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The Afghan local police – closing the security gap?

Vincent, Sam, Weigand, Florian and Hakimi, Hameed (2015) The Afghan local police – closing the security gap? Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 4 (1). pp. 1-26. ISSN 2165-2627

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Identification Number: 10.5334/sta.gg

Abstract

The Afghan Local Police (ALP) was designed as an international counterinsurgency programme that works by raising small, village-level defence forces from within rural Afghan communities. Despite being driven by counterinsurgency objectives – that is, seeking to defeat insurgents - its emphasis upon harnessing local populations reflects broader fashions in development and security policy circles. Such policies, in turn, are commonly seen as emerging from a body of theoretical literature that is rethinking the nature of political order in conflict-torn spaces. At face value the range of well-documented controversies surrounding the ALP suggests, however, that the practice is much more ‘messy’. Using the case study of the ALP in the district of Andar, we make two main arguments. First, the mess and ambiguity surrounding the ALP reveal a gap between objectives and practices, suggesting that interventions that work by seeking to harness the ‘local’ introduce problems that have yet to be fully recognised. Second, however, in explaining the ‘mess’ of the ALP we argue that the theoretically-driven work that is commonly taken to justify ‘bottom-up’ interventions, if taken seriously, is well-suited to understanding and even anticipating the supposedly unexpected consequences of intervenors seeking to tap local dynamics.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.stabilityjournal.org/
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors © CC-BY 3.0
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > International Development
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2015 11:07
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2019 02:43
Projects: ES/J500070/1, 269441
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, European Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/63489

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