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Title: Moving towards an evidence-base of democratic police training : the development and evaluation of a complex social intervention in the Israeli Border Police
Author: Litmanovitz, Yael D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 3376
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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The centrality of the police in everyday life means police officers are in position of power to actively support or threaten democratic activities (Sklansky, 2008) for example during protests. In democracies, policing duties should be performed in ways that sustain democratic values, rather than undermine them (Loader, 2006), yet that is not always the reality. Police training is one of the tools for aligning officers' behaviour with societal norms; it is considered a protection against the possibility that police officers abuse the wide-ranging powers they hold (Manning, 2010). Training programs are therefore a basic feature of all police forces' organizational approach. Despite its centrality, training has not received extensive academic attention; there is a pressing need to understand the impact of training on police behaviour and the mechanisms thorough which it operates (Skogan & Frydl, 2004). This thesis attempts to advance the evidence-base of democratic police training following the Medical Research Council's framework for the development and evaluation of complex social interventions (Craig et al., 2008). The Israeli Border Police was chosen as the context to examine the potential of training to advance democratic norms. The three stages of the research project included: theoretical modelling of the existing complex training intervention to assess its alignment with existing evidence; participatory development and piloting of a training curriculum on policing of protests in a democracy that used an Adult Education approach and introduced Procedural Justice-related components; and a pilot quasi-randomised study to evaluate this training. Analysis and reporting are carried out in a way that allows assessment of prospective scale-up and generalisability. Flowing from the empirical work, four strands of theoretical contributions are put forward. First, a theoretical model of police training is proposed, drawing on social psychology constructs. Second, contact theory, which originates in peace education, is proposed as a possible platform for designing both police training and their evaluation studies. Third, four factors limiting the efficacy of Procedural Justice & Legitimacy based training interventions in deeply divided societies are outlined. Fourth, the Border Police case study is used to substantiate the value of participatory research methods for advancing knowledge translation and evidence-based policing.
Supervisor: Montgomery, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Police training--Israel ; Law enforcement--Israel ; Protest movements--Israel ; Democracy--Israel