Colonial Policing and the Transnational Legacy : The Global Dynamics of Policing Across the Lusophone Community book cover
1st Edition

Colonial Policing and the Transnational Legacy
The Global Dynamics of Policing Across the Lusophone Community

Edited By

Conor O'Reilly

ISBN 9781409465300
Published August 16, 2017 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

This compilation represents the first study to examine the historical evolution and shifting global dynamics of policing across the Lusophone community. With contributions from a multi-disciplinary range of experts, it traces the role of policing within and across settings that are connected by the shared legacy of Portuguese colonialism. Previously neglected within studies of the globalisation of policing, the Lusophone experience brings novel insights to established analyses of colonial, post-colonial and transnational policing. This compilation draws research attention to the policing peculiarities of the Lusophone community. It proposes new cultural settings within which to test dominant theories of policing research. It uncovers an important piece of the jigsaw that is policing across the globe. Key research questions that it addresses include:

• What were the patterns of policing, and policing transfers, across Portuguese colonial settings?

• How did Portugal’s dual status as both fascist regime and imperial power shape its late colonial policing?

• What have been the different experiences of post-colonial and transitional policing across the former Portuguese colonies?

• In what ways are Lusophone nations contributing to, and indeed shaping, patterns of transnational policing?

• What comparative lessons can be drawn from the Lusophone policing experience?

Table of Contents



Introduction: Policing and the Lusophone Community Across Time and Space

Conor O’Reilly (University of Leeds)




1. Colonial Policing and the Portuguese Empire (c.1870-1961)

Gonçalo Rocha Gonçalves (University Institute of Lisbon) and Rita Ávila Cachado (University Institute of Lisbon)


2. The Military and the (Colonial) Policing of Mainland Portugal (1850–1910)

Diego Palacios Cerezales (University of Stirling)


3. Militarism in the São Paulo Police Force (1868-1924)

André Rosemberg (Universidade Estadual Paulista ‘Júlio de Mesquita Filho’)


Comment: The Portuguese Colonial Policing Mission in Comparative Perspective

Richard S. Hill (Victoria University of Wellington)




4. PIDE’s Racial Strategy in Angola (1957-1961)

Fernando Tavares Pimenta (New University of Lisbon)


5. Knowing ‘Mozambican Islam’: The Confidential Questionnaire on Islam and Colonial Governance during the Liberation War

Sandra Araújo (New University of Lisbon)


6. Intelligence-centric Counterinsurgency as Late Colonial Policing: Comparing Portugal with Britain and France

Bruno Cardoso Reis (University of Lisbon)


Comment: Reflections on Portuguese Late Colonial Policing

Martin Thomas (University of Exeter)





7. Post-War Police Reform in Mozambique: The Case of Community Policing

Helene Maria Kyed (Danish Institute for International Studies)


8. Transformation of Macau Policing: From a Portuguese Colony to China’s SAR

Lawrence K.K. Ho (The Hong Kong Institute of Education) and Agnes I.F. Lam (University of Macau)


9. Faint Echoes of Portugal but Strong Accents of Indonesia: Hidden Influences on Police Development in Timor-Leste

Gordon Peake (Australian National University)


10. Branding Rio de Janeiro’s Pacification Model: A Silver Bullet for the ‘Planet of Slums’?

Conor O’Reilly (University of Leeds)

Comment: "Never Mind the Similarities, Focus on the Differences": Imposition, Imitation and Intransigence in Post-colonial Global Policing Reform

Andrew Goldsmith (Flinders University)

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Conor O’Reilly is Associate Professor in Transnational Crime and Security at the School of Law, University of Leeds. His research interests focus upon the transnational dynamics of crime, policing and security. He has published widely on these and related research themes in leading journals, including: British Journal of Criminology; Crime, Law and Social Change; International Political Sociology; Police Quarterly; and Theoretical Criminology. He is also author of the forthcoming monograph, Policing Global Risks: The Transnational Security Consultancy Industry. He has worked on a range of international research projects, including the COPP-LAB project on Lusophone policing, and is currently leading a three-year project on kidnapping in Mexico.


This innovative compilation focuses upon policing across the Portuguese Empire and subsequent Lusophone contexts. It underlines how modernity has been marked by policing skills and practices that were forged in earlier processes of colonialism. The lethal violence perpetrated by police units also cannot be reduced to Stoler's 'Imperial Debris' but must also be framed within trends of police professionalisation. The collection also includes fascinating narratives of 'militarized humanitarianism' that help us to both understand and interpret current states of emergency. 

Emmanuel Blanchard, University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France

Until now, the field of Police Studies has not had a definitive account of the Portuguese colonial empire and its effects on the global dynamics of policing. This book is an excellent example of critical interdisciplinary scholarship that casts new and welcome light on to European colonialism and colonial policing.

James Sheptycki, McLaughlin College, York University, Toronto, Canada

`O’Reilly has carefully and considerately put together a collection of ten substantive essays and three expert commentaries that provide an engaging narrative structure, with a natural and coherent flow from concept to concept…O’Reilly’s insightful use of poignant and well-crafted interstitial expert commentary helps to solidify the already strong narrative structure, refreshingly elevating the cohesion of this collection of essays to a level rarely seen. Given the relative infancy of the field of police studies in general, it is hardly surprising that colonial policing—let alone that of the Lusosphere—has largely escaped scholarly scrutiny. Yet, that is precisely what makes Colonial Policing and the Transnational Legacy such an interesting volume, as it provides a nuanced, distinctive and deeply informative view of policing beyond the Anglosphere that is bound to expand the field of policin