Moving Beyond Hybridity: the Multi-Scalar Adaptation of Community Policing in Liberia


Article by Franzisca Zanker just published in Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 11(2), pp.166-18


Extensive fieldwork in Liberia revealed that security agents and civilians alike all talked of community policing, yet they had different visions, understandings and legitimizations of the idea in mind. These ranged from community meetings to vigilante groups, and were divergent in whether they were orientated towards a Weberian-state model or the community as a primary security provider. This variation was not simply an example of hybrid policing, but revealed a multi-scalar adaption process across and between international, national and local actors and (geographical) scales. Theories on hybridity are insufficient to analyse such implementation processes since the scholarship heuristically still favours binary and essentialized actors and ‘pure’ starting points or blueprints.