Divon: Police Reform and Power in Post Conflict Societies

Police Reform and Power in Post Conflict Societies: A Conceptual Map for Analysis

Abstract: Post-conflict reconstruction and police reform are located in the security-development nexus where global and state power moves towards individuals. In recent years, there has been an increased investment by the EU and the UN to contribute to police reform in post conflict societies. This article offers a conceptual map for the analysis of power across contexts through police reform interventions in post conflict societies. It draws on various theories of power to explain the conceptual-contextual gap. This map facilitates the observation of the police as a technology of power and as a projector of power in post conflict societies. ‘Unintended-empowerment’ through power projection is introduced to explain how police as an organisation and policing as a practice are often undermined. The article concludes with an outline to assist the analysis of the conceptual-contextual gap in police reform interventions and outcomes in post conflict societies through power optics.

Keywords: Power, Police Reform, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Community Oriented Policing, Development Assistance

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Published 4. August 2016 - 13:49 - Updated 23. May 2017 - 19:12