American Sociological Association

Call for Papers: Special Issue of JWSR on "Capitalist World Economy in Crisis: Policing, Pacification and Legitimacy"

Journal of World-Systems Research

Special Issue on "Capitalist World Economy in Crisis: Policing, Pacification and Legitimacy"

Guest Editors:
Zeynep Gönen, Framingham State University 
Zhandarka Kurti, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Call for Papers 
While managing the working class has been a central concern of capitalist ruling classes throughout history, contemporary restructuring in the face of slowed growth, declining profit rates, and climate change makes the question of maintaining social order, and hence of policing, more important than ever before. This special issue will explore the various modalities of policing to secure, maintain and reproduce existing racialized class structures at this moment of world-systemic crisis. 

Since the 1970s, the capitalist world economy has experienced a crisis of accumulation that has been unevenly felt across the world-system. While some workers are being disciplined by surveillance technologies, others are being managed by police in the slums and favelas of large urban cities. For instance, in China, the world’s “global factory,” capitalists envision new ways of squeezing out more labor from their newly proletarianized workforce while in Europe, policy makers innovate border security methods to exclude immigrants and refugees. In the United States scholars have called attention to the role that policing, prisons and a growing private security industry have played in managing growing inequality structured along class, race and gender lines. Yet, the United States is not exceptional. Semi-peripheral regions are adopting and elaborating methods of penal regulation of the working classes similar to those found in capitalist core countries. 

The special issue seeks to build on the work of scholars who bring together Marxist political economy of global crisis with studies on policing, surveillance and criminalization. We find it worthwhile to expand on this perspective from a world-systems framework to produce a comparative and world-historical perspective on the role of policing in relation to the dynamics, crises and conditions of global capitalism. 

We invite abstracts for proposed papers on this topic, including:

  • Theoretical, conceptual and historical relationships between global capitalist crises, policing and race/class inequalities.
  • Comparative neoliberal restructuring of the police function across core, peripheral and semi-peripheral countries.
  • Global refugee crisis and technologies of policing, surveillance and security.  
  • Climate change, “natural” disasters, security and governance. 
  • Private-state collaborations in law enforcement and security industries. 
  • Real Estate/Housing crisis, surveillance and policing.
  • Militarized policing and new police technologies that expand the state-power over the poor.
  • Right wing movements and ideologies of law and order.
  • Technology and its impact on policing and security practices locally and on a world scale. 
  • Financialization of capitalism, surveillance, risk and security. 
  • Ideology and pacification during crisis of state legitimacy and capital accumulation. 
  • Restructuring of work, surveillance and productivity. 

The Journal of World-Systems Research is the official journal of the Political Economy of the World-System Section of the American Sociological Association. It develops and disseminate scholarly research from a variety of disciplines on topics relevant to the analysis of world-systems. JWSR reaches a global audience and is among the most established open access scholarly journals, published since 1995.

Special issue editors will review abstract submissions and invite contributions of full papers for peer review. Abstracts should be submitted by February 1, 2020 to be considered for this special issue. Editors will invite full papers in winter/spring, 2020. Full papers that are ready for external peer-review are due by August 15, 2021, and final accepted papers ready for production are due in December 1, 2021. We are aiming to publish this special issue in the Spring 2021.

Send abstract submissions and inquiries to: Zeynep Gönen (zgonen@framingham.edu) and Zhandarka Kurti (zkurti@utk.edu). Please include the subject line “JWSR Policing.”