Brynjar Lia

A Police Force without a State

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This book traces the evolution of the Palestinian police and security forces, beginning with its historical antecedents in Lebanon and the occupied territories, and the formation of formal police organizations after the Oslo Accords until the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000. The history of the Palestinian Police revolves around the fundamental question of how a national police force can be created and operated without the framework of an independent state. Apart from offering a far more detailed and accurate account of the Palestinian Police history than previous works, the study also provides unique insight into the problems and dilemmas of policing by non-state actors in war torn societies. The study traces the establishment and expansion of the Palestinian police and security forces with a focus on PLO efforts at recruiting, training and expanding the force, its political context, institutional development, and dilemmas of 'non-state' policing in the context of the political-military conflict with Israel. Based on a host of new unpublished sources, spanning from Palestinian Authority documents, internal Palestinian Police publications, a unique access to the archives of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry (which chaired the most important police coordination committees), and a very thorough review of thousands of Arab, Israeli and international press, the present study gives a unique insight into a hitherto uncharted territory in contemporary Palestinian and Middle Eastern history. This book will also be of invaluable interest to students, researchers and practitioners in the field of security sector reform and international police assistance.
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762 printed pages
Original publication
1999

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