Princeton University Library Catalog

Traditional Security and Security Reform The Challenges of Constructing Hybrid Political Orders

McCloy, Mitchell [Browse]
Senior thesis
Nash, William [Browse]
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
Class year:
97 pages
Summary note:
Traditional security presents a complex challenge to security sector reform (SSR). In countries where the state has limited capacity, it would seem that incorporating trusted systems of policing led by chiefs and tribal elders into the state security sector could benefit the security sector overall. This thesis explores the challenges that international donors have faced in linking traditional policing practices to the state security sector and in creating hybrid political orders. Through three case studies of police reform programs in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, I assess how donors and host governments have addressed traditional security and whether they have been able to successfully integrate traditional forms of policing into the state security apparatus. I test the hypothesis that when donors focus primarily on immediate, nation-specific goals, security reform fails to sustainably link traditional forms of security to the state. I conclude that three shortcomings limited these police reform projects, all stemming from the donor’s attention to short-term, nation-specific goals. These include a shallow understanding of traditional security in the host country, a lack of comprehensive oversight over traditional security providers, and the failure to define the long-term role that traditional security should play in the state’s security sector.