CFP: Policing Geographies

Policing geographies: engendering securities and insecurities

Call for Papers RGS/IBG annual conference

Co-convenors: Hester Parr (Glasgow)*, Tim Cresswell (Royal Holloway), and Richard Yarwood (Plymouth), Olivia Stevenson (Glasgow).

*Initial contact point (

This session explores the ‘policing’ of diverse human geographies in the world, and specifically how different registers of policing (by force(s), institutions, legislative shapes and other forms of governance) can engender both securities and insecurities. At the same time, we want immediately to problematise the possibility of ever ultimately ‘securing’ geographies (literally, as well as metaphorically, in and through border-work) and thereby to engage with insecurities. What are insecure geographies? We are curious about how geographies can be(come) insecure, dissolute, disruptive, hard-to-track, and simply missing.

Understanding insecurity beyond a discourse of danger is particularly appealing; and we wish to appeal for papers that re-value insecurities in a variety of ways. Overall, the session hopes to bring security and insecurity into tense conversation via the concept and exercise of ‘policing’; and here ‘policing’ is recognised as a metaphor, and a governing arrangement intended to engender lawfulness but also peace.

This session might lend itself to examination of police, police jurisdiction, police force(s), border ‘work’ (legislatively, conceptually), acts of tracing and tracking, dissident mobilities, porous networks and insecure securities. We welcome both conceptual and empirical papers.

The following questions and themes may prompt ideas, but please do not be restricted by them:

  • What are securities and insecurities?
    How can we police security and insecurity?
    What is it to police geographies?
    How can we conceptualise and research insecure/secure geographies?
  • What are insecure mobilities and should these always be policed?
  • Is police-work always productive of new insecurities?
  • Does policing bring peace and security?
  • What are the differences between policing and security?