Center on Transnational Policing

Center on Transnational Policing

Coming in academic year 2017-2018

The Center on Transnational Policing (CTP) brings together scholars at different levels (undergraduate, graduate, and members of the professoriate) to understand policing in the U.S. and internationally. Through a complex social scientific research network, the center’s mission is to explore policing from a transnational approach.


The Center on Transnational Policing (CTP) is a collaborative research hub that was founded by Laurence Ralph and Aisha Beliso-De Jesús in 2015. It brings together scholars at different levels (undergraduate, graduate, and members of the professoriate) to understand policing in the U.S. and internationally. Through interdisciplinary scholarship, methodological innovation, and public symposia, CTP seeks to develop an interactive model of anthropology that fosters a robust intellectual and civic dialogue on issues of policing in various countries. Towards this end, our ongoing research areas cover such topics as Public Policy, Race, Militarization, Religion and Mass Incarceration. These issues form the core of the center’s research mission and public outreach through lectures, conferences, workshops, regularly scheduled symposia, and brown bag lunch seminars. The CTP will offer research opportunities for undergraduate students and graduates through the Center’s core research areas. Princeton undergraduate students will be able to conduct senior theses related to policing, and take a course jointly offered in the department of Anthropology and African American Studies called, “Policing and Militarization Today.” Undergraduates will work as research assistants exploring the current climate of policing through social media and news analysis. Students will be introduced to qualitative data analysis software, and assist in the construction of online surveys. Finally, they will track media coverage of violent encounters with the police across the nation, and investigate the effect of social protests against police force on student life.

Princeton graduate students will have the opportunity to join a research collaborative team investigating collective questions through international doctoral level and master’s level research. They will contribute to CTP’s larger questions on policing by conducting individualized research projects in specific countries, as well as participating in a team collective of shared resource data acquisition through an Nvivo database. The team of graduate investigators will meet regularly with the Principal Investigators to discuss research topics, develop new theoretical frameworks, and engage in the question of policing transnationally. In addition to individual doctoral and master’s theses by Princeton graduate students, this research will culminate in journal articles, book-length manuscripts, and public policy recommendations by the Principal Investigators.

Our ultimate goal and ambition is for the CTP to put Princeton on the map as a site for some of the most important, exciting, and impactful research, scholarship, teaching, and public engagement taking place locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally on the issue of race and policing. On this score the CTP is in dire need, and will be the pre-eminent research center of its kind.

Laurence Ralph
Principal Investigator
Associate Professor of Anthropology
(Beginning Fall 2017)