Introduction: Assembling Peacekeeping and Policing in Ghana

  • Peter Albrecht Danish Institute for International Studies
Keywords: UN peacekeeping, security, assemblage theory policing, ghana


By exploring the case of Ghana, this special issue provides two perspectives on UN peacekeeping that until now have been underdeveloped in the literature. First, rather than taking a mission and its host country as the analytical point of departure, the contributions in the special issue focus on how peacekeeping has shaped domestic security in Ghana – a consistent contributor of security personnel to peacekeeping since 1960. Second, instead of focusing on the military component, attention is paid to the link between peacekeeping and law enforcement, and thus how policing – as carried out by the state-sanctioned Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces and a range of non-state actors – intertwines with and is partially shaped by practices, ideas and discourse that can be traced back to mission deployments. Theoretically, the concept of assemblage is used to frame how peacekeeping stretches across state boundaries and intersects with the politics and practices of domestic security provision. Both at a state institutional level, and in day-to-day policing by individual police officers, order-making practices and discourses are constituted by the assembling of a multitude of logics and historicities that integrate and assimilate as well as contradict and oppose one another. It is how the experience of peacekeeping becomes part of and shapes these ever-evolving assemblages that the contributions to this special issue investigate. Changes may be institutional and macro-political but are as often deeply personal and individualised, with implications for how security personnel perceive and practice their roles.