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Policing the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro

Cosmologies of War and The Far-Right

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Buch. Hardcover


xxi, 318 S. 1 s/w-Abbildung, 37 Farbabbildungen, Bibliographien.

In englischer Sprache

Palgrave Macmillan UK. ISBN 978-3-031-49026-2

Format (B x L): 14,8 x 21 cm

Das Werk ist Teil der Reihe: Palgrave's Critical Policing Studies


This book offers a unique look into the world of policing and the frontline of Brazil’s war on drugs. It analyzes the tensions produced by attempts to modernize Rio de Janeiro’s public security policies. Since the return of democracy in 1985, Rio's police forces have waged war against armed drug gangs based in the city’s favelas, casting the people who live in these communities as internal enemies. In preparation for the Olympics in 2016, the police sought to ‘pacify’ the favelas and their populations through the establishment of Pacifying Police Units (UPPs) in many of the city’s favela communities. Drawing on eight months of ethnographic fieldwork with the police, this book follows officers across the institutional hierarchy in their daily activities, on patrol, and during training. Tracing the genealogies of contemporary forms of policing-as-warfare through the notion of ‘colonial war’ and ‘cultural war’, it highlights the material and ideational dimensions of war as a cosmological force that shapes Brazilian social relations, subjectivities, landscapes, economies, and politics. It draws on the Deleuzian notion of ‘war machine and state dynamics’ to show how practices of elimination co-exist with attempts to transform favela territories and their people and analyzes the link between the moral universe of policing and right-wing populism in Brazil. Through rich and nuanced ethnography, it offers a critical perspective on militarized policing and 21st century forms of authoritarianism. Tomas Salem is a PhD-fellow in Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen in Norway. He carried out fieldwork with the Pacifying Police Units of Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police in 2015 and has an interdisciplinary background from the fields of Public Security and Gender Studies. His research interests span from critical perspectives on masculinity to post-colonial theory, right-wing authoritarianism, state formation and state violence. This is his first book. It is based on his award-winning thesis Taming the War-Machine: Police, Pacification, and Power in Rio de Janeiro and ten years of research on Brazilian policing.

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