Private policing in the former Yugoslavia : a menace to society?Ronald van Steden
, Rick Sarre
, 2010, review article
This paper aims to give an empirical overview of the ‘privatization’ of security (or, in a more narrow sense, policing) services within the former countries of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia namely, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro. Observations are put in light of the extant literature on private policing worldwide.
The paper draws on a literature review of academic publications, NGO-reports and other relevant written sources.
Although it is not possible to offer a full picture of the current developments in the region, we argue that the rise of private security markets shows significant variety throughout former Yugoslavian countries, as does the level of state regulation. Moreover, contrary to the views of doomsayers critical of the provision of commercial security, academics and observers alike are optimistic about private security personnel becoming a legitimate and stabilizing presence in post-conflict zones such as the Balkans.
The persistence of divergence in private policing trajectories within the former Yugoslavia underscores the need for more detailed cross-national studies that take account of differences, as well as similarities, in how commercial security industries are governed and regulated by state institutions.
Public as well as private policy-makers in the field of security serve as appropriate anchor points to facilitate, direct and regulate private policing activities across the former Yugoslav republics.
The growing body of knowledge on private policing is heavily suffused by predominantly North American, Canadian, British and Australian studies. Nonetheless, research from countries outside the English speaking world has much to contribute to an understanding of private security industries. An examination of the Balkan countries that emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia is particularly interesting when viewed as a post-conflict legacy.
Keywords: policing, private security, ex-Yugoslavia, cross-national comparison
Published in DKUM: 12.05.2020; Views: 554; Downloads: 29
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