This introduction highlights the historically oriented scholarship and politically engaged writing that examines places and times without police, which appear in this issue. Modern approaches to governance generally take the presence of police as necessary to maintaining social peace, even though police have proven to fail at fostering public safety and in fact tend to escalate harm and violence. Following the lead of activists working to dismantle police, prisons, and other institutions of state violence, the introduction takes seriously the question of how to imagine, and to build, a world without police. It looks specifically to historical analysis as an especially useful vantage from which to respond to this provocation and outlines how the issue’s contributors detail times and places when people worked without or against formal institutions of modern police.
- restorative justice