Hybrid security governance in Africa

This  article  asks  whether  the  concept  of  ‘hybridity’  offers  a  more convincing account of security governance in Africa than the standard state-focused  models.  It  seeks  to  clarify  the  complex  intersections between formal and informal, state and non-state security actors, and the varied terrains on which hybridity is constructed, instrumentalised and  recalibrated  over  time.  Rather  than  romanticising  informal  or‘traditional’ institutions, it suggests that they too embed their own power  hierarchies,  become  sites  of  contestation,  and  do  not  work equally  well  for everyone,  least  of  all  for  the  weak,  vulnerable and excluded.  Thus  the  focus  is  placed  upon  the  real  governance  of security in hybrid systems, and the patterns of inclusion and exclusion (including gender biases) they reinforce. Finally the paper considers how policy-makers  and  shapers  can  work  with  the  grain  of  hybrid security arrangements to create more legitimate, broadly-based and effective African security governance.

N.B: This paper was first published in ConfliCt, SeCurity & Development, 2016, vol. 16, no. 1, 1–32

Hybrid security governance in Africa