Policing sorcery accusation related violence in Papua New Guinea

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter analyses how the police in Papua New Guinea (PNG) respond to sorcery accusations and related violence (SARV). It details the various challenges the police face in responding to this particular form of crime, which often involves confronting an entire community convinced of the need to torture and kill the sorcerer (or witch), whom they believe has killed and may kill again. It argues that in many cases police are successful in securing the security of the accused individual or individuals through using their relational networks, in addition to or instead of state resources. This leads to the new theoretical proposition that policing in PNG occurs through both a relational state as well as a Weberian state model. In the Weberian model, the police, who have a legitimate monopoly on the use of force, carry out the wishes of the state on the community. In the relational model, the police and community are connected in multiple different ways and act on each other. Both of these models of state exist in different configurations of dynamic interaction and domination throughout PNG and are implicated in policing practices, such as in policing SARV.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMapping Security in the Pacific: A Focus on Context, Gender and Organisational Culture
    Editors Sara N Admin, Daniella Watson & Christian Girard
    Place of PublicationOxon
    PublisherRoutledge Taylor and Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)978-0-367-14392-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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