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Accepted Paper:

The effects of bureaucratisation on daily police work. Insights from a Somaliland police station.  
Axelle Djama (EHESS)

Paper short abstract:

Since 1993, the Somaliland Police has undergone a bureaucratisation process characterised by the growing importance of written procedures. Based on an ethnographic survey conducted in a police station, this article examines the ways in which these macro-scale changes affect daily level-street work.

Paper long abstract:

In 1991, after years of civil war, the leaders of the Somali National Movement unilaterally declared independence of Somaliland from Somalia. A reconciliation conference was organised and made demobilisation and disarmament a priority for the new government. Former fighters were asked to hand over their weapons to the governmental police force, or to join it.

Since 1993, the Somaliland Police Force has undergone many changes. In particular, the creation of several services organised the division of police work and fostered the increase of skills within the administration. This specialisation is part of a broader bureaucratisation process, which has deeply transformed police work. Among these changes, the growing importance of written procedures occupies a prominent place.

Based on an ethnographic survey conducted in a police station of the capital city Hargeisa, this article shows that the changes affecting the police institution have a concrete influence on the daily practice of police work. An analysis of biographical trajectories of police officers reveals the ways in which the bureaucratisation process contributes to the diversification of their sociological profiles, in connection with the evolution of recruitment criteria. While the police force was originally grounded on the military skills of its first recruits, new skills are nowadays more highly valued, especially the educational level.

This article aims to analyse how bureaucratic procedures are growingly influencing daily police practices. It addresses the bureaucratisation of the police - and the state - through assessing the transformation of recruits selection procedures as well as police officers professional advancement.

Panel P068a
Police officers at work [AnthroState] I
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -