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Police in AfricaThe Street Level View$
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Jan Beek, Mirco Göpfert, Olly Owen, and Johnny Steinberg

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190676636

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190676636.001.0001

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What is the Concept of Professionalization Good for?

What is the Concept of Professionalization Good for?

An Argument from Late Colonialism

Chapter:
(p.27) 2 What is the Concept of Professionalization Good for?
Source:
Police in Africa
Author(s):

Joël Glasman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190676636.003.0003

Drawing on archival material and oral sources from historical research on the Togolese police, this chapter argues that the notion of professionalization, until now a hidden passenger of police studies, is not a useful analytical category to make sense of police organisations. Like many of the notions used in police support and Security Sector Reform projects, it is both teleological and Eurocentric, and as such creates analytical problems. The underlying presupposition is that African police are still not professional enough; and professionalization is often equated with adherence to strict bureaucratic standards. Yet this chapters shows that the bureaucratizsation of late colonial Togolese police was also perfectly in line with a rise in police violence and the neglect of legal norms.

Keywords:   Bureaucratisation Police, African police, Togo, Professionalization, History, Police violence

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