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Policing in Colonial Empires

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


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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Contrary to certain preconceptions concerning globalisation, the phenomenon is not a recent one. In the past, many regions around the world have been incorporated into a dominant social and economic system at varying rates and to varying degrees.

Their history has also become the history of Europe for whom these regions have become so many “Overseas”.

This collection is open in part to works dedicated to these Overseas regions and in part to works on their relationships with Europe. The aim of the collection is to bring together works concentrating rather on cross-perspectives than readings based on radical, generally univocal confrontations.

Alongside these monographs and collective research works, the collection also makes room for the publication of documents and work tools designed not only to contribute to changing these problems but also to make it easier to exploit as yet unknown or little known sources.

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