Between state collaboration and protecting the people: the contradictions of policing in Sudan, 1924-1989
This AHRC-funded work is based on research conducted at: the National Record Office (Khartoum), the Sudan Archives (Durham), the American Library of Congress (Washington), the Sudan Communist Party collection at the Institute for International Social History (Amsterdam), and The National Archives (London). I spent five months in Khartoum conducting archival research (August-December 2008) and I returned for a month this winter (2010-11) to conduct oral research.
Empirical research on the police in both Africa and the Middle East is very limited, which is surprising as the police as an institution act as an ideal means for studying issues relating to state-society relations, governance and law in these regions. Themes in my thesis include: the continuities and discontinuities between the colonial, post-colonial parliamentary and post-colonial military regimes with regard to policing methods; the porosity of colonial and post-colonial security; the factors contributing towards police violence; the failure to institutionalize the police force and the capacity of various social actors - whether religious, ethnic or professional - to influence the police force; the contest over the police between various sectors of the state; the relevance of Western universalist law, Islamic sharia and ‘traditional' forms of African customary to the behaviour of the police; and the development of penal practice in Sudan, as well as the relationship between police and society.
‘ "What the men are crying out for is leadership": the Khartoum Police Strike of 1951 and the battle for administrative control', Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 39 2011, pp. 121-142.
I am also currently working on a number of articles based on MA research and PhD material left out of the thesis after I restricted its focus. These include separate articles on prisons in colonial and post-colonial Sudan, in addition to separate articles focusing on nationalist and imperial progagandas struggles, and Urban protest and counter-insurgency during the Egyptian Revolution of 1919.