This book has examined the contradiction that exists between formal democratic institutions and persistent lawless law enforcement. Amongst the heterogeneous arenas of power, democratic values of equality and human rights co-exist with authoritarian and disciplinarian ones of inequality, repression and brutality. The social forms of authoritarianism and disciplinarianism have survived the transition, both in state institutions and in the local and domestic networks of society. Consequently, it has proved an uphill task to achieve the pacification of social conflict through the universal application of the rule of law and the legal control of violence. The most egregious forms of human rights abuses under authoritarian rule may have been removed, but the nature of democracy reintroduced in Africa in the 1990s has failed to provide for all of its citizens the fundamental rights to security or redress for wrongs. These negative legacies are not, of course, unique to Africa. Writing of Brazilian society, Pinheiro observes: 'There are profound authoritarian strands that pervade not only politics but society' (Pinheiro, 1997, p. 264). Along the same lines, O'Donnell writes: 'The combination of extreme inequality and very authoritarian patterns of social relations [in Brazil] poses great difficulties in creating a more solid and open democracy (O'Donnell, quoted in Pinheiro, 1997). The new democratic regimes have been installed throughout the developing world, but they have not yet been able to realise all the requisites of full democracy because of the continuities with an authoritarian past. They are in limbo between the past and the present or rather, different elements of society are moving at different speeds in their adoption of democratic values and the rule of law. And amongst the slowest to change their values and practices are the law enforcers of the state and of local communities. To many of them the rule of law is actually an obstacle to maintaining social order. With states and local civic
organisations lacking the capacity to bring such policing under full and effective accountability, their virtual impunity is assured and their adoption of consistent democratic values will be a slow and uncertain process.