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Intersection of formal and informal control in urban neighbourhoods: Prospect of democratic policing in Pakistan

Aqil, Nauman 2020. Intersection of formal and informal control in urban neighbourhoods: Prospect of democratic policing in Pakistan. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This research studies the intersection of formal and informal social control processes in two high crime and two low crime neighbourhoods in the cities of Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan. The comparative case study design explores the significance of ethnic heterogeneity, political capital, social cohesion, and spatiality in explaining the neighbourhoods’ crime levels. Moreover, this study highlights the existential value of informal networks and kinship in preventing victimisation and nurturing survival in uncertain political and economic conditions. It further demonstrates that, in context of minimal state efficiency, social order is negotiated on the principles of expediency and accommodation. In particular, this study indicates that, when faced with mistrust of state institutions and selective fatalism, arising from economic vulnerability and chronic misgovernance, residents are willing to overlook some of the crimes which do not affect the harmony and stability of their neighbourhoods. By examining the ways in which social control is configured between the police and moral entrepreneurs in highly stratified neighbourhoods, this study stipulates that the optimum outcome of such an arrangement is most likely the maintenance of the status quo. Nonetheless, this study notes the limits of informal control mechanisms when these mechanisms are not buttressed by the agents of formal control or when the sheer intensity of crimes warrant self-preservation and inaction. Furthermore, this study illustrates that the legacy of colonialism lives on not only within the police forces but also within the public imagination. Consequently, the police are expected to behave in a repressive and highhanded manner, especially when dealing with offenders. Given this public conception of the police, this study discusses the grim prospects of the Western notion of democratic policing in Pakistan. Finally, this study raises questions in terms of applicability of some Western constructs and methodological tools in studying crime and policing in Pakistan.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Funders: International Criminology College
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 August 2020
Last Modified: 25 May 2021 01:23

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