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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 162378 Find in a Library
Title: Towards Democratic Policing: Rethinking Strategies of Transformation (From Policing in Emerging Democracies Workshop: Prepared Papers and Participant Biographies, P 1-19, 1995 -- See NCJ-162376)
Author(s): C Shearing; J Wood
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of State
Washington, DC 20520
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper critiques conventional wisdom about the development of democratic policing in new democracies and proposes a new strategy for facilitating that transformation from an authoritarian police force to a democratically oriented force, with attention to the application of this strategy by the author in his work in South Africa.
Abstract: The conventional wisdom is that police in new democracies are to be transformed from the current authoritarian, partisan instruments of government into a modern police institution that is nonpartisan and democratically accountable. The author argues that this conventional wisdom is fundamentally flawed, not because it is wrong in how it views the police institutions in authoritarian countries, but because its view of policing and the institutions through which it is accomplished is too limited. The conventional wisdom promotes concepts and strategies that do not reflect the way in which Western policing is practiced. Western policing has moved from a centralized to a decentralized structure for policing that emphasizes citizen involvement in cooperating with the police to bring security to local communities. Within this arrangement, sovereignty shifts from the state to private entities, and democratic control shifts from the vote to the market. The implication of this trend in Western policing and governance must be reflected in the transformation of policing in new democracies. This paper describes how this view of policing and governance is being approached in South Africa. The strategy involves reshaping the police in ways required by the conventional wisdom through retraining and enhanced accountability, but it also engages the state in ways that will provide for a relocation of control over tax revenues in a manner that will provide blacks with purchasing power. It further establishes blacks as powerful customers with an ability to control their own security. This is to be done in a manner that will be accepted in the current political climate. 14 references
Main Term(s): Foreign police
Index Term(s): Community involvement; Community policing; Policing innovation; South Africa; Technical assistance plans
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