pexels

Police departments across the globe are embracing artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, machine learning and more to support decision making in preventing crime and disorder. The use of digital technologies and the growing role of private security, tech, and consultancy companies, are reshaping policing and the ways in which we ensure social order and security, enforce law, and prevent and investigate crime. Despite the growing amount of attention in the research community and public opinion directed at the use of these technologies in policing and security provision, the radical transformation of cultures of policing through tech is little understood. Silicon Valley’s ‘tech solutionism’ is making its way into law enforcement agencies across the globe through the rise of public-private partnerships and the influence of the private security in tandem with tech industries is growing. Public-private partnerships drive police reforms, global consulting companies shape the visions of future policing, and public policing models are commodified and globally marketed. Recent scholarship widely agrees that these technologies and new public-private partnerships are reshaping the ways we police societies, organize police work, produce criminal intelligence, and prevent crime. The cultures of policing are being transformed: from the organizational and knowledge cultures within the police, its institutional and professional logic, to the effects of the expansion of tech-driven punitive solutionism that aims to anticipate, predict, and control (future) human behaviour, and punish deviance based on quantified risk, predictive models, and algorithmic decisions. Policing is in other words becoming more hybrid: new players proliferate while technological companies embed behavioural nudges and law into the code. Literature on predictive, preemptive and proactive intelligence-led policing, and contributions from critical algorithm studies and surveillance studies, are emerging. But wider academic discussions on the cultural dimension of algorithmic governance, its relation to policing, and the ways in which it plays out on the ground and in different locations, are still in their infancy. Algorithmic governance and datafied knowledge are reshaping the cultures of policing across the globe and yet we know little about how these processes play out in different parts of the world.

What are the cultural and social consequences of these preemptive technologies? How do these technologies intersect with pre-existing cultures of policing, institutional logics, and modes of organizing police work? What happens when security, policing, knowledge, and our societies, and our institutions, become increasingly governed through or with support of opaque algorithmic systems that raise questions of accountability, justice, and legitimacy? What gets lost when we rely on aggregated data, correlations, and modelling? What are the impacts of the intertwined processes of datafication, securitization, and commodification of security on policing? How do advances in artificial intelligence shape policing in different cultural, political, legal, and economic contexts?

We invite you to join us in discussing these questions and explore the diverse consequences of algorithmic governance for police forces, those policed, and society at large: from the transformation of knowledge cultures and police organizations to the effects of data-driven policing, such as algorithmic injustices and their impact on legitimacy and societal trust. We are particularly interested in qualitative contributions from anthropology, sociology, history, critical management studies, STS, and critical algorithm studies, as well as in interdisciplinary contributions, preferably grounded in empirical research with police or private security, anywhere in the world. We are also open to more general theoretical contributions. This workshop springs from the AGOPOL project, Algorithmic Governance and Cultures of Policing: Comparative Perspectives from Norway, India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa, and we aim to publish an edited volume, inviting external contributors and sourcing contributions from project workshops, such as this one. Please note in your submission if you would be interested in publishing with us.

We invite

  • ethnographic and qualitative analyses of predictive and/or intelligence-led policing, in any part of the world and by both public and private actors

  • ethnographically and qualitatively grounded investigations of the practices of datafied policing and shifts in police temporalities: instant, reactive, preactive, and proactive

  • critical contributions exploring the transformations of expert knowledge, professionalism, professional judgement, and discretion as a result of datafication and organizational change

  • contributions exploring the data-driven organizational transformation of policing, in particular contributions from within critical management studies

  • critical and historical investigations of the social, cultural, and institutional dimensions of the intersection of algorithmic governance, surveillance, and policing

  • critical perspectives on the manufacturing of ‘factual and objective’ knowledge and intelligence and their securitization in the context of policing

  • contributions exploring genealogies of digital policing: ideologies, visions, and sociotechnical imaginaries across locations and historical contexts

  • ethnographically and qualitative grounded investigations of the privatization of law enforcement and commodification of police knowledge and the intersection of private security and tech industry, anywhere in the world

  • empirical studies of different digital and surveillance tools, databases and data analytics used by law enforcement (from facial recognition to predictive policing software)

  • contributions exploring societal consequences of datafied policing for police, citizens, and society, as well as accountability, and rule of law in policing


Please submit the following by March 1, 2022 to the workshop organizers:

  • An abstract of max. 300 words

  • Name, title, and institutional affiliation

  • Contact details

  • A brief bio of no more than 150 words


Tereza Østbø Kuldova (, Christin Thea Wathne (, Helene O. I. Gundhus (

For more information about the AGOPOL project and the Algorithmic Governance and Cultures of Policing. Research Network, please see

This workshop is funded by The Research Council of Norway under project no. 313626 – Algorithmic Governance and Cultures of Policing: Comparative Perspectives from Norway, India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa (AGOPOL).


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