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East, rivista internazionale di geopolitica
 
European Regional Master's Degree in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe
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Policing Via Principles: Reforming the Use of Force in the Western Balkans

Written by Suzette R. Grillot, this article appeared on the second issue of Vol. 22 of East European Politics & Societies in the spring of 2008.
 
After a significant period of violent conflict in the Western Balkans, countries in the region, specifically Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia,
Serbia-Montenegro, and the United Nations (UN) protectorate of Kosovo, have embarked on a process of democratic reform. Part of the democratization
effort
involves reforming the police force. One important, yet not often studied, aspect of police reform is the appropriate use of force with firearms.

This study explores the process of police reform in the Western Balkan region to assess the implementation of the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force
and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. Ultimately, this study offers a view of law enforcement activities in an attempt to assess how well these countries
are incorporating international standards on the use of force with firearms into their national police practices. In so doing, this research enriches our understanding of weapons issues within the context of security sector, and specifically police reform.

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