AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

Global Security Scapes: Community Policing Comes to Bolivia. Community Policing and Neighbourhood Organization in the Interface between Global Security Scapes and Local Claims to Sovereignty

by Line Jespersgaard Jakobsen

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Community Policing; Bolivia; Global Security Scape; Sovereignty; Citizen Security
Record ID: 1120287
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/22968


This thesis investigates how Community Policing (CP), as a global model of modern policing, is implemented in the urban periphery of La Paz in Bolivia. It identifies the yet not theorized concept, the global security scape, and addresses the changes in contemporary security provision such as the fragmentation and pluralisation of law enforcement. CP is understood as a technique of power that has become a global blueprint for action in contemporary security governance. In looking at how the policing model is transferred from the United Kingdom to Bolivia, based on British funding and expertise, the thesis argues that the top-down ‘best-practices’-approach utilized, building on global schemes of contemporary governmentality and responsibilization, has proved difficult to implement for the Bolivian Police. Despite good intentions and great expertise, the British collaboration has not safeguarded an effective, democratic and responsive communitarian sovereign police force, as it was intended. The policing philosophy builds on the inclusion of the community as an active role player in the provision of security that is to govern itself along a ‘culture of security’. As uncertainty towards the state and the police, among other factors, complicates a trustful relationship between the police and the public, a ‘parallel active community’ is established, the thesis concludes. Taking the space for action provided by the responsibilization mechanisms of the CP, the communities attempt to manage insecurity on their own in the grey zone between law and illegality. In this sense new claims to sovereignty are triggered. The thesis suggests that statehood and sovereignty should be understood as practices that are constantly (re)produced, negotiated, and contested by various formal and informal actors at all levels. Meaning that the boundaries of the state have become productive grey zones, in which the power of the state is both contested but also re-constituted on a perpetual basis.