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Agents of urban (in)security: contextualising the banning of political vigilantism in Ghana
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Division of Strategy.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7675-2557
2021 (English)In: Journal of the British Academy, ISSN 2052-7217, Vol. 9, no s11, p. 19-39Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 2019, a new law banning vigilantism was adopted in the West African nation of Ghana. The law followed years of debate and violent incidents related to the presence of informally mobilised so-called ‘political vigilantes’, charged with providing security during political events. At first glance, the ridding of such state-competing elements through legal measures appears unproblematic and in line with democratic values. However, as this article argues, by drawing on the case study of Ghana and the pre-2020 election phase, such legal actions against non-state actors can be problematic and, in the worst case, constitute a threat to security and stability if public trust in authorities and formal state security providers is not sufficiently solid. Grounded in a broader discussion on security in fragile contexts and urban centres on the African continent, this article analyses the consequences of banning vigilantism where formal security provision is weak or not fully trusted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. Vol. 9, no s11, p. 19-39
Keywords [en]
Political vigilantism, foot soldiers, Ghana, election-related violence
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-10532DOI: 10.5871/jba/009s11.019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-10532DiVA, id: diva2:1619477
Available from: 2021-12-13 Created: 2021-12-13 Last updated: 2022-02-11Bibliographically approved

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Bjarnesen, Mariam

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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  • ieee
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf