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Hybrid Security Provision in African Post-colonial Settings: The Cases of Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone


The Weberian paradigm’s ascription of a legitimate state’s provision of security and justice overlooks the role played by non-state actors in the post-colonial world. Adopting a hybridity framework enables scholars and practitioners to re-centre the focus from a state-centric view of states as fragile or failed to recognise the strength and resilience of alternative socio-political formations of order. Existing evidence on hybrid political orders demonstrates that community resilience and customary institutions should not be perceived as spoilers but understood as assets for constructive engagements between the customary and modern states. The cases of Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone highlight how the complex and interdependent interaction between modern and traditional systems of governance, through a combination of conflict and cooperation, can explain state resilience.
Keywords: hybridity; post-coloniality; Burkina Faso; Sierra Leone; security; governance