Perspectives on Involving Non-State and Customary Actors in Justice and Security Reform
Most people in the world do not take it for granted that state institutions such as the police and courts can or will provide justice and security for them. Written by practitioners and academics, the contributions to this volume suggest that international development programming should focus on „what works‟ and what is seen as legitimate justice and security, rather than on „what ought to be‟, based on Western normative frameworks. This means engaging with the variety of justice and security actors that already exist and are used by local citizens, rather than trying to create entirely new providers or solely supporting those that play a limited role at the local level. It also means accepting that while wholesale change is not possible, gradual improvement of the scope and quality of justice and security provision is. In the majority of contexts this further implies a move away from a state-centric approach that focuses predominantly on formal state institutions. The crux of the matter is that non-state actors, such as customary leaders, are the primary providers of justice and security in the Global South and deal with an estimated 80 to 90 percent of disputes.