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date: 29 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay seeks to broaden the discussion of the policing of minorities to situate it within its longer history of the policing of migrants. Since the ancien régime, the explicit endeavor to control migrants has been a major driving force behind the development of modern policing and the professionalization of police practices. This essay charts how, from the sixteenth century onward, the movements of migrants and traveling groups were increasingly controlled through vagrancy regulation, poor laws, and the creation of specialized policing agencies and techniques. It also considers the realities of policing and repression of vagrancy in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe, showing how the intensity of repression varied considerably. Finally, the essay discusses minority policing and the recruitment of minorities into the police during the post–Second World War period.

Keywords: minorities, migrants, modern policing, overpolicing, gendarmerie, urban police forces

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