Edited by Paul Jackson
Chapter 8: Security sector reform as a manifestation of the security-development nexus? Towards building SSR theory
The security-development nexus suggests that there is an interaction between a security situation and development outcomes, between a development situation and security outcomes, and between performance and outcomes in security and development assistance. As this chapter argues, security sector reform (SSR) can be understood and analysed as a manifestation of this nexus, which in turn adds some theoretical underpinning to a concept that has so far been lacking theoretically-sound foundations. Moreover, SSR possesses the potential for illuminating, even substantiating, the nature and existence of the security-development nexus. From a more practical perspective, this chapter argues that, if it is pursued as intended, SSR has the potential to illustrate the existence of a security-development nexus and the mutual interdependence between security and development. It also has the potential to help ensure that the security and development communities interact constructively in the pursuit of common goals, without however compromising their own core mandates. Ideally, this interaction would happen in a coordinated fashion from the planning throughout the implementation and evaluation phases. However, recent experiences with SSR in fragile, often post-conflict contexts remind those working on SSR activities of the difficulties in pursuing sector-wide approaches, let alone targeting SSR activities at larger objectives that extend beyond the immediate needs and implications for effective, efficient and accountable security sector performance.
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