SSC Seminar Series: Jens Hälterlein (Post-doctoral Researcher, Centre for Security & Society, Freiburg University, Germany)

Social physics, risk spaces and big data: epistemologies of predictive policing

March 28th

12:30 to 2:00 pm

Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room D411


The lecture addresses three different approaches to predictive policing in order to discuss their epistemologies and their performativity as a means of knowledge production, labelling of criminal subjects and intelligence-led policing. The first approach is based on criminological routine activity theory. By analysing geo-referenced crime data gathered within police databases (such as CompStat), local hot spots are defined where crime is most likely to happen in the near future. The second approach is integrating different crime theories and uses all data that – according to these theories – helps specifying the "criminogenic nature" of locations. The third approach is associated with recent advancements in machine learning and big data's claim to herald the era of post-theory. Forecasts are generated by gathering any data available from multiple sources and analysing it in order to find correlations previously unknown.

About the speaker:

Jens Hälterlein is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Security and Society at Freiburg University (Germany). He obtained his PhD from University Jena with a work on the governmentalities of consumption. Since then, he has worked in several research projects on technologies of (in)security ranging from algorithmic video surveillance to social media applications in emergency and disaster management. His broader interest is in the technological performativity of securitization. Having a background in Sociology, his research draws from Surveillance Studies, STS, Critical Security Studies, Governmentality Studies.

Everyone welcome!