New book - Police in Africa: The Street Level View, co-edited by Olly Owen

26 June, 2017

A new book co-edited by ODID ESRC Future Research Leader Fellow Olly Owen brings together scholars from multiple disciplines to shed light on a hitherto neglected subject of study: the police forces of the African continent.

The contributors – criminologists, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, political scientists and others who have engaged with police forces across the continent and the publics with whom they interact – provide street-level perspectives from below and inside Africa’s police forces.

They consider historical trajectories and particular configurations of police power within wider political systems, then examine the ‘inside view’ of police forces as state institutions – the challenges, preoccupations, professional ethics and self-perceptions of police officers – and finally look at how African police officers go about their work in terms of everyday practices and engagements with the public.

The studies span the continent, from South Africa to Sierra Leone, and illustrate similarities and differences in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone states, post-socialist, post-military and post-conflict contexts, and amid both centralisation and devolution of policing powers, democratic transitions and new illiberal regimes, all the while keeping a strong ethnographic focus on police officers and their work.

Police in Africa: The Street Level View is published by Hurst on 1 July.