Policy and Research Papers
The meaningful participation of beneficiaries in aid programmes directed to human rights reform is crucial to their success. Their views on ways to improve them deserve serious attention. In interviews with beneficiaries in four countries we were told that aid for reform has had an impact. In the justice sector (the focus of our study) foreign
aid has facilitated constitutional development and legislative reforms and helped expand civil society and transform the justice system. Aid programmes have helped introduce human rights concepts into public consciousness and public institutions in societies where such notions were once seen as subversive.
We were also told that human rights assistance can be wasteful and even do harm. Badly conceived and implemented programmes have sheltered repressive regimes from scrutiny, wasted vital resources and distorted domestic institutions. Donors sometimes promote inappropriate models and put their foreign policy interests before human rights. They can be unreliable partners, subject to quick fixes and too much attention on “exit strategies”. Success depends on many factors, not least paying more attention to local perspectives. This report sets out some of the main issues. It offers signposts that we hope will be useful to both donors and beneficiaries looking for ways
to strengthen the impact of human rights assistance.
Implementing Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Post-Communist Europe: Lessons learned for improving Reform Practices
In the aftermath of the Cold War, the traditional concept of defense and security no longer represents an adequate response to the new security challenges and threats that the international community faces. Since the war in Bosnia in 1991, the Euro-Atlantic community became aware of the necessity to reform its security sector so as to tackle such problems as global terrorism, organized crime, intra-state ethnic and religious conflicts, as well as the abuse of human rights. The growing demand for respect of democracy and human rights suggest that this reform should not focus solely on strict security institutions, but it should also include political and civilian institutions. The SSR agenda provides for a holistic and concrete response to all security related problems, but, as past experience demonstrates, many difficulties arise in the implementation stage; attempts to operationalise SSR proved to be problematic in certain contexts as are the post-Communist Central and Eastern European countries. This paper describes specific problems that arose during the implementation stage of the SSR agenda in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Bulgaria, Russia, Kosovo, and Serbia, and suggests different recommendation policies in order to successfully engage in a holistic, cohesive, and strategic amelioration of the security sector.
This volume analyses the role of civil society in the reform and oversight of the security sector in post- communist countries as a key aspect of the transition towards democracy. It is widely accepted that civil society actors have an important contribution to make in the governance of the security sector. However, that specific role has not been subject to much close or comparative examination. This book constitutes an attempt to examine and compare experiences of civil society participation in security oversight across Central and Eastern Europe. The first part of the volume presents the reader with the theoretical and conceptual background against which the potential role of civil society in security sector governance can be understood and assessed. The remainder of the book is comprised of nine country studies of civil society engagement with the security sector. Reviewing developments over the past 15 years of regime transformation in the region, the book draws upon a rich variety of cases that cast light on the different experiences, challenges, and successes of civil society actors and the media in democratization, security sector reform, and the exercise of democratic oversight of the security sector. Marina Caparini is senior fellow at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces. Philipp H. Fluri is deputy director of DCAF and executive director of DCAF Brussels (Belgium). Ferenc Molnar is a military sociologist and deputy director of the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies, National Defence University, Budapest (Hungary).
This book, authored by a multi-national team, draws a complicated, yet logically evolving picture of the problems in the security sector reform field of South-East Europe, examining the post-totalitarian and post-conflict challenges to be faced.
This volume analyzes the Stability Pact South East Europe Self-Assessment Studies with the three-fold aim of enhancing the relevance of the original papers, examining their findings for the benefit of local, national, regional and international decision-makers, and preparing the ground for a possible more comprehensive phase of the Stock-Taking Programme. Western and regional contributors were asked to assess the quality of the papers, address any omissions, add contextual information they perceived to be relevant, and, on the basis of those findings, make constructive suggestions and recommendations for enhanced international institutional engagement in the region. Three types of analyses were commissioned: analyses of the self-assessment papers by country; region-wide analyses of the topical papers; and a conclusive chapter surveying not only the self-assessment papers in the original volumes but also the thematic and national analyses in this volume, data from the Swiss MFA Stabilit
The privatization of security understood as both the top-down decision to outsource military and security-related tasks to private firms and the bottom-up activities of armed non-state actors such as rebel opposition groups, insurgents, militias, and warlord factions has implications for the state's monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Both top-down and bottom-up privatization have significant consequences for effective, democratically accountable security sector governance as well as on opportunities for security sector reform across a range of different reform contexts. This volume situates security privatization within a broader policy framework, considers several relevant national and regional contexts, and analyzes different modes of regulation and control relating to a phenomenon with deep historical roots but also strong links to more recent trends of globalization and transnationalization. Alan Bryden is deputy head of research at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). Marina Caparini is senior research fellow at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF).
