INITIATIVES

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG) carries out and supports innovative, policy-oriented research aimed to inform policy makers, practitioners, analysts and the general public. CSG research is multi-disciplinary, employs a variety of methodological tools—both quantitative and qualitative—and draws on the extensive and varied backgrounds of the firm’s staff and fellows.

The Waterloo Symposium on Technology & Society seeks to promote public discourse in Canada and beyond on the societal challenges and opportunities created by innovations in four primary areas: artificial intelligence, robotics, big data and social media. Whether in the economic, security or political sphere, rapid technological change is transforming the way our societies function, and this change will only accelerate in the decades ahead. How can the public and private sectors collectively to maximize the benefits of this technological revolution to drive prosperity, democracy and good governance, while mitigating its most adverse effects, such as social dislocation, wealth inequality and diminishing trust in public institutions? Some of the world’s most renowned thinkers on the societal impacts of technology will be featured in the series. It will be held at one of Canada’s premier schools for international public policy, the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA), situated in one of the country’s premier tech hubs, the Waterloo Region.

Security Sector Reform (SSR) is a model of security and governance assistance that endeavours to reconstruct and reform security and rule of law institutions in fragile and conflict-affected states. First articulated in the late 1990s, the model diverged from traditional forms of security assistance in its focus on the governance dimensions of the security sector in addition to the traditional focus on training and equipping the security forces. SSR is now a central pillar of global efforts to support peacebuilding and state-building processes in a wide array of unstable countries and regions. However, despite its rise to prominence, the SSR model has had a decidedly mixed record in the field. This initiative on Second Generation SSR seeks to understand the reasons why conventional SSR programs have faltered on the ground and identify lessons that can help to update and refine existing doctrines and best practices. The broader aim of the project is to contribute to the development and operationalization of a second-generation SSR approach better capable of (re)building stable, effective,  accountable, and rights respecting security sectors that guarantee fair and equal access to justice and security services for communities and citizens in conflict-affected and fragile states.

Drawing on three case studies—Afghanistan, Somalia and South Sudan—this project considers new aspects of the relationship between security and development by examining how the presence of non-state security providers affects political development in conflict-affected societies. The overarching goal of the project is to stimulate a discourse and make initial policy recommendations on how donors can better engage non-state security structures in the context of SSR and broader state-building programs.

Funding for this project was provided by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

In an effort to understand why a comprehensive DDR process in Libya failed, the CSG has been awarded a contract to map the various DDR, SSR, and related initiatives that have been undertaken over the past two years, analyzing their impact and effectiveness.  Drawing on experience in other conflict-affected cases of DDR as well as deep analysis of Libya’s post-revolution political dynamics and modern history, the project will seek to derive recommendations on how to advance the process and identify entry points and drivers of change. 

Funding for this project was provided by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) through its International Security Research and Outreach Program (ISROP).

The Centre for Security Governance (CSG), Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA), and Wilfrid Laurier University Global Studies department (WLU) are hosting a series of eight online seminars focusing on the theme of “Contemporary Debates on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding.”

Funding for the eSeminar series is provided by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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. Employing a common methodology, the project features original research on four case study countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, El Salvador, Sierra Leone and Timor-Leste.

Funding for this project was provided by the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA).

CSG Executive Director Mark Sedra and CSG Senior Fellow Geoff Burt were contracted by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) to write a research paper on the connection between security sector reform (SSR) and small arms and light weapons (SALW) control programming for their ongoing SSR Papers series.

Funding for this project was provided by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces.

This project contributed to the development of a solid evidence base concerning border-related issues within and between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The Tajik-Afghan border is currently integral to the two countries’ relations, and it will grow increasingly important in light of the on-going transition in Afghanistan and the concomitant risk of insecurity-impelled displacement.

Funding for this project was provided by the International Organization for Migration.