The International Dimension of Postconflict Police Reform

Haass, Felix and Strasheim, Julia and Ansorg, Nadine (2016) The International Dimension of Postconflict Police Reform. In: Ansorg, Nadine and Kurtenbach, Sabine, eds. Institutional Reforms and Peacebuilding. Change, Path-Dependency and Societal Divisions in Post-War Communities. Studies in Conflict, Development, and Peacebuilding . Routledge, London and New York, pp. 163-190. ISBN 978-1-138-68230-6. E-ISBN 978-1-138-68230-6. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

Do international peace builders influence the successful implementation of police reform in the aftermath of violent conflict? From Afghanistan to El Salvador and the Democratic Republic of Congo, international donors direct enormous resources to postconflict countries in order to alter the structure and conduct of the police. These police reform programs often come with norm-oriented goals such as transforming the force into a politically accountable institution that serves the needs of local communities, and one that reflects the overall composition of the society. We argue that two characteristics of external peace builders are associated with the implementation of police reform following a war. These are, the volume of resources they bring, and the extensiveness of their mandate. We hypothesize that higher shares of development aid earmarked for security sector reform (SSR) should make police reform implementation more likely, since SSR aid brings the necessary financial resources, expertise, and equipment into a conflict-ridden country. At the same time, peace operations with stronger mandates are better able to curb the security stalemate between former belligerents, and can open up the political space to allow conflicting parties to implement police reform. We test these hypotheses in the implementation of two types of police reform: the first is the implementation of provisions on political control of the police force through strengthening accountability structures, and the second is the implementation of provisions that regulate the composition of police forces, such as the mode of representation of identity groups, including women, and former warring parties. Using new data on police reform implementation, results from logistic regression show that international SSR financing does indeed correlate with a higher likelihood of implementing political control reforms, while it does not have a significant effect on the implementation of reform on the composition of the police force. Additionally, peace operations are positively associated with a higher likelihood of implementation of political control aspects of police reform.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations > Conflict Analysis Research Centre
Depositing User: Nadine Ansorg
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2016 10:08 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2016 15:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/58452 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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