Criminology Professor James Sheptycki receives Allen Austin Bartholomew Award

global COVID-19 pandemic

York University Criminology Professor James Sheptycki is the recipient of the 2021 Allen Austin Bartholomew Award for best-published paper of the year by the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology for his essay titled “The Politics of Policing a Pandemic Panic.” 

James Sheptycki

The essay was completed in early April 2020 and published during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Sheptycki’s paper argues the politics of policing the pandemic panic reveal tectonic shifts in the world system. He explains how the COVID-19 virus “precipitated the first global police event presenting an occasion for researchers and scholars to apply existing theory and empirical understanding to extra-ordinary circumstances.” The essay also shares how the “transnational and comparative study of police and policing reveals the contours of the emerging system of world power all the more clearly in a moment of crisis.”  

The award identifies originality, quality writing, the strength of evidence and ambition of the topic related to criminology. Recipients of the award are recognized for their published work in the previous year’s edition of the journal.  

“It’s just something I wrote during the lockdown,” says Sheptycki. “I circulated the essay among my colleagues around the world who were similarly stuck, and the feedback was just amazing.  

“Now that the pandemic panic phase is complete and the endemic phase has set in, we are living with the results, but people don’t have the language to describe the new political situation and, given the background ecological conditions, the resulting social volatility and conflict is very unhelpful.”   

To read the essay, click here