1st Edition

Policing and Human Rights
The Meaning of Violence and Justice in the Everyday Policing of Johannesburg

ISBN 9780415833165
Published March 13, 2014 by Routledge
214 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Policing and Human Rights analyses the implementation of human rights standards, tracing them from the nodal points of their production in Geneva, through the board rooms of national police management and training facilities, to the streets of downtown Johannesburg. This book deals with how the unprecedented influence of human rights, combined with the inability by police officers to ‘live up’ to international standards, has created a range of policing and human rights vernaculars – hybrid discourses that have appropriated, transmogrified and undercut human rights. Understood as an attempt by police officers, as much as by the police as a whole, to recover a position from which to act and to judge, these vernaculars reveal the compromised ways in which human rights are – and are not – implemented. Tracing how, in South Africa, human rights have given rise to new forms of popular justice, informal ‘private’ policing and provisional security arrangements, Policing and Human Rights delivers an important analysis of how the dissemination and implementation of human rights intersects with the post-colonial and post-transformation circumstances that characterise many countries in the South.

Table of Contents


2. Remembering the Police

3. From Geneva to Johannesburg: Human rights Training

4. ‘Don’t Push this Constitution down my throat...’; the use of violence in everyday policing

5. ‘Your Police – my police’: the informal privatisation of policing

6. ‘Omms gaan ry!’: on entanglement and human rights as violence

7. Conclusion: human rights in their ordinary state

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Julia Hornberger is senior researcher in Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Zurich and a research fellow at the African Centre for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand. She is also a cofounder of the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism. Her research interests are justice, policing, the social life of law, violence and the international policing of counterfeit goods and health.