Skip to main content
Police-Building and the Responsibility to Protect: Civil society, gender and human rights culture in Oceania
  • Charles Hawksley
  • Nichole Georgeou, Australian Catholic University
Forthcoming: This book examines how the United Nations and states provide assistance for the police services of developing states to help them meet their human rights obligations to their citizens, under the responsibility to protect (R2P) provisions. It examines police-capacity building ("police-building") by international donors in Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (PNG). All three states have been described as "fragile states" and "states of concern", and all have witnessed significant social tensions and violence in the past decades. The authors argue that globally police-building forms part of an attempt to make states "safe" so that they can adhere to norms of human rights with the framework of a developing democratic polity, allow the flow of capital for investment and profit taking, and be responsible members of the international community. Oceania as a region thus illuminates numerous issues in post-conflict state-building found in other parts of the world. The case studies explore international assistance in policing provided to the Global South and link these with police-building operations elsewhere in the world — particularly Africa (Democratic Republic of Congo since around 2000), the Caribbean (Haiti since 1999) and Europe (Kosovo since 1999) — so as to develop a typology of police-building. The aim is to contribute to the debate concerning the appropriateness of the aid given, and to determine if a relationship exists between R2P and police-building. The authors argue that a culture of human rights in the two of the three states (Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands) is being fostered, but that police-building does little if anything to spread knowledge of R2P. Rather, an improvement in the level of knowledge and respect for human rights is due to the activism of local and international NGOs who link through transnational civil society to advocate for improvements in police treatment of citizens, publicise police abuses and pressure politicians to take action.
  • Nichole Georgeou,
  • Charles Hawksley,
  • Routledge,
  • UN,
  • United Nations,
  • Oceania,
  • fragile states,
  • PNG,
  • R2P,
  • police-building,
  • gender,
  • human rights,
  • NGOs,
  • Timor-Leste,
  • Papua New Guinea,
  • Caribbean,
  • Haiti,
  • Solomon Islands,
  • Kosovo,
  • Republic of Congo,
  • Global South
Publication Date
Global Politics and the Responsibility to Protect
Citation Information
Charles Hawksley and Nichole Georgeou. Police-Building and the Responsibility to Protect: Civil society, gender and human rights culture in Oceania. London and New York(2014)
Available at: