Call for papers

CFP: Special Issue on “Ethnographies of Security”

See below a CFP for a special issue of the journal Qualitative Sociology on “Ethnographies of Security,” to be guest edited by Anthropoliteia contributor Rebecca Hanson
 

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Dossiers

Views of Venezuelan Protests, Pt. 4: Looking at The “Collaboration” Between the Police and the Collectives

The editors of Anthropoliteia would like to welcome a special guest post, the fourth in a series from Rebecca Hanson on recent political developments in Venezuela. 

 

A water tower in Catia with Hugo Chávez's face on one side and the face of Lina Ron (founder of the Venezuelan Popular Union party and symbol of La Piedrita, another well known collective) on the other © Richard Snyder 2014

A water tower in Catia with Hugo Chávez’s face on one side and the face of Lina Ron (founder of the Venezuelan Popular Union party and symbol of La Piedrita, another well known collective) on the other © Richard Snyder 2014

In my last post I looked at the security force that is playing the most active role in policing the protests: the National Guard. While police officers overwhelmingly support the National Guard’s participation, there is second group that the police identify as “policing the protests” whose presence they do not condone: the collectives.

The collectives’ relationship to the state and state security forces has garnered much attention in the press since the protests began.  Providing little evidence, recent news reports (the Wall Street Journal , the BBC, and AlJazeera to name a few) have suggested that the police are working alongside and in collaboration with the collectives to repress protestors.  And this past week Human Rights Watch, though avoiding the term “collective,” published a report suggesting that the police and “armed pro-government groups” were in collusion with one another.

But National Bolivarian Police (PNB) officers describe this relationship quite differently, reporting that they must compete with the collectives for territorial control, access to arms, and even state protection.  For them, their relationship to the collectives is one structured by competition, not collaboration. In fact, since the Metropolitan Police in Caracas sided with the opposition in the 2002 coup against Chávez, officers feel that the government trusts the collectives–ideologically aligned with the Bolivarian Revolution–more than the police to work the protests. Though the police as an institution is often defined by its ability to legitimately deploy force in order to protect the state’s interests, officers perceive the collectives as primarily designated by the state to fulfill this function.

In this post, I provide a brief summary of the collectives’ history and then describe how police officers talk about their relationship to the collectives. Continue reading

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DragNet

DragNet, April 2014

#myNYPD

What was on April’s Blog Menu, you ask? A flurry of posts covering everything from issues in ethnicity, crime stat validity, police social media involvement and ongoing Ukraine and surveillance coverage, of course! Continue reading

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Dossiers

Views of Venezuelan Protests, Pt. 3: Who is Policing the Protests? A Perspective from Venezuela’s National Bolivarian Police

The editors of Anthropoliteia would like to welcome a special guest post, the third in a series from Rebecca Hanson on recent political developments in Venezuela. 
Embed from Getty Images

“It is better to think of the police as providing support to the National Guard in the protests [as opposed to the other way around].  The National Guard has more experience and more training…and they aren’t restricted [in their use of force] like us…We can’t even defend ourselves.”  –National Police officer-in-training

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Dossiers

Views of Venezuelan Protests Part II: La Desconfianza and the Venezuelan Opposition

The editors of Anthropoliteia would like to welcome a special guest post, the second in a series from Rebecca Hanson on recent political developments in Venezuela. A version of this piece originally appeared on the blog Venezuela Politics and Human Rights as “La Desconfianza: The View from Western Caracas II
Mural from a wall in Catia © Rebecca Hanson

Mural from a wall in Catia. The literal translation is “knee on the ground” but the term originally arose from the military to refer to the position of a shooter with one knee on the ground to take a shot. Chavistas use it metaphorically to mean that they are prepared for battle or to do whatever it takes to protect the Bolivarian Revolution. © Rebecca Hanson

“It makes no sense! You go into a Chavista’s house and Chávez and Maduro’s faces are everywhere but you open their fridge and it is empty!  Empty!” This was the passionate reaction I received from an acquaintance I was chatting with yesterday when I commented that protests in Caracas have not seemed to receive support from popular sectors in the city.

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Dossiers

Views of Venezuelan Protests Part I: Where are the Poor Protestors?

The editors of Anthropoliteia would like to welcome the first in a series of special guest posts from Rebecca Hanson on recent political developments in Venezuela.   This piece originally appeared on the blog Venezuela Politics and Human Rights as “Venezuelan Protests from the View of Western Caracas

Images of burning tires, masked youth, and clashes between citizens and state security forces have accompanied almost all news coverage of Venezuela for the past few weeks.  And these well-documented protests and the government response to them have, as blogger Francisco Toro wrote, changed the political game in Venezuela for the foreseeable future.

To fully appreciate these changes, however, we need to also appreciate the geographical limits of the opposition protests. Taking into account where protests are not occurring, and why, is important in understanding what they represent for residents who do not live in the zones where protests have erupted.

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