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Title: Policing illicit drugs : redrawing boundaries in the field of counternarcotics in Colombia
Author: Hamann, Jorge Enrique Linares
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 6477
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines the ways in which the field of counternarcotics has transformed the police in Colombia. Using Pierre Bourdieu's concept of 'field' , this thesis explores the field of counternarcotics as a prime example of contemporary security configurations, in which the policing of a security issue is characterised by the dispersion of authority and resources among a multitude of actors from different realms, who are continually redrawing the boundaries between them. This research adopted an ethnographic approach based on a six-month fieldwork period within the Countemarcotics Police Directorate, which provide the focal point of analysis vis-avis the other security actors operating within this field, particularly the armed forces, and to a lesser extent, (foreign) private contractors. The ethnographic data was supplemented by semi-structured interviews and primary documentary sources. This thesis argues that the police and the other security actors accumulate different forms of 'capital' (economic, social, military) and deploy them through a series of counternarcotics activities to attain symbolic capital and enhance or maintain their position of power and authority within the field of counternarcotics. Moreover, based on Bourdieu's concept of 'habitus', this thesis explores the extent to which this field has endowed the counternarcotics police with particular attributes, such as their elitism and militarism. This counternarcotics police habitus, in tum, has become dominant within the entire organisation, to the detriment of other police groups. By exploring the transformation experienced by police forces in contemporary security arrangements, this thesis contributes to policing and police studies, particularly to the extant scholarship on police culture and the militarisation of police forces.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available