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The future of policing in Africa 
Tessa Diphoorn (Utrecht University)
Nicholas Rush Smith (City University of New York - City College)
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Nicholas Rush Smith (City University of New York - City College)
Tessa Diphoorn (Utrecht University)
Helene Maria Kyed (Danish Institute for International Studies)
Nicholas Rush Smith (City University of New York - City College)
Anthropology (x) Violence and Conflict Resolution (y)
Neues Seminargebäude Seminarraum 13
Saturday 3 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

Amidst growing technological changes and divergent calls for both more intensive and transformed policing practices, policing is at a crossroads. This panel explores the futures of policing in Africa, and what this means for policing globally.

Long Abstract:

Policing is at a crossroads in a myriad of ways. While there are increasing calls for more intense forms of policing, there are also diverse calls for abolitionism that ask us to radically rethink policing more fundamentally. At the level of practice, everyday policing practices are increasingly shaped by technical changes associated with the rise of artificial intelligence and "big data" that promise more targeted and efficient policing. And even though such technologies are contested due to their reinforcement of underlying economic, social, and racial inequalities, they occur amidst diverse forms of self-policing and vigilantism that are often brutally arbitrary and equally exclusive. Amidst these contradictions, the future of global policing is profoundly unclear.

In this panel, we want to explore such contradictions that define contemporary policing in Africa. By employing a pluralized approach to policing that moves beyond a state-centric understanding, we aim to encapsulate the diverse ways in which citizens envision, desire, and demand policing and how policing agents respond to this. What types of formal and informal practices are expected and desired by policing agents? How is police (mis)conduct, and police violence more specifically, framed and contested? How do citizens on the African continent envision policing amidst global abolitionist calls and what types of vocabularies have emerged in the framing of such imaginations? In taking this multifaceted approach to the future of policing, we invite papers to plot the future of policing in Africa and explore policing more globally.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Saturday 3 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Saturday 3 June, 2023, -