Police, Military and Ethnicity: Foundations of State Power, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Police, Military and Ethnicity

Foundations of State Power, 1st Edition

Edited by Cynthia Enloe


179 pages

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Hardback: 9780878553020
pub: 1980-01-30
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This collection of essays describes and analyzes the ways in which government policymakers go about designing police forces and militaries. The author includes both wide-ranging comparative investigations of the dimensions of the state security phenomenon and specific case studies.

Dr. Enloe uses the sociological concept of ethnicity to demon-strate how the armed forces in sev-eral nations have capitalized on racial and ethnic diversity to foster their own goals and those of the government and power elites. She examines this idea by focusing on the ethnic factors involved in the evolution of the South African military, the military-ethnic con-nection in Malaysia, and the role of the armed forces in the conflict in Ulster.

The author illustrates convin-cingly that not only individual citizens desire security, but that nation-states themselves are en-gaged in the same pursuit. What often passes for or is justified in the name of citizen protection is in fact done to strengthen the state itself. Militaries are recruited in ethni-cally skewed ways, and increasing numbers of police forces through-out the world have military capacities not to enhance the secu-rity of private individuals, but to protect the status quo of the central government and the nation's "es-tablishment."

Dr. Enloe covers an assortment of countries within the framework of her central argument, which is practically as well as theoretically significant. Each chapter can be read on its own, and all deal with currently salient political condi-tions.

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