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Synopsis

This anthology explores the political nature of making order through policing activities in densely populated spaces across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Based on ethnographic research, the chapters analyze this complex with respect to marginalized young men in Haiti, community policing members and national politicians in Swaziland as well as other individual and collective actors engaged in policing and politics in Indonesia, Swaziland, Ghana, South Africa, Mexico, Bolivia, Haiti and Sierra Leone. What these contexts have in common is a plurality of order-making practices. Not one institution monopolizes the means of violence or a de facto sovereign position to do so. A number of interests are played out simultaneously, entailing re-negotiations over the very definition of what ‘order’ is. How and by whom a particular order is enforced is contested, at times violently so, and is therefore inherently political. In the existing literature on weak states, legal pluralism and policing in the Global South it is seldom made explicit that making order is a route to power and positions of political decision-making. It is this gap in the literature that this anthology fills, as it analyses the politics at stake in processes of order-making.

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