Hybridization, Intervention and Authority: Security Beyond Conflict in Sierra Leone, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Hybridization, Intervention and Authority

Security Beyond Conflict in Sierra Leone, 1st Edition

By Peter Albrecht


224 pages

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Hardback: 9781138104778
pub: 2019-08-05
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This book explains how security is organized from the local to the national level in post-war Sierra Leone, and how external actors attempted to shape the field through security sector reform.

Security sector reform became an important and deeply political instrument to establish peace in Sierra Leone as war drew to an end in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Through historical and ethnographic perspectives, the book explores how practices of security sector reform have both shaped and been shaped by practices and discourses of security provision from the national to the local level in post-war Sierra Leone. It critiques how the notion of hybridity has been applied in peace and security studies and cultural studies, and thereby provides an innovative perspective on IR, and the study of interventions. The book is the first to take the debate on security in Sierra Leone beyond a focus on conflict and peacebuilding, to explore everyday policing and order-making in rural areas of the country. Based on fieldwork between 2005 and 2018, it includes 200+ interviews with key players in Sierra Leone from the National Security Coordinator and Inspector-General of Police in Freetown to traditional leaders and miners in Peyima, a small town on the border with Guinea.

This book will be of much interest to students of critical security, anthropology, African politics, policing, development studies, and International Relations.


'This sophisticated, perceptive and challenging account provides important insights into the hybrid nature of authority and order in Africa. Albrecht's first-hand research on local chiefs and police officers reminds us of what to expect when external resources are injected into state spaces. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the realities of security sector reform.'--Alice Hills, Durham University, UK

Table of Contents

1: Introduction

2: The Rise and Fall of Security Sector Reform in Development

3: Collapse, Chaos, and Resurrection

4: Hybridization and the Authority of Chiefs

5: The Interplay of Police Reform and Hybridization

6: The Chiefs of Community Policing

7: Secrets, Strangers, and Order-Making

8: Hybridization in a Case of Diamond Theft

9: Conclusion

About the Author

Peter Albrecht is a Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS). His main focus is on the role of local actors in order-making, specifically in Sierra Leone and Somalia, and national-level security sector reform. He has co-authored a number of books, including Reconstructing Security after Conflict: Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone (2011) and Securing Sierra Leone, 1997-2013: Defence, Diplomacy and Development in Action (2014) and co-edited Policing and the Politics of Order-Making (Routledge, 2015). He has published several articles in the Journal of Modern African Studies, the Journal of Contemporary African Studies, the African Studies Review, Ethnos, Cooperation and Conflict, and others.

About the Series

Routledge Private Security Studies

The series will publish books in the area of Private Security Studies, broadly defined. It invites research publications contributing to and advancing existing research agendas and is particularly eager to welcome research doing this through diverse theoretical and disciplinary perspectives, as well as interdisciplinary work.


Advisory Board:

Rita Abrahamsen, University of Ottawa

Deborah Avant, Denver University

Navita Behera, Univeristy of Delhi

Pinar Bilgin, Bilkent University

Christian Bueger, Cardiff University

Deborah Cowen, University of Toronto

Marieke de Goede, Free University, Amsterdam

Rebecca de Winter-Schmitt, American University/ Amnesty International

Mervin Frost, King's College London

Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, Roul Wallenberg Institute

Ben Goold, University of British Columbia

Monica Herz, PUC Rio de Janeiro

Aida Hozic, Florida University

Christopher Kinsey, King's College London

Keith Krause, Institut d'Hautes Etudes en Relations Internationales, Geneva

Mark Laffey, School of African and Oriental Studies

Ian Loader, Oxford University

Roxanne Lynn-Doty, University of Arizona

James Pattison, University of Manchester

Sarah Percy, University of Western Australia

Clifford Shearing, Griffith University

Christopher Spearin, Canadian Forces College

Maria Stern, Göteborgs Universitet

Nigel White, University of Nottingham

Klaus Dieter Wolf, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt

Kirstie Ball, University of St Andrews

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Africa / General
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General