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Policing in Colonial Empires

Cases, Connections, Boundaries (ca. 1850–1970)


Edited By Emmanuel Blanchard, Marieke Bloembergen and Amandine Lauro

Colonial security strategies and the postcolonial vestiges they left both in the global South and in former metropoles have recently attracted renewed academic attention. Policing in Colonial Empires is a collection of essays reflecting current, ongoing research and exploring the multifaceted dynamics of policing in colonial societies over the past two centuries. Spanning several continents and colonial contexts (some of them liminal or little-explored), the book examines the limits and legitimacies of the functioning of colonial policing. Addressing issues such as collaboration, coercion, violence, race, and intelligence, the collected works ask what exactly was colonial about colonial policing. Together, the contributors point out the complex nature of colonial law and order maintenance, and provide insights on histories that might reflect the legacies of its many variants.

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Notes on Contributors


Melissa Anderson completed her PhD in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015. Titled “For ‘the Love of Order’: Race, Violence, and the French Colonial Police in Vietnam, 1860s-1920s”, her dissertation examines the logic and limits of race as the ordering principle in Vietnam’s colonial police and its effects on everyday colonial violence. She currently lives in Paris, France, where she works as Editorial Projects Manager for Paris Muse Education Group.

Sandra Araújo is currently finishing a PhD in Anthropology at CRIA/FCSH-UNL (Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia/Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas – Universidade Nova de Lisboa). Her research, conducted with the support of the FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, SFRH/BD/70531/2010), analyses the role of intelligence in the governance of Mozambican Muslims during the Liberation War. She is the author of the forthcoming “Knowing ‘Mozambican Islam’: the Confidential Questionnaire on Islam and Colonial Governance during the Liberation War” in O’Reilly C. (ed.), Colonial Policing and the Transnational Legacy: The Global Dynamics of Policing Across the Lusophone Community, London, Ashgate, 2017.

Emmanuel Blanchard is Senior Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines and Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye. He is also a researcher at the Center for Sociological Research on Law and Criminal Justice Institutions (CESDIP, UMR 8183, CNRS and French Ministry of Justice). His research interests include the history of immigration and colonial policing, especially in the France-North Africa area. He is the author...

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