This paper describes how security sector reform (SSR) has become a pivotal part of international peacebuilding efforts. The author details how donor agencies and Western governments devote substantial resources to strengthen the legitimacy and efficiency of security systems in war-torn societies. The paper discusses the SSR process in Liberia in view of the shift from a transitional to a democratically elected government. It identifies dilemmas between the SSR agenda and the objective of ownership, and argues that a more inclusive and less state-centered approach is needed.
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