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Vigilance and the American Policing Project: Megan Raschig in Dialogue with Thijs Jeursen

Thijs Jeursen’s The Vigilant Citizen: Everyday Policing and Insecurity in Miami is an engaging and at times staggering ethnographic account of the way ideas about ‘good (American) citizenship’ are bound up with insecurity and vigilance. Within the logic of vigilant citizenship, ideal citizens are those who take on the responsibility of self-defense, who are capable of navigating legal, technological, and material assets and liabilities of their own accord, and who are individually accountable for insecurity, misconduct, and illegal violence. This conversation digs into Jeursen’s realization of the scope of US vigilance; being a European ethnographer of North America; raising kids to be critical of policing; and what can be done with scholarly critique.

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