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Governance of Security in Weak and Failing States

NCJ Number
205161
Journal
Criminal Justice Volume: 3 Issue: 4 Dated: November 2003 Pages: 331-349
Author(s)
Benoit Dupont; Peter Grabosky; Clifford Shearing
Editor(s)
George Mair, Tim Newburn
Date Published
November 2003
Length
19 pages
Annotation
This article attempts to identify means of strengthening social control and conflict resolution in weak and failing states and presents a model for governing security in South Africa.
Abstract
Reconfiguring the governance of security in weak and failing states requires a dose of institutional creativity and audacity. Traditional models of governance, which are undergoing considerable transformations in strong states, and whose transplant has often been instrumental in the disintegration of fledgling states, should no longer remain the only available option for the provision of security. This article attempts to identify means of strengthening social control and conflict resolution in weak and failing states. It also attempts to identify institutional arrangements that might be transplanted to those settings where conventional state institutions of security may be in decline, or non-existent. The article begins with a discussion on the governance of public security in stronger states, and seeks institutional arrangements that might be transplanted. It suggests how new institutions might be invented in settings were conventional state institutions of security may be in decline or non-existent. By identifying new mechanisms for the governance of security, it may be possible to arrest the deterioration of states or at least provide for a modicum of internal security. The article concludes with a discussion of the Zwelethemba model that is being developed in South Africa with essential features that include: peacemaking, peacebuilding, partnerships, sustainability, management, regulation, and principles of the model. Models that rely on local knowledge and the mobilization of a broad range of resources have the potential to facilitate a de-escalation of violence and disorder, while at the same time allowing communities to stabilize and recover some of their lost strengths. Appendix and references