Choosing the New Guard: A Model for Assessing Replacement Political Personnel in Transitional Regimes
Finan, James S., Last, David, Canadian Journal of Police and Security Services
A fundamental requirement for managed regime change is the identification of new leadership to fill public positions. Candidates need to be evaluated for suitability according to their attributes, but this is an inherently subjective process, and raises questions about whose interests are served by the selection. We describe an approach to assessing leadership candidates in a way that is rigorous, overt, and replicable. All of these conditions must be met if the process of replacement is to be managed in an expeditious and effective way. It is important to note at the outset that virtually all of the evaluations made will be based on subjective information. The role of subjectivity in this process is unavailable. Bias, which will always be present, is best dealt with by relying on a number of experts each of whom will be required to offer independent evaluations of candidates.
Any managed regime change requires new leadership to fill public positions of authority. Some of these authority figures will at first by military or civil servants of the international community or intervening powers, while others will be citizens of the conflict-affected country. By definition, however, the normal mechanisms for elite recruitment, selection and empowerment will not be functioning (Macridis, 1986). Therefore those who are charged with maintaining order and preparing the transition will have to find other ways to put the right person in each job.
This article will illustrate the use of multiple attribute models, specifically the Analytical Hierarchy Process (Saaty, 1984) to select political appointees for a transitional government. Political appointees might range from an interim president or chair of a transitional council to regional governors, mayors, or local police chiefs. There may be hundreds or even thousands of such appointments in a transitional administration, with a wide range of powers and responsibilities (Chesterman, 2001).
To illustrate how these models might help manage appointments in transitional administration, this article is presented in three parts. First an example of Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) is presented, illustrating the comparatively simple ranking process that can be used to break down complex subjective decisions. It is important to note that the attributes and sub-attributes used in the model are provided as examples only, and both the labels and the weightings can be readily changed. Indeed, adjusting the model to test different assumptions is an important technique for its use. The paper then goes on to explore the rationale underlying the utility of such models. It is argued that the models work because they help to make inherently subjective decisions rigorous, overt and replicable. Finally, this paper explores the context for the use of the tool and its relevance for governance, security, and policing in transitional regimes.
Within the context of this paper, governance is employed as a concept related to determining the direction a society will take. Security, in turn, is related to personal and communal safety. As such, it may be argued that the absence of physical security will preclude the transition to democracy and development, that are often the stated aims of intervention, which may be at the heart of a new "European way of war" (Everts et al, 2004). In addition, policing in transitional regimes is often about bridging the gap between a police force that controls or abuses citizens and one that serves them. The choice of individuals who will have care and control of this process is therefore absolutely crucial to its successful outcome (Paris, 2004).
Given the above, it is suggested that there is a need for models to choose civil and military candidates for leadership posts. Such models may be even more important when there is imperfect knowledge of local candidates. Clearly, with or without a model, these decisions must be made. Without the analytical discipline of applying a model like AHP, choices, and the reasoning behind them, may be unarticulated, obscured by organizational politics, and erratic. These are characteristics that are unlikely to inspire the confidence of local and international organizations, which must depend on having the right people in key posts of public authority.
MULTIPLE ATTRIBUTE MODELS
Multiple attribute models offer a potential solution to the problem of leadership selection in a transitional regime. In this paper, the specific technique presented is the AHP. This technique meets the criteria of analytic effectiveness set out above, by converting subjective judgements into a framework that can be rigorous, explicit, and replicable. In addition, the AHP offers a "tree" view of the problem (see Figure 1). Figure 1 below offers a schematic view of the model used in this analysis.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
Examination of Figure 1 illustrates that Level 1 indicates the purpose of the model is to select replacement personnel. At level 2, the macro attributes to be used in the modelling process are set out. The factor "personal" includes those attributes below the major node. These sub-attributes are intelligence, psychological stability, loyalty to regime and personal courage. Similarly, under the major node "social" is a set of socially important sub-attributes. The sub-attribute "elite" captures the degree to which an individual is a member of a socially important national group. "Culture" refers to an individual's cultural effectiveness--that is, the degree to which the individual can blend in with and make use of cultural characteristics. "Group" addresses an individual's engagement with important social groups of various types within a …
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Publication information: Article title: Choosing the New Guard: A Model for Assessing Replacement Political Personnel in Transitional Regimes. Contributors: Finan, James S. - Author, Last, David - Author. Journal title: Canadian Journal of Police and Security Services. Volume: 3. Issue: 4 Publication date: December 2005. Page number: 198+. © 2006 Meritus Solutions, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
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