1st Edition

Security in Post-Conflict Africa The Role of Nonstate Policing

By Bruce Baker Copyright 2009
    215 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    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.

    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




    Bruce Baker