Who are the actors involved in security provision?

Ensuring security is key to any society. While it is commonly assumed that the state operates with a monopoly to provide security, not everybody considers the police as legitimate or as having a right to create social order. Read more here.

This figure gives an overview of potential state and non-state security and justice providers at local levels.


We are often more familiar with the formal right side of the figure, but as we can see from the left side of the figure there are many non-state actors involved in security provision. These local security initiatives and institutions reflect local realities.   They provide crucial insight into local women and men’s everyday experience and conception of security and insecurity in local settings. Becoming familiar with these is useful to any promoters of COP. Key questions to consider include:

  • What actors do various societal groups rely on for security provision, and what is the historical background and context for this?
  • What power dynamics exist in between various local security providers?
  • How do local context and security conceptions influence today’s security provision?