DOI: 10.12924/johs2020.16020009 |Publication Date: 6 May 2020

Striving for the Impossible? Policing and Territoriality in the Age of the War on Terror

Stig Jarle Hansen
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Ås, Norway
Abstract: This article asks how variations of state territorial control have influenced police missions in the recent past, and illustrate how recent police reforms were based on the structure of a ‘western’ type state with clearly identifiable formal state institutions enjoying autonomy, that strive for a form of territorial monopoly over violence. The article argues for moving beyond such assumptions by adopting scenarios based on how territory is controlled, developing four scenarios that can enable foreign-backed police missions to adapt to local circumstances. The article draws upon the typology of territorial control developed by Hansen in 2017/2019, amending this model to be adapted for policing. It argues that each of these scenarios require different strategies and compromises in order to create functioning police forces.

Keywords: civil war; community policing; policing; post conflict; territoriality


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