Exploring the Transition from First to Second Generation SSR in Conflict-Affected Societies

 

Funding Source: Folke Bernadotte Academy
Period of Operations: 2013 – 2017
Location: Bosnia-Herzegovina, El Salvador, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste

Project Description

This comparative multi-year CSG research project seeks to provide policy-oriented research and analysis to enrich and advance the emerging second generation SSR discourse. Led by CSG Executive Director Mark Sedra, the project assesses and evaluates the impact of orthodox security sector reform (SSR) programming in conflict-affected countries. Employing a common methodology, the project features original research on four case study countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, El Salvador, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste. The case study countries chosen each feature two broad characteristics: they are recovering from conflict and making transitions from war to peace; and they are mature cases of SSR, in that they have been subjected to at least ten years of externally supported SSR programming of some form. It is also important to note that geographical diversity played an important role in case study selection, with four distinct regions represented— Balkans, Central America, West Africa, and Asia-Pacific

The project seeks to answer the following main research questions for each case:

1. To what extent and how have SSR efforts followed the orthodox SSR model as described in the OECD-DAC Handbook on SSR? In assessing SSR efforts in each case study country, how have orthodox SSR approaches succeeded and failed and why?

2. What alternative approaches or entry-points for security and justice development programs are available? Are they used, and if so, how? If not, why?

Research Outputs and Publications

The project has produced two reports per case study country—eight in total—one for each of the aforementioned research questions. The final report of the project—the ninth in the series—will synthesize the results of the case study research, drawing conclusions about the efficacy of orthodox SSR approaches and the potential for second generation SSR ideas.

CSG Paper No. 16 - The Gradual Emergence of Second Generation Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste

By Sarah Dewhurst and Lindsey Greising.

This paper argues that in recent years some initiatives that can be described as second generation (2G) SSR efforts have emerged in Timor-Leste, characterized by their ability to work politically to engage with national actors. They are adapted to the local context and employ more holistic and reconciliatory approaches to security governance, leveraging civil society and engaging both formal and informal security providers.

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CSG Paper No. 15 - The Gradual Emergence of Second Generation Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone

By Ibrahim Bangura.

This paper argues that the new direction and opportunities second generation SSR processes presented leaves little doubt that orthodox interpretations of security sector reform are ill-suited to achieve systemic change in contexts like Sierra Leone. The second generation SSR model can refocus transition countries towards prioritizing the needs and aspirations of their people within a wider security context, rather than limiting reforms to serving the exclusive needs of the traditional political elites.

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CSG Paper No. 14 - The Gradual Emergence of Second Generation Security Sector Reform in El Salvador

By Gaëlle Rivard Piché.

This paper argues that renewed SSR should address violence and crime through local initiatives that can then inform the national debate and policy-making process. In that perspective, it looks at two initiatives that were put in place in recent years to address crime and violence in El Salvador: the US Central America Regional Security Initiative and the gang truce.

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CSG Paper No. 13 - The Gradual Emergence of Second Generation Security Sector Reform in Bosnia-Herzegovina

By Branka Marijan.

This paper identifies that orthodox approaches have contributed to the important rebuilding of Bosnia’s security framework, but have fallen short of fully transforming the security governance in the country. This paper points to some possible entry points for the development of second generation (2G) SSR, but identifies that a 2G approach to addressing remaining gaps in SSR in Bosnia might involve working within existing political frameworks rather than using SSR as a political tool.

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CSG Paper No. 12 - Assessing the Impact of Orthodox Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste

By Sarah Dewhurst, with Joana Saraiva and Bronwyn Winch.

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CSG Paper No. 11 - Assessing the Impact of Orthodox Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone

By Ibrahim Bangura. While this report is focused on the record of conventional approaches to SSR in Sierra Leone, it also shines a spotlight on some early efforts to develop innovative second generation SSR initiatives.

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CSG Paper No. 10 - Assessing the Impact of Orthodox Security Sector Reform in El Salvador

By Gaëlle Rivard Piché. This report assesses the impact of orthodox SSR on peace and security in El Salvador; it evaluates the extent to which the reform process respected the core principles of SSR as conceived by key stakeholders such as the OECD DAC.

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CSG Paper No. 9 - Assessing the Impact of Orthodox Security Sector Reform in Bosnia-Herzegovina

By Branka Marijan. This paper assesses the application of orthodox norms and principles to SSR in the Bosnian case noting the effectiveness of the various efforts.

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