Category: SSR Initiative

Police Reform in Kosovo and Bosnia: The power of local legitimacy unpacked

The power of legitimacy is increasingly invoked by scholars, practitioners, and donors as a crucial prerequisite for any international peacebuilding project. This short article disenchants the almost magical powers accorded to legitimacy via three research findings: First, it shows the causal mechanism behind legitimacy’s impact; second, legitimacy works only in certain contexts and situations; third, it is the only direct power international peacebuilding operations wield.

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Is a homegrown security sector reform possible?

This article seeks to examine the determinants of security sector reform outcomes in post-conflict countries and assess the potential of the ‘infrastructures for peace’ framework in restructuring the security sector. It argues that security restructuring is less viable merely with informal architectures and that creating multi-layered infrastructures is essential.

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Security Sector Reform & Hybrid Security Governance In Africa

Prevailing approaches to security sector reform (SSR) have tended to stress Westphalian notions of the state characterized by legal-rational norms and institutions. Thus, SSR processes concentrated on the formal arrangements of the state and its security and justice institutions. Yet, such approaches are fundamentally at variance with the underlying realities of the African context, where many political and social transactions take place in the context of informal norms and systems.

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Local and External Perceptions of Security Sector Reform in Guinea-Bissau

For almost ten years, the small West African country of Guinea-Bissau has been subject to security sector reform as part of international peacebuilding interventions. Since gaining independence in 1973-74, the former Portuguese colony has been characterized by political instability, coups d’état, military overthrow attempts, and the interference of military factions within politics.

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Theorizing corruption in the Afghan judicial sector

The purpose of this blog is to identify and analyze the dynamics of corruption at its systemic roots that has led to forms of state capture, low pay resulting in petty forms of corruption and issues with training within the Afghan judicial sector. The paper relies on 70 semi-structured interviews conducted predominantly in Kabul with judicial reform and human rights organizations, rights-based and gender empowerment non-governmental organizations and civil society watchdogs.

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Security Sector Reform and the Paradoxical Tension between Local Ownership and Gender Equality

Based on research published in Stability: International Journal of Security & Development, this blog contribution analyzes the tension that can exist between the principles of local ownership and gender equality that guide Security Sector Reform (SSR) programmes when gender discrimination and patriarchal values characterize the local environment.

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Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration: Does ownership actually matter?

The outcomes of programs for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) are affected by the way in which they are implemented. More participatory approaches, where ex-combatants feel they have had more say and greater ownership, lead to better results. This is important for how DDR can contribute to the wider peace process and to peacebuilding itself. Establishing trust during DDR is significant for political reconstruction.

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The Afghan National Police: A study on corruption and clientelism

This blog identifies the underlying conditions of the Afghan state from the outset of the late 2001 Bonn political arrangement that has resulted in deep-rooted corrupt clientelistic networks within the Afghan government. This has trickled to the majority of the ministries including the Interior Ministry. Corruption is systemic and hard to combat despite police reform. This is due to the nature of four interrelated explanations of corruption that are subsequently covered.

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The domestic consequences of SSR: Real-world effects beyond external perspectives

Local ownership has always been central to the theory of security sector reform (SSR) in post-conflict contexts – practically every policy concept in circulation among bilateral donors or multilateral institutions makes local ownership of the reform agenda a sine qua non for external support to SSR. But these calls for local ownership echo hollow against the underwhelming results and unintended consequences of external support to SSR across a growing universe of cases.

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A sub-national approach to statebuilding and security: the role of municipal institutions in Colombia’s DDR process

The Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) process in Colombia was built nationally, but it was consolidated at the sub-national level. The Mayoral Offices of Bogota and Medellin developed programmes for the reintegration of ex-combatants that played a crucial role in both sustaining and contesting the national policy of reintegration. Analyzing these policies contributes to the understanding of the role that municipal authorities play in underpinning and redefining the DDR national policies.

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