- The contours of disorder: crime maps and territorial policing in South Africa
- Environment and Planning D - Society & Space
- Volume | Issue number
- 32 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Organised violence strongly shapes political boundaries. The modern state’s monopoly on legitimate violence has made national borders the primary dividing line between peaceful and violent places. However, governments that are unable to achieve such a monopoly may opt for the more modest goal of moderating the distribution of violent behaviour across their jurisdiction. This paper explores how this latter approach redefines the contours of political space through a grounded ethnography of crime control strategies in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the postapartheid era, South African police and vigilantes have synthesised statistically oriented policing logics with the racial policing tactics of the past to anticipate, locate, isolate, and redistribute patterns of violent crime. In so doing, they have created forms of territorial power and violence that are neither new nor old, but undeniably postsovereign.
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