Date of Award

June 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Administration


Renee de Nevers


conflict, institutions, police, UN

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This dissertation examines the development of police forces during post-conflict reconstruction to determine what makes some police development interventions more successful than others. It addresses three questions: First, does goal incongruence between donors and host states have a negative impact on the outcome of police development? Second, does the structure of organizations, political power, and international agreements predetermine the outcome of police development? Third, does the agency of individuals have an effect on the outcome of police development? The dissertation aims to fill a gap in our understanding of how the international community develops policing institutions by examining the interaction of goals, structure, and agency.

While developing the police is important for the larger concerns of bringing stability in the aftermath of a conflict, the endeavor is futile if the police force is the only sector that develops. Development in areas such as governance, spoiler control, and the economy must coincide with police development, and cannot be assumed to be an inevitable product of establishing security. Also, flaws in certain structures, whether it be constitutional arrangement, international presence, or other unique factors, can have a larger impact on the development of the police than any tactical decisions that anyone can make. Finally, while structure forces agents in a direction, individuals can definitely harm the development of the police more than they can help it. Stated more simply, the power of individual actions to create positive change is less than the power of individual actions to create negative change.


Open Access