Travelling police

The potential for change in the wake of police reform in West Africa

in Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale
Author:
Jan Beek Goethe University Frankfurt beek@em.uni-frankfurt.de

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Mirco Göpfert University of Konstanz mirco.goepfert@uni-konstanz.de

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Police models travel around the globe and many arrive in the shape of police reforms in West Africa. On the ground, these transnational connections are composed of interactions between police officers carrying and receiving such models. Similar to the travel of other models, African officers usually adapt and subvert official reforms. In this article, we argue that the potential for wide‐ranging organisational change is caused not so much by these reform programmes, but rather emerges from the encounters that such travels bring along. In these encounters, officers tell stories that challenge or stabilise notions of police work for those involved.

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