The space between: negotiating the contours of nodal security governance through 'Safer Communities' in Bosnia-Herzegovina

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    In this article, I analyse three months of ethnographic field work conducted with the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) ‘Safer Communities’ project in Bosnia–Herzegovina (BiH) in 2011 using an analytical framework grounded in Lendvai and Stubbs' work on ‘policy translation’. This framework suggests that the spaces which exist between different ‘security nodes’ such as ‘Safer Communities’ can be analysed as ‘contact zones’ where different actors and interests converge to shape the contours of security governance in transitional, post-conflict societies. Analysing ‘Safer Communities’ as a ‘contact zone’ provides insight into the power politics of the project and into the important role that capital and nodal proximity play in determining the translational capacities of different stakeholders. My analysis of this case study affirms the significant influence of supranational institutions like the European Commission and their ability to draw upon substantial economic capital to align the outputs of local security nodes from a distance. It also presents a nuanced account of networked security governance in which multi-lateral institutions like the UNDP can draw upon their nodal proximity and limited capital to mediate pressures for structural alignment. This latter finding is promising because it highlights a ‘nodal solution’ to the question of ‘how nodal relations could be transformed to improve governance processes and outcomes for weak actors’ in structurally weak and dependent societies like BiH.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)44-62
    JournalPolicing and Society: an international journal of research & policy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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