Against the generally disappointing outcomes of international police reform in fragile settings, this article examines a New Zealand-supported community policing programme in post-conflict Bougainville. While the programme’s engagement with the regular police organization has struggled for traction, support provided to an innovative and socially embedded policing initiative has produced promising results. The reasons behind these divergent outcomes and their implications for international policing are explored in the context of Bougainville’s recent history, including the legacies of conflict and the new vision of hybrid policing in the post-conflict political settlement.
Effective peacebuilding in the aftermath of civil war usually requires the drastic reform of security institutions, a process frequently known as security sector reform. Nearly every major donor, as well as a growing number of international organizations, supports the reform of security organizations in countries emerging from conflict and suffering high levels of violence. But how are reform strategies implemented? This collection of case studies (Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Timor-Leste, Mozambique, Serbia, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, Jamaica) examines the strategies, methods, and practices of the policymakers and practitioners engaged in security sector reform, uncovering the profound conceptual and practical challenges encountered in transforming policy aspiration into practice.