|dc.description.abstract||In the aftermath of armed conflict the (re) establishment of well-functioning and legitimate security institutions is touted as fundamental for the development of sustainable peace. Post-conflict police reform, often carried out with considerable involvement from external donor organisations, has become one of the most frequently implemented mechanisms of peacebuilding. Unfortunately, the track record of post-conflict police reform is, so far, mixed at best. Scholars (see, Donais, 2008; Gordon, 2015) argue that donors too often fail to engage local actors during the reform process and ‘impose’ reforms that are neither wanted by the host state and its society, nor befitting of the context. As a result, reform processes fail due to a lack of what is referred to as ‘local ownership’. The overall aim of this study is to provide new empirical and theoretical insights into the effects of local ownership on post-conflict peacebuilding. The overarching research question this study aims to address is: How does the local ownership of post-conflict police reform impact post-conflict peace?
To answer this question, this study takes a mixed methods approach. The first part of the analysis is statistical, and considers the effects of local ownership on police reform in every post-conflict country globally, from 1989-2014. It includes new global data on police reform, external involvement and four types of local ownership based on the engagement of local actors – the executive, parliament, the police and civil society – in post-conflict police reform. New global data on community policing and female representation programs is also presented. The second part of the analysis is qualitative, and was completed through fieldwork in Kosovo, where 23 people were interviewed in relation to local ownership and its effects on the post-conflict police reform process there. The participants were from external donor organisations, Kosovo Police and government personnel, and members of civil society.
The findings of the quantitative study suggest that local ownership plays a vital role in the promotion of post-conflict peace. The strongest association to post-conflict peace pertains to executive ownership, while police and civil society ownership are also demonstrated to have a positive relationship to post conflict peace. The findings from the qualitative study support the quantitative analysis and show that local ownership was significant for the success of Kosovo’s police reform program and for its overall stability, highlighting the importance of executive and civil society ownership in particular. The results also showcase the importance of time, and that local ownership can be separated into ownership of the reform process, and ownership of the reformed institutions. The fieldwork also suggests three factors that have hindered the development of local ownership: corruption, justice and impunity issues, and socio-economic development.
This is the first study to examine the effects of local ownership on any type of post-conflict peacebuilding using large-N global data. It contributes to existing research most notably in relation to the presentation of new global data on post-conflict police reform and local ownership. This study also reconceptualises the term local ownership and focuses on one aspect of it: the engagement between local and external actors. It also distinguishes between the breadth and the depth of engagement, and concerns itself with only the breadth of local actor engagement in reform processes. Through deepening our understanding of local ownership, the findings of this research shed light on how to improve the implementation of post-conflict police reform processes so that they are better able to meaningfully improve peace in post-conflict societies.||