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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellow's Seminar - Same as it ever was? Causality and Africa's police

13th October 2014, 13:00 to 14:00, IAS Seminar Room, Palace Green, Professor Alice Hills (Durham University)


This seminar uses a policy-relevant problem — the failure of international attempts to reform Africa's police — to consider the nature of change and tipping points in non-Western societies. The West spends billions of dollars on projects intended to change the behaviour of Africa's predatory police, yet the results are at best localised, superficial and temporary. Does this mean that the West's understanding of causality and change is unrealistic? That its identification of potential irregularities or tipping points is inaccurate? Is there something special about police that makes them particularly resilient? I suspect that international explanations of causality in security governance are limited by their advocates' understanding emergence and change in technical and/or normative terms aligned to liberal goals and experience, rather than as entrepreneurial opportunities reliant on negotiation, informal relationships and opaque decision-making. 

Fellows' seminars take place on Monday lunchtimes in the seminar room at Cosin's Hall.

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues interested in attending a seminar should contact the Institute in advance to reserve a place.

The aim of these seminars is to develop new thinking on the big issues that are of current concern/interest for the Fellows . Each Fellow is asked to present a core idea that informs their current work, or a problem that they are tackling, that could benefit from cross-disciplinary thinking. These seminars are informal and designed to encourage discussion.

Contact for more information about this event.