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Title: Enduring challenges of statebuilding : British-led police reforms in Sierra Leone, 1945-1961 and 1998-2007
Author: Krogstad, Erlend Grøner
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 852X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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This study analyzes two British-led police reforms in Sierra Leone from 1945-1961 and 1998-2007, exploring how reinterpretations of sovereignty, security and statehood affected strategies of statebuilding over time. Tracing the effects of reform from the first to the second period, it focuses on three practical questions facing reformers: what kind of coercive capacity the police should be invested with (force); where they should be and for what purposes (territoriality); and in what relation they ought to stand with nonstate policing actors (legitimate authority). A key finding is that reinterpretations of security and sovereignty to center on internal threats and state-society relations served to channel more international attention and resources to police forces in weak states. From a relatively restricted field whose impulses came from policing experiences in other colonies and in Britain, recent post-conflict police reforms were informed by knowledge about economic growth, social mobility and global security. However, strategy was muddled when donors committed to conflicting agendas entered the fray. As a result, the latest reform was profoundly shaped by negotiations of the meaning of key concepts like ‘security’. The second part of the study draws on insights about reform to address debates on intervention and sovereignty. Against the image of Western-led interventions suspending local sovereignty, it is argued that the colonial legacy allowed the Sierra Leonean government to prolong and deepen the recent intervention. Contrary to the image of Sierra Leone’s international relations as exploitative and personalized, the study explores how policing became a field where new and legitimate links with the outside world were established after reform.
Supervisor: Hood, Christopher ; Anderson, David Sponsor: Research Council of Norway
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political science ; Governance in Africa ; International studies ; History of Africa ; Human security ; Statebuilding ; police ; Sierra Leone ; security ; sovereignty ; governance