Security in Post-Conflict Africa : The Role of Nonstate Policing book cover
1st Edition

Security in Post-Conflict Africa
The Role of Nonstate Policing

ISBN 9781138112292
Published June 13, 2017 by Routledge
215 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Policing is undergoing rapid change in Africa as a result of democratization, the commercialization of security, conflicts that disrupt policing services, and peace negotiations among former adversaries. These factors combined with the inability of Africa’s state police to provide adequate protection have resulted in the continuing popularity of various forms of nonstate policing. Based on six years of field work, Professor Bruce Baker presents his findings on eight African countries in Security in Post Conflict Africa: The Role of Nonstate Policing.

How well does nonstate policing work?

Professor Baker’s research, gathered through interviews, observations, and focus groups, examines the complex types of law enforcement and crime prevention systems that have developed during times of political and social instability. He explores the concept of nonstate policing, explains why it dominates African security provision, describes the services provided, measures the levels of local support, and discusses issues of accountability. He examines the potential hazards of working with nonstate police and suggests ways to enhance these systems and to establish partnerships with the state police for the benefit of the citizens.

Are collaborative efforts the key to security?

Challenging prevailing assumptions in academic and policy circles about nonstate policing, this groundbreaking work provides insight into the optimum security model, whereby success is determined by the quality and efficacy of the security received by the people, regardless of who delivers that service.

The author maintains a related website with supplemental information.

Table of Contents

Africa and the Post-Conflict Security Environment

Defining Terms

Conceptual Framework and Argument of the Book

The Post-Conflict Environment

Nonstate Policing Explained


Characterizing Nonstate Policing

The Reasons for Their Dominance

Changes in the Nonstate Security Sector Since 1990


Policing the City: Neighborhood and Customary Responses

The City Context

The Post-Conflict City

Crime in the City

Living with Crime in the City

Mob Justice

Anticrime Groups

Customary Groups


Policing the City: Community Police Forums and Local Government Responses


Community Police Forums

Local Government Security Structures


Policing the Village


The Rural Context


Customary Structures

Local Government Responses

Rural Community Policing

Restorative Justice Committees and Legal Aid NGOs

Anti-Cattle-Rustling Groups


Policing the Workplace


Market Traders’ Associations

Drivers’ Associations

Commercial Security Companies


Policing Women

Gendered Patterns of Crime

Domestic Violence

Sexual Abuse and Rape

Nonstate Police Responses to Gender Discrimination

Nonstate Police Responses to Domestic Violence

Nonstate Police Responses to Sexual Violence


Fitting Nonstate Policing Into Security Reform


State Building

Hybrid Governance

Multilayered Policing Governance

The Value of Nonstate Policing to SSR

The Implications of a Multilayered Policing Governance

The Unanswered Questions



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