CFP: "Policing in South Asia: Dilemmas of Governance and the Making of Participatory Communities", JNU, January 6, 2018

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Policing in South Asia: Dilemmas of Governance and the Making of Participatory Communities

January 6, 2018

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

The police play a key role as an interface between the people and the state. Yet despite this, studies of the institution from a sociologically- and historically-informed perspective, especially in the context of South Asia, are relatively scarce. The state has been studied as embodied in everyday practices and the interactions of various institutions, and thus as actively shaped by experiences and practices of those who perform it (Gupta 1995; Fuller & Benei 2010), as well as of the role it plays in shaping, and of the ways it is shaped by, society (Skocpol 1979, Mann 1993, Migdal 2001).The role of the police in such processes is, however, unclear, since the linkages between police institutions and structures and the socio-historical context of their operation have received little scholarly attention. This is particularly the case in post-colonial contexts in which the police first emerged as a colonial institution. The aim of this seminar is to begin to address such a scholarly lacuna by bring together an international and interdisciplinary group of scholars to consider the role of the police in shaping both state sovereignty and social order in South Asia. It will do so through considering the following key questions: How has the state historically been embodied in everyday practices of policing in South Asia, and what are the legacies of such practices; what role has the police played in shaping both the state and society; and in what way has society in South Asia shaped the institutions and practices of policing?

Tentative themes of the seminar include but are not limited to the following:

Indigenous traditions and colonial impact on policing in South Asia

Policing and marginality

Gender and policing

Justice, Law and police work

Policy framework for effective policing and for generating trust

Please email 250-300 words abstracts to by November 30th.