Community Policing and Disputed Norms for Local Social Control in Post-Apartheid Johannesburg
Benit Gbaffou, Claire
Journal of Southern African Studies.
This article, based on field study in suburbs and townships in post-apartheid Johannesburg, argues that there are different ‘cultures’ of policing and different conceptions of local social order embedded in different local histories and contrasting socio-economic settings. The South African state is currently attempting to homogenise security practices and to ‘educate’ people in a democratic policing culture. At the same time it is also firmly setting some limits (for instance by rejecting road closures and vigilantism) to the local security experiments developed in the period following the demise of apartheid. However, its current policy, supposedly designed to ‘unify’ the policing systems under common principles, is based on the broad encouragement of community participation in the production of security, as well as on the promotion of zero-tolerance principles. These policies actually serve to exacerbate local differentiation regarding the content and practice of policing as well as the undemocratic principles rhetorically resisted by the state.
Policing Southern Africa, post-apartheid, local social order, community participation, production of security.
Benit Gbaffou,Claire. 2008. Community Policing and Disputed Norms for Local Social Control in Post-Apartheid Johannesburg. Journal of Southern African Studies. March 2008. 34:1 p93-109