The Police and Ethnic Minorities: The Interaction Practices in Kazan’ and Saint-Petersburg

The project used a three-level analysis of police discourse that influences interaction patterns between law-enforcement officers and the population: a) official discourse (including the analysis of normative documents) that deals with (re)production of regulations for interaction between the police and the population in general; b) middle- range discourse that involves the heads of divisions and specifies general regulations determining interaction patterns with law-enforcement officers in a concrete context; c) everyday police discourse that concerns rank-and-file policemen who are in direct contact with the population. The objectives of the project consisted of the analysis of media materials that touch upon the problems of relations between the police and the population; detailed description of everyday practices in interaction that occur between rank-and-file policemen and the public; an analysis of discriminatory aspects of patrol and district police officers’ activity; determination of conditions and factors that could help fight racist attitudes and stop ethnic-based discriminatory practices. A monograph based on the outcomes of the research is in progress to be completed in 2009.

Supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.