IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - Waiting for Tipping Points: police development in Africa
The transfer of western norms and practices to police forces in sub-Saharan Africa is a substantial part of a billion-dollar business, yet the results of most reform projects are localised, superficial and temporary. This suggests that police development is a valuable tool for exploring the meaning of causality in complex, non-linear and non-Western environments that are nevertheless subject to the globalised norms of security governance circulated by, for example, inter-governmental organisations such as the UN. Specifically, it allows us to engage with notions, such as tipping points, which reflect Western attempts to identify recognisable phenomena capable of facilitating development and progress. However, in practice the resilience of police forces makes tracing causality a problematic art, rather than a science, while challenging the notion that dramatic discontinuities can be transformative. This is notably so in the case of Somalia's three public police forces. Although Somalia's experience is extreme, its police share sufficient commonalities with police elsewhere to offer a baseline for developing a more balanced and realistic understanding of tipping points.
This lecture is free and open to all.
Details about Professor Alice Hills
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