The State and Crime in South Africa

In Other Voices, a lecture by the anthropologist Jean Comaroff:

This lecture explores the central place of crime in the popular imaginings, and practical lives, of South Africans after apartheid. While acknowledging that there is a significant material reality to such trauma, the paper suggests that much more is at stake: that crime and policing are key domains in which order, citizenship, race and the state are deliberated in the wake of liberation and liberalization. Above all, crime and policing are a sphere of melodrama in which state and nation construct each other—the state to assert its presence and authority upon a populace increasingly skeptical of its capacity to serve and protect.