IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

National Ownership and the United Nations Case of Civilian Police


  • Takahisa Kawakami

    (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)


National ownership is the basic principle in discussing issues related to developing countries. It is also a key to the promotion of peace-building in Afghanistan. In considering national ownership, it is important to distinguish the two elements behind the concept – legitimacy and capacity. These two elements are inter-linked and essential for the promotion of national ownership. The national police, being a core function of a state and the public face of the government, are considered a key to national ownership. The examination of the police will give us a useful insight into the question of national ownership. A comparison will be made between Afghanistan and Timor-Leste, which, despite differences in their situations, share many issues relating to developing a national police force. In Timor-Leste, executive police power is being transferred from the United Nations to the Timorese Police. The conditions for such transfer – institutional, operational and administrative readiness – are concerned both with the capacity and the legitimacy of the Timorese police. The case study in Timor-Leste will show the strong linkage between the two elements; the lack of capacity will undermine the legitimacy of the police and the government, while the police will not be able to sustain a credible service if not backed with legitimacy. The situation is more serious in Afghanistan, where the Afghan police service is suffering from a number of serious issues ranging from the shortage of resources and the lack of adequate training to wide spread corruption. The Afghan police’s lack of capacity undermines its legitimacy and public mistrust makes its operation more difficult. As the police is a key pillar of national ownership, to strengthen the Afghan national police contributes to the promotion of Afghan national ownership. In view of the deteriorating security situation, serious efforts should be made to strengthen the Afghan police service. At the same time, it is imperative to build up trust with local people by promoting institutional integrity and strengthening servicing activities. There is a need to take a balanced strategic approach linking capacity building to legitimacy. The reform process must be nationally owned. Policy priorities should be set by Afghans and international donors must respect them. The United Nations, with its distinctive strength - impartiality and broad support from the international community, and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, with its broad mandate and extensive network of field offices, could play a meaningful coordinating role in this area.

Suggested Citation

  • Takahisa Kawakami, 2009. "National Ownership and the United Nations Case of Civilian Police," GRIPS Discussion Papers 09-02, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:09-02

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jun Yang & Huanguang Qiu & Jikun Huang & Scott Rozelle, 2008. "Fighting global food price rises in the developing world: the response of China and its effect on domestic and world markets," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 453-464, November.
    2. Derek Headey & Shenggen Fan, 2008. "Anatomy of a crisis: the causes and consequences of surging food prices," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 375-391, November.
    3. Du, Xiaodong & Yu, Cindy L. & Hayes, Dermot J., 2011. "Speculation and volatility spillover in the crude oil and agricultural commodity markets: A Bayesian analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 497-503, May.
    4. Burniaux, Jean-Marc & Truong Truong, 2002. "GTAP-E: An Energy-Environmental Version of the GTAP Model," GTAP Technical Papers 923, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
    5. Hertel, Thomas, 1997. "Global Trade Analysis: Modeling and applications," GTAP Books, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, number 7685.
    6. Tanaka, Tetsuji & Hosoe, Nobuhiro, 2011. "Does agricultural trade liberalization increase risks of supply-side uncertainty?: Effects of productivity shocks and export restrictions on welfare and food supply in Japan," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 368-377, June.
    7. Brian D. Wright, 2011. "The Economics of Grain Price Volatility," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 32-58.
    8. Taheripour, Farzad & Dileep Birur & Thomas Hertel & Wally Tyner, 2007. "Introducing Liquid Biofuels into the GTAP Data Base," GTAP Research Memoranda 2534, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
    9. Mitchell, Donald, 2008. "A note on rising food prices," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4682, The World Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:09-02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.