Building peace abroad and coming back home: experiences of Swedish police officers
2017 (English)In: Policing & society, ISSN 1043-9463, E-ISSN 1477-2728Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Ever since the Swedish Police Authority established a unit for Peace Support Operations in 2000, approximately 70–110 Swedish police officers have participated in peacebuilding missions around the globe on an annual basis. This signifies that a substantial number of Swedish police officers have gained practical experience of assisting post-conflict states to rebuild their societies, reform their security sectors and establish a police force that acts in accordance with the principles of democratic policing. However, to date, there is no research that has set out to investigate these police officers’ experiences; not only of building peace abroad within the framework of democratic policing, but also of coming back home to reengage in Swedish police work. In this paper we begin to address this research gap. We do so through a number of qualitative interviews with Swedish police officers who have recent experiences of participating in peacebuilding missions in Liberia, Kosovo and Haiti. The findings show that despite certain obstacles, the police officers find ways to conduct police work in a manner that they believe supports the advancement of a democratic police force, and that their overall sentiment of building peace abroad is positive. However, their experiences of returning home to reengage in Swedish police work are less satisfactory. Officers express frustration that new insights and new knowledge gained abroad do not seem to be valued by the Swedish Police Authority. This is a finding that aligns with results from previous studies on Canadian and Australian police officers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject Peace and Conflict Research
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131847DOI: 10.1080/10439463.2016.1276181OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-131847DiVA: diva2:1076530