Call for Papers – 31st Colloquium On Police History

Mit: Institut für Historische Sozialforschung, Arbeiterkammer Wien, Institut für Rechts- und Verfassungsgeschichte der Universität Wien
Date: 30.06.2022
Time: 0:00 - 0:00
Location: Universität Wien
Mit: Institut für Historische Sozialforschung, Arbeiterkammer Wien, Institut für Rechts- und Verfassungsgeschichte der Universität Wien
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Police, Work and Control

(Languages German and English)

Please send

  • a German or English language proposal of no more than 3.000 signs (spaces incl.)
  • plus a short narrative CV and,
  • if available, a list of your publications from the previous five years

no later than march 15th, 2022

The conference theme „Police, Work and Control“ comprises several substantial dimensions:
On the one hand, the focus is to be on the practice of policing as the exercise of professional police activity. This includes all aspects of ‘police as work’. The spectrum of possible topics ranges from sociological studies about the institution ‘police’ and its structures, to recruitment patterns and criteria for selecting candidates for the police, to training, to the police esprit de corps, to self-images and self-understandings, to the legal framing of professional policing and to other legal settings dealing with everyday police work and its strategies and techniques (colonial policing included). Last, but not least, media and (pop) cultural modes of reception of police activity will of interest. Police as work also encompasses the multifaceted network of relations between the police and its employer (the state? municipalities?), forms of collective enforcement and enhancements of interests by staff representatives and police unions included. This aspect significantly implies the conference’s first dimension of the control aspect: Who has the say (the employer? the political level?) as far as the practice of police work? What kind of control – up to exercising disciplinary power – is the police subjected to in various times and contexts?
The second dimension of the conference focuses on ‘police and workers’. On a meta-level, the social function of the police in different periods, regions and regimes (including occupational and colonial regimes) is to be examined, as well as different patterns of interaction between police and workers, interactions on the fringes of open conflicts or within the everyday lives of individuals and groups included. Here, too, perceptions, stagings and interpretations on both sides as well as the corresponding legal settings are of interest. Of particular interest are contributions that deal with the role of the police when enforcing labour regimes, i.e., also with the control of workers by the executive. Likewise, contributions dedicated to the relationship between the police and political movements, primarily the labour movement, are particularly welcome.

The outlined issues of “Police, Work, and Control” are deliberately kept comprehensively, in order to allow approaches from very different professional, spatial and temporal contexts. ‘Control’ is meant in this context not only as control by the state, deployments and forms of private policing might be addressed as well. In addition to the main focus of the colloquium, an open section – as in the previous years – is planned as well.


Travel and hotel costs will be covered for speakers.

Accepted speakers are obliged to send in their contribution ready for publication (50.000 signs, spaces incl.) until November 30th, 2022. The colloquium is to take place with speakers and audience being present.

If the pandemic situation at the end of June/beginning of July does not allow a conference modus with speakers and audience being present, the colloquium will take place digital wise.