ZPSP - Engaging Non-State Actors

In the Context of the ZPSP

ZPSP engagement with non-state actors is structured along engagement with three main types of actors, i.e. CSOs, academia and traditional chiefs. The partnership with the chiefs allows, for instance, entry-points for ZPSP to start discussing issues of accountability in relation to community-based policing and justice provision. Working with civil society provides ZPSP with the basis to broaden and deepen major entry-points into SST. Facilitating training of scholars’ and researchers on SST has enabled the creation of capacity to generate credible research-based knowledge on security matters in Zimbabwe. 

Definition - Non-State Actors

Non-state actors (NSA) in a broad sense include every entity apart from states, or that is not a state under international law. The range of possible entities includes: rebel groups, terrorist organizations, religious groups, civil society organizations, traditional and community leaders, corporations, all kinds of businesses, and international organizations. [Andrew Clapham] In the context of peacebuilding, NSA encompasses generally armed non-state entities: rebel groups, local militias, vigilantes, warlords, civil defence forces and paramilitary groups, private security and military companies. [Caroline Holmqvist] It is particularly relevant, in SSR processes, to acknowledge the realities of legal pluralism in many countries, where ‘non-state’ justice and security providers are, very often, fundamental parts of the state. On the other hand, SSR also has to address NSA that, in spite of lacking legal entitlement for those functions, effectively provide security and justice services.

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