A defined understanding of influence and practice in international policing missions in states of transition

  • Jonathan Kearney

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Capacity building is by no means a recent concept, but latterly the term seems to have taken on a ubiquitous quality, being applied to all sectors at all levels - from voluntary through business to the state and from the local to the global. It is in this latter sphere that this thesis examines the capacity building experiences touching upon policing in three post-Yugoslav states subsequent to their experiences of internal and regional conflict. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia each had unique conflict experiences and each experienced specific policing solutions sponsored and delivered by the international community. In exploring the experiences and examining the delivery and impact of the international policing effort, the thesis proposes that the Balkan experience reflects a continuum of police activity as a surface phenomenon, whilst beneath there exists a variety of structural, organisational and practical challenges. The continuum encompasses a range of activities between passive support and active substitution that sought to form (Kosovo), transform (Bosnia) and reform (Macedonia) policing in the democratic image. The challenges derive from the wider considerations of a globalising world, where actors seek to manage risk and strategic self-interest in an atmosphere that
reflects a diverse policing mix and a contested operational theatre. The result is a challenging stage on which the actors relate to one another through a ternion of purpose, means and environment, highlighting the importance of mandates and their interpretation, the selection of personnel and their ability to interact locally, all within the pressures generated by politics and post-conflict dynamics.
Date of AwardDec 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorGraham Ellison (Supervisor) & Marny Requa (Supervisor)

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