Polizei und (post-) koloniales Regieren
Vol 22 No 3 (2012)
Herausgegeben von Markus-Michael Müller
Policing the Periphery – Policing, Violence and State Formation in Colonial South Carolina
This article analyses the transfer of policing and legal structures from England to colonial South Carolina. Situated at the periphery of the British Empire, South Carolina was the only plantation colony in North America with a majority “black” population and its economic, social, geographic and demographic structures differed significantly from those in England. Such differences shaped the reception and adaption processes that shaped the transfer of legal and policing structure from England to the North American colonial context, thereby shaping local governance structures and supplanting them with informal modes of coercion-backed political ordering. In light of these observations, the article to critically interrogates dominant “top down” approaches on the history of state formation by arguing that colonial state formation was an overly negotiated and “bottom up” process, which was decisively shaped by the periphery.
Die Polizeiintendanz in Rio de Janeiro, 1808–1821
(Post-)Colonial Governance in an Imperial Metropolis: The Police Intendancy of Rio de Janeiro, 1808–1821
The transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil in 1807/1808 signaled the emergence of a new spatio-political order within the Portuguese Empire. This transfer implied that the imperial center shifted from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, transforming the city within a couple of years from a “typical” colonial city into a “tropical Versaille.” Through an analysis of the city’s Police Intendancy, an institution that substantially shaped this “metropolization process” (Schultz), and by drawing on archival police documents, this article offers an analysis of the changing patterns of governance and rule that accompanied this transition process in Rio de Janeiro. After locating the Police Intendancy within the overall workings of imperial governmentality, the article addressed the following questions: Were local authorities consciously aware that colonial practices had to be changed after the transfer of the Court? Which problems and paradoxes accompanied the emergence of new technologies of power that accompanied the shift from a colonial to a metropolitan, and thus post-colonial, space?
International interventions, whose aim is the fostering of peace and state building in conflict zones, are guided by ideas of a liberal police governmentality. However, in order to pursue their peace building and state building agendas on the ground, intervening actors depend upon the collaboration with local institutions. When such intermediaries of transnational rule do not share the agenda of liberal interventionism, intervening actors are confronted with the “paradox of intermediary rule”. By offering an analysis of the reform of the Congolese army in the district Ituri (Democratic Republic of Congo), this article demonstrates that the joint Peace Enforcement by international actors and the local army did not lead to the emergence of a peaceful liberal order. Instead, because of the dependence of international actors form local institutions (and interests), the intervening forces became accomplices in the (re-)production of an overly illiberal order of violence, indicating how the implementation of an international liberal police governmentality encountered its limits in the paradoxical interactions between national and international actors.
The Political Meaning of “Police Assistance” in Afghanistan between the 1950s and 1970s
Following World War II, the Afghan government asked the Federal republic of Germany for German police advisors, initiating the longest period of German-Afghan “technical collaboration” within the field of police assistance. This period came to an end in the aftermath of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Based on archival resources from the Political Archive of the Federal foreign Office, this article analysis the performative construction of German police assistance for the period between 1952 and 1979 and discusses this type of “technical collaboration” by drawing on analytical insights from the field of “translation studies”. It is argued that the political meaning of police assistance was more based upon abstract theoretical assumptions regarding development and social transformations processes than on an evaluation of the content, objectives and impact of this form of technical collaboration.