Disordering Personality: Algorithmic Power, Criminal Profiling, and Diagnosis in Psychiatry and Forensic Investigation

Roberts, Daniel Elliot. Disordering Personality: Algorithmic Power, Criminal Profiling, and Diagnosis in Psychiatry and Forensic Investigation. 2021. University of Washington, PhD dissertation.
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This dissertation is about the relationship between shifting mechanisms of psychiatric diagnosis and tactics of criminal(izing) profiling deployed by national and local law enforcement agencies in the U.S., from the 1970s to today. In particular, the co-emergence of the Behavioral Science Unit (now the Behavioral Analysis Unit) of the FBI in 1972 and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 3 (DSM-III) in 1980 forms the framing constellation for this project. The central argument of this dissertation is that psychiatric diagnosis and criminal profiling are not mutually exclusive, but rather are intersecting and diverging discourses and state-or-discipline sanctioned tactics for containment, risk management, and bio-necropolitical intervention that, when read side-by-side, can shed light on important networks of power.

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