Philip’s dissertation, High Rise: Safety, Place, and Policing in an American Project, centers Carver Projects, a high-rise housing project in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Utilizing ethnography, High Rise, seeks to explore the day-to-day experiences of residents as they navigate concerns surrounding safety, policing, and cycles of poverty.

The project begins with a descriptive picture of Carver Projects, a twenty-four story high-rise housing project in Bedford Stuyvesant. The focus of High Rise then shifts towards ethnographically exploring the major challenges that residents of Carver Projects experience on a day-to-day basis surrounding safety and wellness. The study then transitions to the landscape of punishment and policing in Carver Projects. High Rise follows by examining the strategies that residents of Carver Projects employ to foster safety while disrupting the flow of police violence and surveillance in their community. The project concludes with a discussion of the policy, economic, and societal shifts that are needed to move towards safety and wellness in Caver Projects, including safety from police violence.

Philip is also currently at work on research around police spending, police militarization, and the expansion of policing throughout the United States since 1965, which he refers to as Mass Policing.

See here for an updated Curriculum Vitae


Vargas, Robert and Philip McHarris. 2017. “Race and State in City Police Spending Growth: 1980 to 2010.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 3(1):96–112.