Policing Africa: Internal Security and the Limits of Liberalization

By Alice Hills | Go to book overview

8
Conclusion:
Modalities of Policing Africa

Whether favorable to democratization or not, significant political changes undeniably occurred in African states after 1990, with most of the resulting regime transitions happening in the first four years of the decade. With the exception of Liberia and the Sudan, where there were no transitional movements, a number of political innovations occurred, and restrictions were often lifted even when there was no real reform or increased popular participation.

Whether the nature of power was also transformed is more controversial, for the democratization movement may yet prove to represent more of a developmental phase than a turning point. 1 Both change and continuity are evident, but political continuity will probably prove to be the dominant feature in the short term because coercion and compliance remain more important than acceptance and persuasion. Amnesty International's annual reports still refer to the (often systematic) use of torture, intimidation, and harassment by police acting on behalf of the regimes managing such developments.

That the police remain an important coercive resource, no matter how tainted their status, is evident from the cynicism with which they are generally regarded. Coercion is invariably directed at the population rather than at what most people regard as criminal behavior. The Mozambican interior minister's response to a provincial governor's complaints of police harassment was “Police are police. I have never seen police who acted like saints. ” 2 And regimes' use of their police in the late 1990s tends to be almost as heavy-handed as it was in earlier years.

Kenyan politics, for example, have been dominated since independence in 1963 by the Kenyan African National Union (KANU). President Daniel Arap Moi finally agreed in late 1991 to end Kenya's official oneparty state. His decision came shortly after Kenya's main donors applied

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Policing Africa: Internal Security and the Limits of Liberalization
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures vii
  • Preface ix
  • Notes xi
  • 1 - Toward a Critique of Policing and National Development in Sub-Saharan Africa Since 1990 1
  • Notes 21
  • 2 - Policing the Postcolonial State 27
  • Notes *
  • 3 - The Police and Politics 55
  • Notes 84
  • 4 - Models of African Policing: Evolution and Conversion 89
  • Notes 111
  • 5 - Models of African Policing:Construction and Integration 115
  • Notes *
  • 6 - Models of African Policing:Transition 139
  • Notes *
  • 7 - Models of African Policing:Adaptation 161
  • Notes *
  • 8 - Conclusion:Modalities of Policing Africa 185
  • Notes *
  • Acronyms 193
  • Bibliography 195
  • Index 207
  • About the Book 213
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