Pitfalls of Police Reform in Costa Rica: Insights into Security Sector Reform in Non-Military Countries
Politics, Philosophy, and Legal Studies
Against the background of increasing illegal immigration and organised crime in Central and Latin America, this article analyses the Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Costa Rica, with particular emphasis on police reform. Costa Rica is a very unique country, as it is the first one in the world to abolish its national army. The abolition of the military led to an overstretched police organisation, which is responsible for both law enforcement and external security. Therefore, Costa Rica provides a fascinating case study for exploring SSR in non-military countries, an understudied topic in the literature. Drawing on archival research and 26 elite interviews conducted in Costa Rica, this article examines the organisational, cultural, and material problems with regards to police reform in Costa Rica. It concludes by a discussion of the implications on SSR in other non-military countries in the world and the effectiveness of the Costa Rican SSR.
Dursun-Özkanca, O. (2017). Pitfalls of police reform in Costa Rica: Insights into security sector reform in non-military countries. Peacebuilding, 5(3), 320-338. doi:10.1080/21647259.2017.1293350