P044
Policing, punishment and politics: movements across legal and extra-legal places and institutions
Convenors:
Helene Maria Kyed (Danish Institute for International Studies)
Jocelyn Alexander (University of Oxford)
Chair:
Jocelyn Alexander and Helene Maria Kyed
Discussant:
Cherry Leonardi
Location:
C6.08
Start time:
29 June, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel will explore the different forms of policing and punishment that co-exist, intersect and compete in African countries, including their historical trajectories. A specific focus will be on the politics of policing and punishment.

Long abstract:

Policing is becoming more and more plural in contemporary Africa, and remains intrinsically political. The plurality is expressive of a variety of different institutions - state, private, community, customary - that take part in regulating society, some officially, others not. But it also refers to how the same institutions, including those of the state, in creative ways combine a variety of both endogenous and exogenous norms and practices when they deliberate cases and issue punishments. Oftentimes this entails movements between legality and extra-legality. For instance informal negotiations over a case resolution and even illegal punishments are frequently being done with reference to law and officialdom. The plurality of policing is shaped by both politics and by the everyday, with the competition over sovereign authority and the shifting requirements for survival defying any uniform application of law and order. This panel will explore the different forms of policing and punishment that co-exist, intersect and compete in African countries, including their historical trajectories. A specific focus will be on the politics of policing and punishment. This can include, but is not limited to, case studies that look at: the convergence of political and criminal categories in everyday policing and punishments; the political instrumentalisation of policing actors, and; the competition over authority between different policing actors.