This article is a conceptual review that explores the usefulness of complexity theory to police reform in developing countries. Following the evidence of relative failure and its explanation in terms of unique individual factors or the complex nature of the environment, the article turns to considering whether the nature of police organisations as complex social systems is not a principal reason for failure. The article outlines some of the key features of complex systems and illustrates these from actual police reform. The article then turns to whether complexity theory can be of any practical use in police reform programmes. It concludes that greater success may be forthcoming if the insights of complexity theory are taken on board by reformers.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Police Practice and Research on 04/02/18, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15614263.2018.1453982
- Complex social systems
- Complexity theory
- Police reform
- Developing world