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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Policing, state power, and the transition from apartheid to democracy: a new perspective
Author:Steinberg, JonnyISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Geographic term:South Africa
political history
External link:http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/content/113/451/173.abstract
Abstract:With some exceptions, scholarship on post-apartheid policing has been too preoccupied by continuities with the apartheid era. While this is understandable, it has blinded scholars to profound changes. The author argues that what has changed most since the end of apartheid is the relationship between policing and political order. During the late apartheid era, the structure and ethos of the South African Police was animated by the task of containing an insurgency. In the democratic era, policing is increasingly animated by the task of managing conflict in the ruling party. The difference is profound and the implications ripple right to the edges of the police organization, fashioning the manner in which street life is policed and impinging on the functioning and the durability of the detective service. The article concludes by arguing that instruments used in the past survive only when agents in the present find them useful, and that accounts of continuity need to train their analytical attention on the politics of the here and now. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]