Technopoly and Policing Practice

Critical reflections on innovations in police control technology

  • James Sheptycki York University
Keywords: predictive policing, surveillance, use-of-force, police militarisation, social justice


The paper defines Technopoly as ‘totalitarian technocracy’ in which all forms of social, cultural and economic life are brought under the aegis of technological governance. Policing here is understood in terms of a transnational assemblage of institutions and police practice is marked by two defining features: the capacity to undertake surveillance and use-of-force in the service of governance. This paper looks at innovations in policing technology, regarding them as symptoms of broader historical shifts in global culture, society and politics. The essay points to worrying questions concerning the democratic basis of techno-policing. The discussion emphasizes the continuing need to normatively ground policing practice in concerns about social justice.

How to Cite
Sheptycki, J. (2018). Technopoly and Policing Practice. European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, (4 SCE), 133-139. Retrieved from