Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 November 2021
Given the advantages of police integration, why do leaders not integrate the police in every divided society? I first explore the possibility that dominant-group civilians oppose integration, for example out of concern for a loss of jobs or fear that newly-integrated minorities will renew hostilities once integrated. Instead, I find that an overwhelming majority of Iraqi Shias and Israeli Jews support police integration. On the other hand, politicians and community leaders often oppose police integration for personal gain. Iraq, local politicians resist sectarian integration for fear that it will limit their opportunities to distribute jobs in the police as patronage in return for political support. In Israel, Arab community leaders who seek to create an independent Palestinian state view participation in the police as a dangerous normalization of the status quo. To discourage Arabs from joining the police, they portray participation in the police as collaboration with the enemy. Thus, implementation of police integration tends to be limited not by mass-opposition but by instrumental political concerns of political elites.