Edited by Paul Jackson
Chapter 5: Human security and security sector reform: mutually reinforcing approaches towards people-centred security provision
Efforts to reform a nation’s security sector are meant to improve the legitimate, accountable, efficient and effective provision of justice and security in response to existing and potential threats to the nation and its population. Security sector reform programmes have to be informed by context-relevant assessments of security threats and needs, of the security providers’ ability and capacity to respond to insecurity, and a thorough understanding of current conditions and shortcomings of good security sector governance. The latter, in turn, is characterized by the status of accountable and representative democratic control mechanisms exercised by governmental and non-governmental institutions representing the needs and preferences of the state and society at large. The security sector and its various governmental and non-governmental institutions at national, regional and local levels are important providers of human security. However, by itself the security sector is unable to address all security threats affecting the well-being of society and its members. Providing human security depends on the contributions of – and collaboration between – all relevant institutions within and outside society who are charged with promoting and maintaining peace, security and stability. In particular, once reformed to meet good governance standards as an effective and legitimate public service provider, a security sector is well placed to address at least some of the threats affecting people’s security. Other threats might be more effectively addressed in collaboration with other public service providers – or even exclusively by other actors.
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