Forgoing primacy: Damaging democratic policing in the West Bank

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Abstract

Since the Oslo Accords were signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in September 1993, the international community has supported civil policing programmes. It has done so as part of its development commitments to Palestinian state-building. Such programmes were, until the outbreak of the second Intifada in 2000, largely regarded as successful in terms of supporting the establishment of a Palestinian civil police (PCP). Such programmes were essentially Western imported models which loosely mixed community and public order policing approaches. With re-engagement in the Palestinian security sector (PSS) in the West Bank in 2007, the international community has once again sought to play a major role in PSS reform. This role includes supporting rehabilitation and retraining of the PCP as a principal institution of state-building. Such activities alongside the so-called transformation efforts within the wider realm of the PSS have re-established as their goal law and order. Within the transformation agenda, there are inherent demands with respect to Israel and the Palestinian National Authority's security and counterterrorism agendas. This analysis examines these activities, and accompanying political intent to contend that such approaches are undermining principles of democratic policing including civil police primacy (CPP). CPP reinforces police universality and means supporting rule of law by putting security under governmental control with proper mechanisms of accountability. This article argues that support to the security sector in the West Bank has increasingly only paid lip service or sought to subvert normative approaches to democratic policing.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalPolicing and Society
Early online date09 Jun 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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