The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

No programmes have been added yet.
No support mandates have been added yet.
No vacancies have been added yet.


Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System

At this event in which they talk about their new book, Paul Collier and Alexander Betts discuss how the world is facing its greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War, yet the institutions responding to it remain virtually unchanged from those created in the post-war era. As neighbouring countries continue to bear the brunt of the Syrian catastrophe, European governments have enacted a series of ill-considered gestures, from shutting their borders to welcoming refugees without a plan for their safe passage or integration upon arrival. With a deepening crisis and a xenophobic backlash in Europe, it is time for a new vision for refuge. 

Going beyond the scenes of desperation which have become all too familiar in the past few years, Paul Collier and Alexander Betts look to show that international policy-makers should be focussing on delivering humane, effective and sustainable outcomes – both for Europe and for countries that border conflict zones. Refugees need more than simply food, tents and blankets, and research demonstrates that they can offer tangible economic benefits to their adopted countries if given the right to work and education. 

For details and full access to the video Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System, kindly follow the link. 


Policy and Research Papers

Between ‘Justice’ and ‘Injustice’: Justice Populaire in the Eastern DR Congo


Extra-legal ‘popular’ violence, whereby citizens kill other citizens ‘in the name of justice’, has occurred all over the world, at different times and in different places. However, there is a much higher incidence of such practices in some contexts than in others. The present-day eastern DR Congo is one of those contexts. Whether through violent mobs, or through ‘guns for hire’, those who are perceived to be ‘harming the community’ are sometimes killed without judicial process, but in ‘the name of justice’. How can we explain these violent practices? What do they tell us about the state of the justice and security apparatus in the eastern DR Congo? And what could be done to reduce the incidence of these irregular acts?

This policy brief published by the Justice and Security Research Programme from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) looks into the causes of what in the eastern DR Congo is commonly called justice populaire. Contrary to what is sometimes assumed, these incidents cannot only be ascribed to the malfunctioning state-led justice and security apparatus. Rather, they relate to a wider crisis of authority resulting in part from the eroding role of customary chiefs, religious leaders and elders. Other causes are the high level of social conflicts and the militarisation of society, which render violent responses seemingly adequate solutions to conflicts and other social problems, Additionally, justice populaire provides a way in which groups with limited access to official political chan­nels, in particular the youth, try to assert socio-political agency.

To access the Between ‘Justice’ and ‘Injustice’: Justice Populaire in the Eastern DR Congo policy brief, kindly follow the link.


Multi-layered Security Governance as a Quick Fix? The challenges of donor-supported, bottom-up security provision in Ituri (DR Congo)


There is currently a lively debate among policy-makers and scholars about the role that local non-state actors can play in security provision in so-called ‘fragile situations’, or contexts characterized by high levels of insecurity and limited state capacity to deal with it. The idea that building security institutions based on Western models is the remedy to the insecurity of fragile situations, has come under increased criticism both from scholars and practitioners and has promoted the inclusion of local non-state actors in peace-building strategies.

This paper by the Justice and Security Research Programme (JSRP), from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) investigates ‘multi-layered’ security governance arrangements developed in the restive Ituri province in north-eastern DR Congo, where different forms of insecurity affect people’s lives on a daily basis. It looks more specifically into ‘multilayered’ security governance in Ituri’s capital of Bunia, which is facing a high level of violent crime, and in the Irumu territory, which is the site of a violent conflict between the Forces de Résistance Patriotique d’Ituri (Front for Patriotic Resistance of Ituri, or FRPI) and the Congolese army that is relying on support from the Mission de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en République Démocratique du Congo (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo, or MONUSCO). The paper argues that while international support for non-state security actors can help in mitigating insecurity, it should not be considered as the ‘missing link’ in security governance. Involving local non-state security actors in security governance is perceived as a practical way to improve security conditions, but the issues which produce insecurity in north-eastern Congo are far too complex and deeply rooted for such localised “bottom-up” approaches to significantly change the status quo. Furthermore, we argue that adding new security actors may result in tensions with existing ones, that in turn may have adverse effects on the security of citizens. This is because ‘security’ is a deeply contested political issue that is ultimately about who can enforce order. ‘Multi-layered’ security, therefore, should not be seen as a technical ‘fix’ to people’s daily security problems, but rather as a political choice, the effect of which can be quite unpredictable especially in areas such as north-eastern DR Congo, where political and coercive authority is deeply contested.

To access the Multi-layered Security Governance as a Quick Fix? The challenges of donor-supported, bottom-up security provision in Ituri (DR Congo) paper, kindly follow the link.


Women, Peace and Security in Iraq


Iraq's National Action Plan (INAP) to implement the Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security was launched in 2014. This policy report on INAP is written by Dr Zeynep N. Kaya from the LSE Middle East Centre and the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security.

