About Me

Kaden Paulson-Smith

Assistant Professor of Democracy & Justice Studies (Political Science)

University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

I am an Assistant Professor of Democracy & Justice Studies and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. My research and teaching crosscut critical carceral studies, law and society, global politics, and feminist and postcolonial theory. I received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a B.A. in Government from Smith College.

My current book project reframes contemporary policing as a colonial legacy. A recent wave of crackdowns on civil society and marginalized groups has puzzled scholars in many places around the world, although the role of the police is often overlooked or under historicized. I examine the colonial roots and postcolonial persistence of policing using the case of Tanzania to theorize the relationship between the police, state, and society. Without understanding the police as a colonial legacy, we remain ill-informed about the purpose and growth of policing over time. I extend this critique through research agendas on Global Policing and Abolition, African Gender and Sexuality Politics, and Feminist and Postcolonial Methodologies.

I am grateful for the generous support of the African Studies Program, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Center for Research on Gender and Women, the Elections Research Center, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, the Law and Society Fellows Program, and the Scott Kloeck-Jenson Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

My Work

Research: Critical carceral studies, law and society, and feminist and postcolonial theory

Curriculum Vitae

Teaching: Democracy and justice studies, political science, and African studies

Contact Information