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Beyond the state police in urban Uganda and Sierra Leone


  • Bruce Baker


If the use of violence or the threat of it within society is such a distinguishing mark of sovereignty, then evaluating policing in African states becomes a ready method of evaluating the degree of state sovereignty. Faced with the inability of the state police to provide full security in the urban areas of Uganda and Sierra Leone, there has been a diversification of policing agencies. This paper will explore the range of options available beyond the state police. It examines who is authorising and delivering this multi-choice policing; how effective and accountable the different authorisers/providers of policing are; and what contrasts are there between Uganda and Sierra Leone and why? It finds that on the basis of the state ability to provide law and order and crime control within its territorial boundaries, sovereignty is certainly weak if not fragmented in the two countries. However, for historical reasons the two emerging patterns of sovereignty are not identical.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce Baker, 2006. "Beyond the state police in urban Uganda and Sierra Leone," Africa Spectrum, Institute of African Affairs, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 41(1), pages 55-76.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:afjour:v:41:y:2006:i:1:p:55-76

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Mehler, 2009. "The Production of Insecurity by African Security Forces: Insights from Liberia and the Central African Republic," GIGA Working Paper Series 114, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.

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