Investigating Corruption in the Afghan Police Force
Instability and Insecurity in Post-Conflict Societies

7: Assessing the drivers of corruption within the Afghan police force


This chapter is main analysis data. It specifically presents the empirical data collected in the field which includes interview responses on the problems with security sector reform, police reform, the rule of law and corruption. In addition, low-ranked police officer’s perceptions on corruption, recruitment, training, salaries and the cost of living are examined with responses on the survey and structured interviews conducted. All these reactions are illustrated via the theoretical framework that is based on the political, economic and cultural drivers of corruption. The political drivers reveal that meritocratic recruitment is severely tarnished from patronage, nepotism and favouritism and police officers retain loyalty to local commanders and warlords rather than the state. In addition, criminal entities have captured main parts of the state to entice political elites in illicit drug-trading which has hindered anti-corruption investigations and promoted cronyism to protect political elites from serious forms of corruption. The economic drivers show that low pay intensifies petty forms of corruption, namely bribery and roadside extortion, to supplement income. The cultural drivers infer that pride, motivation and sense of mission are lacking in the current Afghan police force and unprofessionalism is a main meaning of police corruption.

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