This volume analyses the role of civil society in the reform and oversight of the security sector in post-communist countries as a key aspect of the transition towards democracy.
It is widely accepted that civil society actors have an important contribution to make in the governance of the security sector. However, until now, that specific role has not been examined closely or in a comparative manner. This book constitutes a first attempt to examine and compare experiences across Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe.
The first part of the volume presents the reader with the theoretical and conceptual background against which the potential role of civil society in security sector governance can be understood and assessed.
The remainder of the book is comprised of nine country studies of civil society engagement with the security sector. Reviewing developments over the past 15 years of regime transformation in the region, the book provides rich empirical detail and analysis that cast light on the different experiences, challenges, and successes of civil society actors and the media when engaging with the security policy domain. The resulting insights contribute to our understanding of security sector reform and the exercise of democratic oversight of the security sector.
The actions of the police both reflect and affect societal changes and the legitimacy that society vests in state authority. What principles and practices of good policing have emerged through processes of reform, trans-national exchanges and the creation of international regimes? This introductory chapter by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) summarises some of the lessons learned on police reform and examines what has been achieved in police reform in transitional societies.
The idea that policing matters to democracy has slowly but firmly taken hold among politicians, scholars, policy-makers and the police themselves. Providing security is one of the basic demands that society makes of the state. This includes the demand by citizens and communities that their lives are protected by the social control apparatuses of the state. The police occupy a crucial political role in any society by virtue of the symbolic value of their work. This has an impact on the political and social discourse. The police are part of the system of governance. They matter in processes of state creation, the reproduction of peaceful social relations, the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the creation of social identities and bonds that underpin political life.
Conversely, ineffective, arbitrary or repressive social control undermines the legitimacy of existing state-society relations, complicates efforts to promote development, and severely limits the (re)building of democratic forms of governance and order. In short, the police matter beyond their merely functional work.
Reforms take time and patience. Nothing will work out quite as planned and expected. Adjustments have to be made in the course of reforms.
- There will be resistance to reforms. This has to be undermined in such a way that those resisting will be seen by others as unreasonable and illegitimate in their objections and as protecting their own interests rather than looking out for the common good of society and the state.
- Even enthusiastically received reforms will suffer a decline in energies and active support as time goes on. Reforms should be supported by occasional campaigns to stir up enthusiasm.
- The pace of reforms must fit local conditions so as not to 'overwhelm' either the police or the public.
- Police organisations seek to shape reforms towards their interests and are much more likely to adopt reforms that do not challenge the existing internal distribution of power and authority within the organisation.
- Reforms must be built into managerial practice in the long term. A system should be developed to teach new leaders as they rise through the ranks.
The goals of democratic police reform (or creation of a democratic policing system) are:
- sustained legitimacy;
- skilled professionalism; and
- effective accountability.
Since the demise of communism in the early nineties, police reform and human rights have become important topics in post-communist societies striving for more democratic and human rights based forms of governance. In spite of the introduction of new constitutions, the ratification of human rights treaties in many such countries, as well as the introduction of new criminal law and procedure codes, policing realities overall have proved remarkably intransigent. In this volume diverse experts from different countries discuss both impediments to and opportunities for the development of a more democratic and human rights-oriented police. As such, this volume is of importance to students and academics, as well as practitioners interested in acquiring an insight into the viability of different approaches to improve the quality of democratic and human rights-oriented policing in post-communist societies and beyond.