Paul Jackson

Policy and Research Papers

Security System Transformation in Sierra Leone, 1997-2007

What lessons does the experience of transforming the security system in Sierra Leone have for security sector reform (SSR)? This report from the Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform and International Alert documents Sierra Leone’s security system transformation from 1997 to 2007. It chronicles the UK Government’s intervention, including its transition from direct implementer to adviser, and analyses key security issues that arose during the period.

Paper

State-building through security sector reform: the UK intervention in Sierra Leone

UK support to the reconstruction of the Sierra Leonean state has been widely held up as an example of successful state-building with the development of basic capacity and trust in public institutions, particularly security. This article examines security sector reform (SSR) in Sierra Leone, how Sierra Leone affected SSR and what implications that has for international interventions. Despite being hailed as a success, the sustainability of a state-building effort driven by concepts of the liberal state, a polity form that never existed in Sierra Leone, is in question. Unrealistic expectations of progress driven by planning imperatives of development agencies remain a key issue and obstacle to sustainability.

To access the paper, click here.

Paper

State-building through security sector reform: the UK intervention in Sierra Leone

UK support to the reconstruction of the Sierra Leonean state has been widely held up as an example of successful state-building with the development of basic capacity and trust in public institutions, particularly security. This article examines security sector reform (SSR) in Sierra Leone, how Sierra Leone affected SSR and what implications that has for international interventions. Despite being hailed as a success, the sustainability of a state-building effort driven by concepts of the liberal state, a polity form that never existed in Sierra Leone, is in question. Unrealistic expectations of progress driven by planning imperatives of development agencies remain a key issue and obstacle to sustainability.

Click here to access the paper.

Paper

Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone 1997–2007. Views from the Front Line

As a collection of separate papers, this volume is not aimed at being a coherent, polished version of the security transformation of Sierra Leone, but at providing an insight into the thoughts of those involved. In particular we have sought to showcase papers providing a ‘warts-and-all’ picture of the reform process that not everyone would agree with, but all have to acknowledge as being relevant. The original idea of these papers was to provide inputs into a broader piece of research reconstructing the narrative of the UK intervention, so many of them were not written with publication in mind. Rather, the authors sought to provide their own views of the process from their particular vantage point and to highlight different perceptions of the same processes.

Paper

Books

Handbook of International Security and Development

Providing a comprehensive introduction to the literature and approaches used in the field, this illustrious Handbook explores and interrogates the link between security and development at a global level whilst offering a broad survey of current thinking. With a mixture of approaches and methodologies, each chapter is written by an acknowledged expert and includes international contributions spanning six continents. The topics covered range from the politics of aid by remote control through to intervention and the post-conflict re-establishment of security and demobilisation of combatants. This essential book will engage academics involved in research surrounding security and development, along with practitioners who are interested in the philosophy of their actions and their practical implications. Members of organisations such as policy institutes and NGOs will also find this to be a valuable read.

Book

Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone 1997–2007

Sierra Leone is often cited as the example of effective and sustainable security sector reform (SSR). In particular, the SSR process is characterised as an effective partnership between national stakeholders and the international community, notably the United Kingdom. However, this picture lacks the nuance and contextual detail necessary to deconstruct the SSR process in Sierra Leone and derive meaningful lessons learned. This publication will go a long way in adding subtlety and detail to our understanding of this important case. The work of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) places a strong premium on policy research grounded in concrete experience. This reflects the need to bridge evident gaps between SSR policy and practice through analysis that is closely linked to context specific political, security and socio-economic factors.

To access the full book, Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone 1997–2007, please follow the link provided. 

Book