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Democracy 20/20: Already Authoritarian? Violence, Policing, and Democracy (video)


Democracy 20/20 Webinar (August 27, 2020)

Already Authoritarian? Violence, Policing, and Democracy

Federal authorities have responded to this summer’s protests with force, spraying tear gas on crowds and empowering unidentified law enforcement personnel, some of whom have used unmarked vans to pick up protesters at random. The protests, while spurred by recent killings of African Americans by police, have highlighted long-established patterns of intensive and often violent policing of communities of color.

This webinar examines these developments in the context of American history, examining the extent to which they deviate from or continue established patterns, and analyze them relative to the experience of policing in other countries around the world, in order to reveal the implications for U.S. democracy.

Moderator: Robert Mickey is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He studies U.S. politics and contemporary democratic stability, racial conflict, and the intersection of long-term political and economic development.

Panelists: Sabrina Karim is an assistant professor in Cornell's Department of Government. Karim’s research focuses broadly on state building in the aftermath of political violence, with a particular focus on international involvement in police reforms to post-conflict states.

Ayobami Laniyonu is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, where he studies race, policing, and social inequality. Previously, he served as senior research scientist at the Center for Policing Equity in New York City, working with police departments across the United States to identify and correct racial disparities in police contact and use of force.

Vesla Mae Weaver is the Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. She studies the persistence of racial inequality, colorism in the United States, and the causes and consequences of the dramatic rise in prisons and police power.

The Democracy 20/20 series is cosponsored by the American Democracy Collaborative, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and the Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University.