The Truth Machines: Policing, Violence, and Scientific Interrogations in India

Dr. Jinee Lokaneeta will present research from her book, The Truth Machines: Policing, Violence, and Scientific Interrogations in India

Dr. Lokaneeta’s recent book, The Truth Machines: Policing, Violence, and Scientific Interrogations in India

The Truth Machines examines the emergence and use of [lie detectors, brain scans, and narcoanalysis] to analyze two primary themes. First, the book questions whether existing theoretical frameworks for understanding state power and legal violence are adequate to explain constant innovations of the state. Second, it explores the workings of law, science, and policing in the everyday context to generate a theory of state power and legal violence, challenging the monolithic frameworks about this relationship, based on a study of both state and non-state actors.

Jinee Lokaneeta argues that the attempt to replace physical torture with truth machines in India fails because it relies on a confessional paradigm that is contiguous with torture. Her work also provides insights into a police institution that is founded and refounded in its everyday interactions between state and non-state actors. Theorizing a concept of Contingent State, this book demonstrates the disaggregated, and decentered nature of state power and legal violence, creating possible sites of critique and intervention.

Jinee Lokaneeta is Professor in Political Science and International Relations at Drew University.

Discussants: Tyler King, PhD Student, CrimSL and Daniel Konikoff, PhD Student, CrimSL

Moderators: Dr. Beatrice Jauregui, Associate Professor, CrimSL and Dr. Bhavani Raman, Associate Professor, Department of History

This event is part of Critical Perspectives on Justice and Inequality, a new series on criminological and sociolegal dimensions of anti-Black racism, Indigenous peoples, and settler colonialism.

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