Building on sand? Australian police involvement in international police capacity building

Vandra Harris

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper considers the experiences of Australian police personnel deployed within international missions to Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. The role of Australian police in each of these diverse missions has included both in-line policing and capacity building of local police, with a view to strengthening national police services and ensuring their sustainability. The paper examines Australian police officers' understanding of capacity building and their attitudes towards local counterparts, and how this feeds into the ability of the missions to build up police forces in those countries. Through this investigation the paper considers how the Australian police on these missions contribute to development, transitional justice and regional stability, concluding that Australian police have a good grasp of the concept of capacity building either do not have a necessarily positive view of their counterparts' capacity or see themselves in the context of a broader system. This provides lessons for both Australian police and other nations involved in international capacity building operations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)79-98
    Number of pages20
    JournalPolicing and Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


    • Asia-Pacific
    • Capacity building
    • International policing
    • Peace keeping


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