Edited by Paul Jackson
Chapter 11: Transitioning from first to second generation security sector reform in conflict-affected countries
A July 2005 statement by the presidency of the United Nations Security Council would call security sector reform (SSR) ‘an essential element of any stabilization process in post-conflict environments’ (UN Security Council 2005). Three years later, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon would further entrench SSR at the core of the international security and development policy architecture, referring to it as ‘more than just a goal’ for the UN and its member states but rather a ‘shared obligation, especially in countries recovering from conflict’ (Ki-moon 2008). Less than a decade after the concept was first articulated in a 1999 speech by then UK Secretary of State for International Development Clare Short, SSR had been established as a central pillar of peace-building and state building doctrine. It came to represent a point of convergence between the fields of development, security and governance – a manifestation of the security-development nexus that has characterized peace-building and state building policy over the last decade. By early 2014, however, in sharp contrast to the rapid ascent of the concept in international policy, it featured a very meagre record of achievement. In fact, in conflict-affected settings, the most celebrated target for SSR assistance, it would be difficult to identify a single unfettered SSR success story that could inspire and inform its implementation. This exemplifies the principal problem that has always faced SSR – its conceptual-contextual divide (Chanaa 2002).
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