Realism and Pragmatism in Security Sector Development

  • Security sector reform (SSR) policies and operational guidance have proved to be ineffective in prioritizing, sequencing, managing, and implementing donor-supported initiatives.
  • SSR policies and operational guidance do not reflect economic and political realities in donor countries. This disjunction requires greater selectivity in the choice of partner countries and the kind of pragmatic support provided.
  • A significant imbalance exists between supply and demand for justice and security development, as core segments of partner governments typically resists and will continue to resists key provisions of SSR.
  • Political will in partner countries is, like its companion concept, local ownership, highly fragmented, reflecting a natural competition between and among rationally self interested stakeholders.
  • Effective programming requires donors to direct their influence and support toward those constituencies (and their leadership) in whose self-interest is to implement SSR programs, despite the resistance to justice and security development by other stakeholders and competing political actors.
  • Donor-supported justice and security programs should be disaggragated and should concentrate on narrowly defines problems and issues, rather than seek to be holistic and comprehensive.

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