Chapter 9: Operationalizing the security-development nexus: security sector reform and its implications
The interconnectedness between security and development, often termed the ‘security-development nexus’, has become widely accepted by development policy circles as an empirical reality, rather than a concept. That is, much policy assumes that security and development are, in fact, interdependent, rather than taking this as a theoretical tool to analyse the world. This chapter seeks to examine how such ideas have been operationalized in the United Kingdom (UK), which has been at the forefront of international thinking and practice on the presumed nexus. Most tangibly, this has resulted in security sector reform (SSR) becoming an increasingly common and accepted component of development assistance, bringing security and development practitioners into closer working relationships and shared humanitarian and development spaces. This chapter traces the evolution of SSR through security-development nexus thinking and what some of the implications of this particular operationalization might be. The chapter first sets out how security-development nexus thinking has evolved, before considering how it has been operationalized in the UK context, primarily through SSR. The chapter then unpacks four potential implications of this: the securitization of development; the developmentalization of security; what it means for security and development practitioners working on the ground; and what it means for understandings of security in the contexts in which it is deployed. These implications suggest that the ease with which security and development have been paired at the conceptual level is not as straightforward in practice.
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