Join discussion on complexities of police militarization

British police officer photographed from behind, standing in the middle of a street with his arms behind his back

The 2023 Sociology Annual Lecture, titled “Policing Empires: Militarization, Race and the Imperial Boomerang in Britain and the U.S.,” will take place on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Founders College Assembly Hall (FC 152) on York University’s Keele Campus.

Julian Go
Julian Go

The lecture’s featured speaker is Julian Go, a professor of sociology and a faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics & Culture and the Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago.

The police response to protests erupting on America’s streets in recent years has made the militarization of policing painfully transparent. Yet, properly demilitarizing the police requires a deeper understanding of its historical development, causes and social logics. This talk offers a post-colonial historical sociology of police militarization in the U.K. and the U.S. to aid that effort. It theorizes the racialized imperiality of modern policing, showing that police militarization has occurred since the very founding of modern policing in the 19th century into the present, and that it is an effect of the “imperial boomerang.”

This event is sponsored by York University’s Department of Sociology in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, the Department of Sociology Maurice Manel Colloquium Fund and the Graduate Program in Sociology. The event is open to all York community members, but space is limited. Register by Oct. 13 at

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