Security Challenges
Volume 10, No.2 (2014)

Police Development in Papua New Guinea - The Need for Innovation

Since the late 1980s, a succession of Australian-funded programs has sought to strengthen the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC). The results of these efforts have, to say the least, been extremely modest. This article critically examines the underlying approach to donor assistance to the RPNGC, arguing, among other things, that it has failed to engage with the realities of normative and regulatory pluralism in Papua New Guinea’s famously diverse social landscape. More fulsome acknowledgement of these plural realities, and the adoption of more innovative approaches to internal security provision that can harness and better align the strengths of different providers is likely to yield better results than a continuing reliance on state police alone.

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