The multi-layered reality of safety, security and justice provision

In fragile and conflict-affected contexts, a range of actors provide safety, security and justice. They act at different levels, many are associated with each other, and they have varying degrees of autonomy from the state. Consequently, the systems and structures by which safety, security, and justice are provided are multi-layered and highly complex (Baker & Scheye, 2007). SU (2014, p. 13) distinguishes between three layers of provision:

  • State: Core state agencies such as the national police, military and border guards.
  • Local: Local providers and networks with constitutional and legal authority to provide safety, security and justice.
  • Non-state: Actors who have no legal authority to provide safety, security and justice but do so nevertheless.
  • Baker. B., & Scheye, E. (2007). Multi-layered justice and security delivery in post-conflict and fragile states. Conflict, Security & Development, 7(4), 503-528.
    See document online
  • SU. (2014). Policing the context: Principles and guidance to inform international policing assistance. London: Stabilisation Unit. See document online.
  • Concepts of ‘state’ and ‘non-state’ are contentious and the lines between different layers of provision are blurred. Section 3.2 on legal pluralism discusses this further. See Albrecht and Kyed (2011) for a discussion of terminology and definitions.