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Violence as UsualPolicing and the Colonial State in German Southwest Africa$
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Marie Muschalek

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501742859

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501742859.001.0001

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Histories of Colonial Violence

(p.158) Conclusion
Violence as Usual

Marie Muschalek

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter offers some reflections on the nature of everyday violence in colonial Africa. Coming from multiple cultural groups, the African and German men of the Landespolizei shared a host of moral codes that can best be subsumed under the heading of honor. This study reveals significant similarities between policemen from Europe and those from Southern Africa. Out of the Landespolizei's distinctive racial and social composition unfolded a dynamic that made the police decidedly efficacious. Instead of a grand narrative of quantified violence, the chapter draws out the lives of people getting by, living with violence in the everyday. It tries to uncover how the dynamics of violence were inscribed into a moral economy of the accepted and normal. The chapter concludes that violence is not necessarily antithetical to community or social order. Indeed, it can be constructive. The daily brutality of modern colonialism was a horrific injustice. But it was also a way of life with its own rules and regularities.

Keywords:   violence, colonial violence, Landespolizei, honor, police, everyday violence, modern colonialism

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