Challenges of governance and accountability for transnational private policing

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Johnston, L
Stenning, PC
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Frédéric Lemieux
Date
2013
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Abstract

The authors identify the increasing diversity of policing provisions and the new "policing family," which includes diverse public (state-sponsored) policing providers as well as a number of private and civil-society providers. Collectively, these providers have posed major challenges for effective and coherent regimes of management and public accountability. The authors analyze these developments at the international level, explore the challenges for effective management and accountability, and consider some of the options for addressing these challenges. The analysis focuses on the "peace and stability operations" sector which encompasses many of the problems that arise in transnational commercial security (TCS) as a whole. Accountability is particularly elusive when it involves interactions and cooperation among TCS organizations, states, and non-state bodies. Drawing on this analysis, the chapter considers the "tangled web" of management and accountability sources regarding TCS operations. Challenges include the widespread lack of transparency in financial relations among contractors and companies, the obscure transnational subcontracting arrangements, and the ambiguous legal status of those working in TCS companies. In addressing these issues of management and accountability, the authors find promise in Cockayne's (2008) writings regarding the private military sector. Cockayne suggests that the focus should be on the creation of hybrid or multiplex forms of regulation that combine state, market, and normative regulatory power. Such mechanisms for accountability will involve state-based legislation and judicial action, as well as transnational political mobilization for norm-setting and interaction with the security industry in fostering changes in values, policies, and practices. Under such multiplex regimes, the governance role would include state bodies, processional associations, industry associations, accreditation bodies, labor unions, and businesses and financial institutions that fund and serve the needs of transnational security enterprises.

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International police cooperation : emerging issues, theory and practice
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Private policing and security services
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