Based on an analysis of everyday police work in German Southwest Africa, this chapter offers a theoretical reframing of the colonial state that aims to provincialize the modern European state. It shifts the perspective away from the legal and institutional aspirations and structures of the state, instead turning attention to less rationalized processes: the idiosyncratic, makeshift, affective procedures of low-ranking officials. On this plane, everyday violence played a key role in generating a new social order. Ultimately, it had constructive effects which were a fundamental and inherent part of the colonial state’s power.
I am grateful to the organizers and participants of this issue of PPST for interesting and fruitful discussions on the practices of the colonial state, and to the anonymous reviewer for helpful comments.
Muschalek, M. (2017), "Violence as Usual: Everyday Police Work and the Colonial State in German Southwest Africa", Rethinking the Colonial State (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 33), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 129-150. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0198-871920170000033007Download as .RIS
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