Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Watching the Detectives: Strategies and Tactics of Police Oversight in Russia
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Please join us for the inaugural event of our Rule of Law in Autocracy: The Legal Dimension of Russian Politics speaker series, a presentation by Lauren A. McCarthy (University of Massachusetts Amherst).

In Russia, as elsewhere, the past decade has seen a burgeoning interest in citizen oversight of the police. Yet it seems counterintuitive that an authoritarian regime might tolerate, or even encourage citizen oversight of law enforcement institutions, the very institutions they must rely on should they need to resort to coercive power. This talk addresses this question and describes the variety of oversight practices, both state-created and grassroots, that exist in Russia today.

Lauren A. McCarthy is an Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Director of Legal Studies. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on the relationship between law and society in Russia, police and law enforcement institutions, civilian oversight, and the issue of human trafficking. Her book, Trafficking Justice: How Russian Police Use New Laws, from Crime to Courtroom (Cornell University Press, 2015) explores how Russian law enforcement agencies have implemented laws on human trafficking.

This event is supported by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.


Event Video