What is it about?

This PhD-based fieldwork-driven research explores the state through a case study of the Congolese police and their reform. It is about the police and their everyday work, about the effects of police reform and the nature of the state. The dissertation tries to answer the following central question: How do the police perform the state in Congo? Or, more specifically, in what ways do police practices and encounters with the public reproduce, sustain or collapse Congo’s state?

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Why is it important?

While this research focuses on DR Congo, its conceptual framework to studying the state should be of interest well beyond this central African country as it offers important insights into the question of the nature of the state not just in Congo, but across the globe. It does so by delving into the history of state coercion and by connecting this long-term perspective to a close exploration of everyday police practices and their effects on police officers themselves as well as the public at large.

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This page is a summary of: Congo Cop: Performing the State in Central Africa, Afrika Focus, June 2022, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/2031356x-35010010.
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