Steffen Eckhard

Policy and Research Papers

Political guidance or autonomy in peacebuilding? EU police reform in Afghanistan and Kosovo

Reviewing findings from the recent institutional turn in peacebuilding research, this article identifies two conflicting arguments with respect to institutional designs that affect the performance of peace operations. One perspective favours functional decentralization and mission latitude, while the other perspective argues that a lack of political guidance strips mission leadership of their authority vis-à-vis local power brokers and reduces the likelihood of a ‘robust’ approach. Comparing two EU crisis management missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan, the article asks which of the two perspectives is supported by the institutional design and performance of EU peace operations. Unlike the UN – the focus of most previous research – the EU’s institutional framework is highly centralized. This provided member states with ample opportunities for political guidance, but such guidance was, in fact, negatively associated with performance. This finding suggests that the political guidance thesis must be treated with caution. Because member states’ interests vis-à-vis a conflict state rarely converge, the conditions for meaningful political guidance are absent. The article, therefore, finds that increasing managerial latitude provides the more promising avenue to enhancing peacebuilding performance. Addressing policy-makers, the findings speak to the urgent need for the EU to review and potentially reform its crisis management system.

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Paper

The challenges and lessons learned in supporting Security Sector Reform

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This publication from the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is the slightly abridged and adapted translation of a study whose original German language version was aimed primarily at German experts (published in November 2014). The starting point for the study was the observation that although support for SSR processes had been accorded great conceptual importance in German discussions on crisis prevention and peacebuilding, this rhetoric commitment to support SSR was inadequately reflected in actual policy and practice. The present publication in English contains new contextualisations relevant to a broad international readership while omitting some content likely only of interest to a German audience

The study pursues three objectives: First, it provides an overview of the concept of SSR support and analyses the most recent trends and relevant developments. Second, on this basis, it identifies the challenges confronting practitioners when implementing SSR measures and examines the solutions and strategies they pursue. Third, in light of the findings, the reasons for civil society to engage in SSR are presented along with possible approaches. The data for the study were collected from fifty-nine interviews with experts and augmented by analysis of policy papers and studies on SSR.

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Paper

The Challenges and Lessons Learned in Supporting Security Sector Reform

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This is an updated English version of a study originally published in German in November 2014. The policy paper was produced as a collaboration between the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and GPPi and pursues three objectives: First, it provides an overview of the concept of SSR support and analyses the most recent trends and relevant developments. Second, on this basis, it identifies the challenges confronting practitioners when implementing SSR measures and examines the solutions and strategies they pursue. Third, in light of the findings, the reasons for civil society to engage in SSR are presented along with possible approaches. The data for the study were collected from fifty-nine interviews with experts and augmented by analysis of policy papers and studies on SSR.

To access "The Challenges and Lessons Learned in Supporting Security Sector Reform" study kindly follow the link.

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