The author argues that the Resolution 1325 is relevant for women in Iraq, and that the launch of the INAP to implement it is an important step for Iraqi women. The report then offers an overview of the issues women face in Iraq and provides an assessment of INAP, stressing that specific issues related to conflict and insecurity in Iraq are not adequately addressed. Finally, it offers recommendations to policymakers, international organisations and civil society organisations for the effective implementation of 1325.

To access the Women, Peace and Security in Iraq policy report by Zeynep N. Kaya, kindly follow the link.


The WPS Agenda and the 'Refugee Crisis': Missing Connections and Missed Opportunities in Europe

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda has successfully constructed the figure of the conflict-affected woman as a subject worthy of attention, inclusion and protection on the part of the international community. This concern is especially palpable when she is physically present in a conflict zone. As the conflict-affected woman flees and seeks safety and security in Europe, however, she moves to the periphery of the area of concern of WPS policies and discourses. This working paper demonstrates that forcibly displaced persons skirt the margins of the WPS agenda.

For full access to The WPS Agenda and the 'Refugee Crisis': Missing Connections and Missed Opportunities in Europe, kindly follow the link.


Local Ownership Challenges in Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention

Local ownership is one of the guiding norms of contemporary peacebuilding and conflict prevention. To help advance understanding and address the shortcomings and challenges of translating this concept from policy ideal to good practice, this report adopts two perspectives. One is a problem solving perspective which examines the practical difficulties evidenced in attempts to implement local ownership policies by the European Union (EU) and other actors, which arise from a combination of conceptual confusions and process issues. The other perspective questions at a deeper level how local ownership is constructed as a practice and discourse within EU civilian peacebuilding and conflict prevention policies. From this more fundamental perspective, which reflects a Whole of Society approach to EU peacebuilding and conflict prevention capabilities, local ownership is proposed as a deep engagement, and ‘thick conversation’ between locals and external peacebuilders, which takes account of the diversity and complexity of actors, processes and relationships and the multiple positions each constituency adopts towards the conflict.

The report analyses local ownership in terms of the EU’s ability to leverage the density and complexity of local society and build positive social capital in response to conflict. It uses examples of the private sector and religious organisations as significant constituencies which are under-represented in current approaches. These examples illustrate the presence of neglected sites of local agency and provide a lens for identifying indigenous practices and networked relationships which are intrinsic to developing effective and sustainable peacebuilding outcomes. The report’s main finding is that existing approaches to local ownership fail to capture – or sometimes even acknowledge – the deep-seated difficulties of aligning with the variegated and fluid nature of local society, and its creative possibilities. Based on these examples, the Whole of Society perspective suggests that the promise of local ownership in international interventions is best served through identifying appropriate spaces of action within local society, and an adjustment of programming parameters to enable the EU to complement the efforts of domestic actors.

To read the full report, Local Ownership Challenges in Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention, please follow the link provided. 


Sortir du piège de la fragilité

Les Objectifs de développement durable (ODD) ciblent l’éradication de l’extrême pauvreté d’ici à 2030. Pour autant, alors que les deux tiers du chemin restent à parcourir, près de 900 millions de personnes vivent encore avec moins de deux dollars par jour et, dans les pays les plus pauvres du monde, les progrès sont au point mort. 

On appelle généralement «États fragiles» des pays qui ne parviennent pas à surmonter les fléaux tels les conflits et la corruption. Leurs gouvernements sont souvent dépourvus de la légitimité et des capacités qui leur permettraient d’offrir les emplois, les services publics et les opportunités auxquels aspirent leurs peuples. Les dernières estimations suggèrent que d’ici à 2030, la moitié des pauvres du monde vivront dans des pays qui sont fragiles.

Le présent rapport analyse les caractéristiques de la fragilité et se penche également sur certaines conséquences plus larges. Les recommandations de ce rapport correspondent à une nouvelle approche de la fragilité des États et de l’aide internationale.

Pour accéder à l'intégralité du rapport, Sortir du piège de la fragilité, veuillez suivre le lien.


Other Documents

The in-between of being a civilian and combatant – circular return in eastern DR Congo

This article introduces the notion of circular return to explain the permanent state of mobility between civilian and combatant life of combatants. The phenomenon is widely seen in eastern DRC, where thousands of Congolese youth have been going in and out of armed groups for several decades now. While the notion of circular return has its origins in migration and refugee studies, the article argue that it also serves as a useful lens to describe and understand processes of incessant armed mobilisation. In conceptualising these processes as forms of circular return, the article's authors want to move beyond the remobilisation discourse, dominant both in DDR literature and policy speech. This discourse tends to be too security oriented, emphasising the security threat of armed mobilisation and the failure of DDR processes and the institutions supporting them. More importantly, it ignores combatants’ agency and larger processes of socialisation and social rupture, which are key drivers of armed (continued) mobilisation. The article argues that armed groups are experiments in creating new social spaces, providing new forms of social capital and constituting new identities. Circular return points at combatants’ capacity to navigate between these new spaces and older ones.

For access to the full text "The in-between of being a civilian and combatant – circular return in eastern DR Congo", please follow the in-text link.

Other Document