Handbook of International Security and Development
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Handbook of International Security and Development

Edited by Paul Jackson

The Handbook of International Security and Development provides a survey of current thinking within the field of security and development. With a wide range of chapters that offer a guide to the core approaches, methods and issues, this book explores the links between the two and includes contributions from both practitioners and academics. With topics ranging from the politics of aid by remote control through to intervention and the re-establishment of security and demobilisation of combatants, this Handbook provides a comprehensive introduction to the literature and approaches used in the field of security and development.
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Chapter 13: When security and development meet: security sector reform in Sierra Leone

Paul Jackson and Peter Albrecht


Since the 1990s Sierra Leone has in international development debates become synonymous with state building through security sector reform (SSR). It has frequently been used as an example of how an external intervention, combining security and development, can be successful in reasserting both state and human security (Evans et al. 2002; Fitzgerald 2004; Ginifer and Oliver 2004; Malan et al. 2004; OECD 2005; Albrecht and Jackson 2009). However, as this chapter argues, through the use of SSR as a development tool, a particular variety of the state was promoted that did not take into account the nature of political power in Sierra Leone. This chapter highlights strengths and weaknesses in the approach taken by the UK to rebuild the Sierra Leonean state through SSR. It thereby provides insight into a primary example of an intervention that interlinked security and development at its very core. It is argued that the strong focus on rebuilding a state by establishing the country’s internal and external security providers may very well prove to be both the greatest strength and, in the longer term, the greatest weakness of SSR. The chapter begins by outlining the context in which the intervention took place. It then outlines the key role of the state during the conflict and in the post-conflict environment, where the intervening agents faced a series of choices regarding what needed to be constructed in the aftermath of war and in the context of state collapse.

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