This book provides a unique study on the lower ranks of the Afghan police force due to the lack of empirical evidence of what attributes to the causes, practices and consequences of corruption in this institution. The book is divided into a number of sections. It commences with an understanding of how corruption, and narrowly police corruption, impact on the police force, state legitimacy and the strategies in place to mitigate such problems as part of broader security and post-conflict reconstruction initiatives. The theoretical framework comprises political, economic and cultural drivers of police corruption by drawing on semi-structured interviews with elites and a survey and structured interview conducted with street-level police officers. The findings infer that weak oversight and low pay are causes of police corruption which intensify bribery and roadside extortion. The lack of professionalism, partly due to short and unclear training, and patronage are deemed as meanings of police corruption. In terms of motivation, there is no sense of pride in Afghan policing to fulfil a clear mandate. Moreover, non-meritocratic recruitment is prevalent which exacerbates local influences, loyalties and job buying in either high-drug cultivating or urban areas. To curb patronage, police officers are rotated to distant provinces but economic hardship is further increased when catering for large families with fewer breadwinners. The book concludes that the problems with police corruption and failure to combat it results in low public confidence and state illegitimacy which can support violent opposition groups to create further instability in war-torn societies.

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