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Understanding Security from the Bottom-Up in Haiti

After the 2010 earthquake killed some 160,000 people in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, international actors rapidly focused on increased policing and security sector reforms. This focus on increasing security capacity in Haiti is not new. For the past 200 years, the country has contended with periodic outbursts of political violence, met by international efforts to influence Haitian programs to reform justice, military, policing, and corrections systems.

Robert Muggah discusses the context of security promotion efforts in the years before the 2010 quake and trends in its aftermath. He draws on the findings of three household surveys carried out before and after the earthquake, particularly the post-earthquake survey that examined how many Haitians were victimized by criminal action. He also talks about changes in public opinion about security provision.

Robert Muggah, professor at the international relations institute of Rio de Janeiro’s Pontifíca Universidade Católica, has worked on issues of conflict, violence, and crime in more than 20 countries, including Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Lebanon, Nepal, Philippines, Papua New Guinea Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Timor-Leste.
Muggah is also a Fellow of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland and a principal of the SecDev Group, a Canadian company with a global mission to engage with complex problems of insecurity and violence. Previously, he was Research Director of the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey (2000-2010).

He is the author/editor of numerous articles and books, most recently States of Fragility (Routledge, 2012), and Security and Post-Conflict Reconstruction (Routledge, 2009). Muggah earned a DPhil from the University of Oxford and a MPhil from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

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