Laurie Nathan

Ashoka Fellow
South Africa,
Fellow Since 1991
The Centre for Conflict Resolution


This profile was prepared when Laurie Nathan was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1991.
The New Idea
Imagine a police force that serves all South Africans efficiently and fairly, regardless of ethnicity and political belief, and that is accountable at both the parliamentary and grassroots levels.
Imagine a defense force that is armed defensively and that serves a southern Africa regional security arrangement based on cooperation, not confrontation, and operates on a smaller budget than the current system.
This is the vision of the Project on Peace and Security (POPS), a program Laurie Nathan initiated in 1991 to provide a trustworthy source of expertise and ideas in these little understood, complex, and quite critical areas to all those involved in the effort to build a new South Africa. Where human rights activists and academics used to spend their time condemning the police and defense forces, Laurie is at the forefront of a more useful effort to construct practical alternatives.
Laurie's method involves both careful institutional and policy research, and systematic, trust-building engagement with all the key players in the present and future possible governments as well as both the police and military establishments. In the current transition period, the project acts as a consultant to various political parties on the reorientation of the security forces and seeks to stimulate public awareness and debate around this theme.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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