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Police Building in Timor-Leste – Mission Impossible?


  • Jim Della-Giacoma

    (Crisis Group, Jakarta, Indonesia)


In the quest to find a success story of international police building, eyes often turn towards Timor-Leste. What we find there is neither a story of success nor failure for either the Timorese or the UN contingents sent there over the last decade. The tale of police building in Timor-Leste is one of quick fixes, short cuts, and lessons apparently not yet learned leading to modest results. The UN’s initial state building efforts did leave behind a police service, but it was a weak one. This experience shows the limits of the UN as an institution for police development. This work was supported in part by Global COE Program "The Transferability of East Asian Development Strategies and State Building", Mext, Japan.

Suggested Citation

  • Jim Della-Giacoma, 2010. "Police Building in Timor-Leste – Mission Impossible?," GRIPS Discussion Papers 10-04, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:10-04

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