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Jeffrey Martin Gives Talk on Policing in Taiwan

December 10, 2019

Professor of Anthropology Jeffrey T. Martin at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign visited the University of Washington Taiwan Studies program on November 19, 2019 to give a talk on his new book Sentiment, Reason and Law: Policing in the Republic of China on Taiwan. Martin gave an engaging talk on the development of the critical theory of police with a focus on the emergence of policed space in Taiwan. Martin paid specific attention to the concept of “qing” (sentiment) as the center of the state-society relationship in Taiwan that mediates the interactions between police and the communities they engage. Through his ethnography and theory of sentiment Martin explores the many intersecting worlds the Taiwanese police force moves through on a day to day basis, from supporting the neighborhoods they monitor to participating in activities that strengthen Taiwan’s political economy.

Martin’s research yielded many responses from the audience and they engaged in a thoughtful discussion about Taiwanese policing and its social and political impact in Taiwanese society. Overall, Martin’s research deepens and expands upon the scope of Taiwanese Studies by introducing Taiwan as an effective case study to better understand both the function and the theory of policing in the modern world.

Jeffrey T. Martin is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Hs interests include sociocultural anthropology, politics and governance, and democracy. His area of geographic concern is “Greater China,” including Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He received his PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago.