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Paul studied Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht Uni. He worked at the Police Academy of the Netherlands (PhD), Tilburg Uni’s Dept. of Culture Studies (postdoc), Fontys University (lector) and is currently employed by Radboud Uni’s Dept. of Anthropology and Development Studies (AP). He identifies as a broadly interested anthropologist with expertise in policing, law & culture, (juvenile) justice, and kinship & childhood studies. His attention goes out to Europe and the Caribbean in particular
Tense contact between the police and migrants in Western societies remains to be an important topic in police scholarship. In sociological studies of the police, this matter is ascribed to the discretionary authority of individual officers that is sanctioned by their departments—not to official policy or direct ethnic or racial orientations. This a...
Police Unlimited is centred on a controversial idea that it supports with detailed ethnographic materials: police forces are a focal point of conflict in modern societies. Instead of a consensus model of law enforcement that understands the function of policing as socially integrative, it links to a conflict model concerned with the socially divisi...
Centered on the controversial idea that police forces are often a focal point for conflict in today's societies, this chapter takes an interest in big data policing in Amsterdam as a contested development. Looking at the socio-technical preconditions of such new, algorithmic forms of policing brings to the surface that police forces employ certain...
Blog post at Border Criminologies (Oxford University) https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2021/04/breaking-borders
Reflecting on fieldwork in a juvenile detention centre in Curaçao (2019-2020), this article goes into the production of children's silences in ethnography. It first looks at the continuation of historical patterns in the present, by asking if the fieldworkers' erroneous assumptions about family and childhood impeded the young detainees in talking a...
In dit artikel staan houdingsaspecten van leerkrachten in het omgaan met ouders met een ander referentiekader, andere culturele of etnische achtergrond en/of andere thuistaal, centraal. Middels 27 ouderinterviews en 55 lerareninterviews is nagegaan of leraren blijk geven open te staan voor de gevoelens, behoeften en perspectieven van deze ouders. T...
In response to a wave of high-impact crimes committed by a small nucleus of habitual youth offenders with a migration background, Amsterdam initiated a series of new security arrangements. This article sheds light on three of them-Top600, PsyCops and the Crime Anticipation System-which are understood as border practices. By adopting the Bakhtinian...
Organizational life has taken on a psychological hue now that psychological expertise has become an ever more important factor in matters such as selection, job evaluation, work design, job enrichment and the like. This phenomenon is not new, but has recently received new critical commentary in various disciplines. This article contributes to an an...
A Public Anthropology of Policing discusses the virtues of a public and engaged anthropology of law enforcement. It takes as its case the sometimes exclusionary dealings of law enforcers with (post)migrants. These include street encounters during patrol as well as interactions within the Dutch police organization where officers with various ethnic...
This article offers a critical take on the excessive use of psychological applications in the work sphere, that is, management techniques that open up the psyche of the individual employee to interceptions, evaluations, and manipulations by superiors. It builds upon existing work on the psychologization of labor under the aegis of human resource ap...
Super-diversity' has gained popularity in the field of sociolinguistics as a new concept that jettisons the rather rigid toolkit of speech communities, ethnolects and mother tongues in favour of notions of truncated repertoires and resources that better capture the plurality of styles, registers and genres of people living in a globalized world. In...
We are writing a review article on state-of-the-art literature on drillrap, in preparation of a study on drillrap in juvenile detention. Any suggestions? We are especially interested in perspectives from anthropology / culture studies / cultural criminology.
For a paper on north-south comparisons in the field of (big data / algorithmic) policing, we are looking for more literature on BD policing applications in the 'global south'. Any suggestions?
As part of a project on (the postcolonial aspects of) the prediction of juvenile crime in the Caribbean, we are writing about the occurrence of silence in ethnography. We are interested in how the ethnographer's own stance and manners during fieldwork hamper the voice of participants, as well as in the postcolonial dimensions of this process. We noticed for instance that in our own study at a juvenile detention centre in Willemstad (Curacao), our own conceptions of childhood (and the way we asked questions about it) stood in the way of the young detainees to speak their mind.
Who has suggestions that can help us out with (more general) literature on the production of silences in ethnography? They would help a lot, thank you.
Radboud University, the Netherlands
An ethnography (2019-2020) of a juvenile detention center in Curacao, focused on Caribbean childhoods, family relations and the (postcolonial aspects) of data-driven crime prediction
The project Cultural Practices of Victimhood aims to set the agenda for a cultural study of victimhood. On the one hand, it intends to break new ground with regards to a ‘cultural turn’ in the field of criminology, in particular victimology. On the other hand, it also seeks to open up discussions about a ‘victimological turn’ in culture studies.
For my PhD project, I conducted intermittent fieldwork at the Dutch police for several years with a focus on the causes and effects of police discrimination within the station and on the streets. As my work on “internal affairs” (e.g. interethnic labor relations) and “external affairs” (e.g. ethnic profiling) progressed, a common denominator emerged: the non-modular constitution of present-day policing. Joining officers on the beat and in the station, reading the diaries that they kept for me and talking to them in formal interviews and informal conversations, I came to the conclusion that the Dutch police is undergoing a process of debureaucratization. This leads to non-modular policing in which different social spheres (e.g. personal and organizational lives) increasingly conflate. By abandoning bureaucracy as a form of social organization, some of its virtues are lost too, such as the principle to operate without regard to person. This is the main cause of police discrimination.