University of Leicester
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Conceptualising post-colonial policing : an analysis and application of policing public order in India

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:36 authored by Surajit Chandra. Mukhopadhyay
A major problem of policing in post-colonial India is the manifest lack of consensus for its acts. Consensus in turn is dependent upon the legitimacy of the people who are in power. Thus, policing is a practice that is essentially related to the political regime and the discourse of power. However, policing cannot be explained or understood by a simple analysis of structural features without reference to history. Since policing is dynamic and processual, that is influenced, transformed and impacted upon by a plethora of factors, a perspective which incorporates an historical analysis of the forces of change must also be employed for a robust explication.;This thesis first examines the history of colonial policing in India. It then critically assesses the existing literature on Indian policing, both in the colonial as well as in the post-colonial period. Next, it constructs a 'model' of post-colonial policing that can be taken as universally and cross-nationally applicable to post-colonial policing practices. Finally, the thesis arrives at a conceptual framework that makes the structures of post-colonial policing meaningful in terms of certain discursive practices. It argues that public order policing in India and other post-colonial societies needs to be conceptualised through this framework and not restricted by national geographical boundaries. More particularly, it suggests that post-colonial policing is strongly related to the precedents set by colonial policing methods and strategies. It argues that the maintenance of public order in a post-colonial state is central to policing with an ever increasing reliance on paramilitary style and tactics.


Date of award


Author affiliation

Public Order

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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