Provisional Authority: Police, Order, And Security In India by Beatrice JaureguiProvisional Authority: Police, Order, And Security In India by Beatrice Jauregui

Provisional Authority: Police, Order, And Security In India

byBeatrice Jauregui

Paperback | November 28, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 235 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Policing as a global form is often fraught with excessive violence, corruption, and even criminalization. These sorts of problems are especially omnipresent in postcolonial nations such as India, where Beatrice Jauregui has spent several years studying the day-to-day lives of police officers in its most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. In this book, she offers an empirically rich and theoretically innovative look at the great puzzle of police authority in contemporary India and its relationship to social order, democratic governance, and security.
Jauregui explores the paradoxical demands placed on Indian police, who are at once routinely charged with abuses of authority at the same time that they are asked to extend that authority into any number of both official and unofficial tasks. Her ethnography of their everyday life and work demonstrates that police authority is provisional in several senses: shifting across time and space, subject to the availability and movement of resources, and dependent upon shared moral codes and relentless instrumental demands. In the end, she shows that police authority in India is not simply a vulgar manifestation of raw power or the violence of law but, rather, a contingent and volatile social resource relied upon in different ways to help realize human needs and desires in a pluralistic, postcolonial democracy.
Provocative and compelling, Provisional Authority provides a rare and disquieting look inside the world of police in India, and shines critical light on an institution fraught with moral, legal and political contradictions.
Beatrice Jauregui is assistant professor at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto. She is coeditor of the Handbook of Global Policing and Anthropology and Global Counterinsurgency, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.
Title:Provisional Authority: Police, Order, And Security In IndiaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:November 28, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022640370X

ISBN - 13:9780226403700

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Police and Provisionality
Chapter 2: Corruptible Virtue
Chapter 3: Orderly Ethics
Chapter 4: Expendable Servants
Chapter 5: Bureaucratic Politics
Chapter 6: States of Insecurity

Editorial Reviews

Provisional Authority is marvelous. It is clearly the best ethnographic book on the Indian police ever written. Jauregui writes incisively about both theory and practice, interweaving frontline stories with larger theoretical points and analysis. She shows the living reality of Indian police at the ‘coal face’, brilliantly laying out the nuanced problems of access and observer involvement in India.”