Policing Iraq: Legitimacy, Democracy, and Empire in a Developing State. By Jessie S. G. Wozniak. Oakland: University of California Press, 2021. Pp. ix+241. $85.00 (cloth); $29.95 (paper).

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Abstract

Jessie Wozniak’s Policing Iraq presents a sensible and effective central argument that rests on the importance of police effectiveness in war-stricken environments. If the police are negatively perceived as frontline representations of the state, then this impacts state legitimacy. The focus is on police reconstruction in Iraq, and broader reconstruction efforts by the United States, which has left Iraq reliant on the U.S. and donor community. Wozniak starts with refreshing and personal writing on northern-controlled Kurdistan by outlining the perceivable progress with reconstruction. He then points to the need to examine first-hand the police training of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The data collection (2011–17) is robust, comprising ethnographic discourse analysis to capture the meanings for daily lives at the microlevel. This includes observing large cohorts of students during police academy training, judges in courthouses, and people engaged with shopping, culture, and politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1946-1948
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Volume127
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

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