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Alice Hills

Professor, Durham University

Alice Hills was professor of conflict studies at the UK’s Durham University, 2013-2017, and is currently a visiting professor at the universities of Durham and Leeds where her research — on police-community relations in Somalia, Somaliland and Kenya — is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.  Before joining Durham Hills was professor of conflict and security at the University of Leeds, 2005-2013. Her research and teaching for Leeds focused on counter-insurgency in cities, security governance and the relationship between security and development but prior to that she taught defence studies at the UK’s Joint Services Command and Staff College where she specialised in urban operations, police-military relations and border guards. She was a founder member of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ International Policing Advisory Council, 2006-2011, and in 2011 acted as the civilian police expert responsible for assessing the UNDP’s Rule of Law programme in Somalia. She holds a doctorate in war studies from the University of London.

Hills’ personal research agenda concerns police development, post-conflict policing and sub-state security. The core of her research is to understand why police forces evolve as they do, and what explains their interaction with governments, militaries and societies in sub-Saharan Africa. Publications exploring these issues include ‘A plurality of worlds: The Nigeria police in metropolitan Kano’ (African Affairs 2012), ‘Lost in translation: Why Nigerian police don’t implement democratic reforms’ (International Affairs 2012) and ‘Partnership policing: Is it relevant in Kano, Nigeria?’ (Criminology & Criminal Justice 2014). Recent publications on Somalia and Somaliland include ‘Making Mogadishu safe’ (RUSI Journal 2016), ‘Off-road policing: communications technology and government authority in Somaliland’ (International Affairs 2016), and ‘ ‘Is There Anybody There? Police, Communities and Communications Technology in Hargeisa’ (Stability 2017).  A forthcoming book considers the best way to make Mogadishu’s streets safer.

Recent publications

  • Policing post-conflict cities (Zed 2009).
  • ‘Lost in translation: Why Nigerian police don’t implement democratic reforms’, International Affairs 88/ 4 (2012), pp. 739–755.
  • ‘Partnership policing: Is it relevant in Kano, Nigeria?’, Criminology &  Criminal Justice (2014), 14: 1, pp. 8-24.   
  • ‘What is policeness?  On being police in Somalia’, British Journal of Criminology 54/5 (2014), pp. 765-783.
  • ‘Off-road policing — communications technology and government authority in Somaliland’, International Affairs(2016) 92:92/5, pp. 1061-1078.
  • ‘Making Mogadishu safe’, RUSI Journal (2016), 161/6: 10-16.
  • Is There Anybody There? Police, Communities and Communications Technology in Hargeisa’, Stability (2017) 6: 1 p. 6.
  • Making Mogadishu safe: Localisation, policing and sustainable security. RUSI Whitehall Paper No. 91 (Routledge, 2018).

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