Lawfare Research Paper Series

Nathan Wood: The Ferguson Consensus is Wrong: What Counterinsurgency in Iraq & Afghanistan Teaches Us About Police Militarization and Community Policing (Lawfare Research Paper Series)

By Wells Bennett
Thursday, April 9, 2015, 9:00 AM

For interested readers: the latest installment of the Lawfare Research Paper Series. In his paper "The Ferguson Consensus is Wrong: What Counterinsurgency in Iraq & Afghanistan Teaches Us about Militarization and Community Policing," Harvard Law student Nathan Wood examines the phenomena of community policing, on the one hand, and police militarization, on the other---having in mind an emerging view that the former represents the necessary antidote to the latter. From the abstract:

In the wake of Michael Brown’s death and the subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, a national consensus has emerged around the idea that community policing is the solution to the problem of police militarization. Police militarization and community policing are incompatible, we are told. But though police militarization and community policing are indeed strange bedfellows, they are not necessarily at odds with each other. In fact, militarization and community policing can not only co-exist, but they can also be part and parcel of a coherent approach. Counterinsurgency as practiced in Iraq and Afghanistan tells us as much.

Read the full paper here