Thomas Bierschenk is Professor of Anthropology and Modern African Studies at Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. In his research, he has focused on African public services and civil servants, the ethnography of public policies as well as of the local state in West Africa. He has published, together with Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan, States at Works. Dynamics of African Bureaucracies (Brill 2014). He has contributed to the Handbook of Global Policing (Sage 2016), as well as authored the chapter on Who are the police in Africa? (in Police in Africa. The Street Level View, ed. By J. Beek, M. Göpfert, O. Owen & J. Steinberg, Hurst, London 2017. He is currently preparing an interdisciplinary (anthropology, linguistics) research project on The construction of cultural differences in the encounter between German policemen and non-German-speaking clients.