Rud, Søren. ‘Policing and Governance in Greenland. Rationalities of Police and Colonial Rule 1860-1953’. in Policing in Colonial Empires Cases, Connections, Boundaries (ca. 1850–1970), Peter Lang, 2017.
Fra indledning: The history of policing in colonial Greenland could be a very short one. An actual centrally-controlled police force was established only as late as 1951, when the colonial period was almost officially over (1953) and the new policy was to gradually integrate Greenland into the Danish realm. In light of the absence of an actual police force, I wish to raise issues concerning law and order in colonial Greenland: which techniques and practices were used to maintain order, and what can these practices tell us about the nature of the colonial project in Greenland? Policing practices are subsequently used as a lens rendering the rationality and techniques of the colonial project in Greenland visible. A short presentation of some currents within the historiography of colonial policing and postcolonial theory in general is useful to set the stage for the analysis. Colonial policing activities often intersected with military purposes and took varied shapes, depending on the period and context. Generally, however, essential to the colonial rule was the police officer – both in a symbolic and in a practical way. As Anderson and Killingray put it, the colonial police officer was “the most visible symbol of colonial rule”. Furthermore, in many cases the policeman was the sole representative of colonial authority in a vast territory.