Erica De Bruin.

Associate Professor of Government Erica De Bruin recently published a peer-reviewed article on “Militarized Policing in the Middle East and North Africa” in the interdisciplinary Journal of the Middle East and Africa. The article, co-authored with Zachary Karabatak, a graduate student research assistant, documents and explains changing patterns in police militarization in the region.

The article shows that police forces in the Middle East and North Africa have become more militarized over time — increasingly adopting the weaponry, tactics, and organizational practices of military forces.

The authors argue that while colonial legacies can help explain the ubiquity of paramilitary or gendarmerie-style policing in the region, the increasing establishment of riot squads and tactical units in more recent decades has been driven in part by concerns about military intervention in politics as well as incentives created by international security assistance programs. 

Research for the article was funded by a 2020 Research Grant from the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa. It builds on research De Bruin conducted with Levitt Center summer and winter research groups that included Max Gersch ’23, Alexander Nemeth ’22, Jenny Tran ’22, Huzefah Umer ’21, Nicole Eisenberg ’21, Diana Perez ’21, and Greg Varney ’22.

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