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Enhancing Multilateral Support for Security Sector Reform

Multilateral organizations are playing an important role in shaping the SSR agenda through the development of policy and guidance and by engaging in the provision of a wide range of SSR support on the ground. However, despite their significant engagement in this area, there is no predictability in terms of the type of support that multilateral organizations will take on. While policy frameworks concur that international support should be well coordinated, the support provided by these organizations tends to be compartmentalized in practice. As a result, considerable time is often lost while each organization separately assesses a conflict, maps what others are doing, and agrees on a division of labour.
The report presents the findings of a multi-year research project on the approaches of the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to supporting nationally-led SSR processes. The study aims at developing an empirically-based understanding of the roles and potential comparative advantages of these organizations in SSR support, as well as avenues for enhanced cooperation. For this purpose, the study examines the following three categories related to the role of multilateral organizations in SSR support: normative frameworks, institutional capacities, and operational practices.
This report was commissioned from DCAF by the Security Sector Reform Unit (SSRU) of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).


The United Nations and Security Sector Reform: Policy and Practice

Security sector reform (SSR) is fundamentally a nationally-led process, but many countries draw on support from external actors who offer financial resources, technical expertise, and lessons learned in other contexts. Multilateral organizations and the UN in particular play a vital role in supporting national efforts to make security provision, management and oversight more effective and accountable. SSR was formally added to the agenda of the UN in 2007-2008 and since then there has been a concerted effort to achieve an organization-wide approach to SSR, evolving from a narrow focus on peacekeeping to include broader peacebuilding and development perspectives.

This new DCAF publication goes beyond theory to draw on the practical experiences of UN staff members as well as external security sector reform experts. Together they offer an in-depth exploration of the UN’s approach to security sector reform from a global perspective. Their contributions worthy testimony to the challenges of multilateralism in security sector governance and reform, as well as the many results achieved thus far.


Before Military Intervention: Upstream Stabilisation in Theory and Practice

This book explores the natures of recent stabilisation efforts and global upstream threats. As prevention is always cheaper than the crisis of state collapse or civil war, the future character of conflict will increasingly involve upstream stabilisation operations. However, the unpredictability and variability of state instability requires governments and militaries to adopt a diversity of approach, conceptualisation and vocabulary. Offering perspectives from theory and practice, the chapters in this collection provide crucial insight into military roles and capabilities, opportunities, risks and limitations, doctrine, strategy and tactics, and measures of effect relevant to operations in upstream environments. This volume will appeal to researchers and practitioners seeking to understand historical and current conflict.

For full access to the book, Before Military Intervention: Upstream Stabilisation in Theory and Practice, kindly follow the link.


Effective, Legitimate, Secure: Insights for Defense Institution Building

Today, the United States faces a security paradox. On the one hand, the U.S. military is unrivaled in size, strength, capacity, and budget; on the other hand, the global operating environment of the 21st century is diffuse and complex, and threats are often asymmetric and transnational. Such challenges stipulate that no single nation, regardless of its traditional military might, can completely address its security objectives alone. The United States is no exception. Developing a network of competent partners that can share the burdens and responsibilities of global security, embracing a strategy of coalition and cooperation, is therefore vital to U.S. interests. 

The challenge is how to best invest resources to help establish strong and capable defense partners. To this end, traditional security cooperation and assistance approaches have proven insufficient to instate sustained improvements to partners’ defense sectors. Defense institution building (DIB) seeks to fill this gap by supporting partner stakeholders as they seek to develop the systemic capabilities and strong institutional foundations needed for legitimate, effective, professional, and sustainable defense sectors that are responsive to civilian control and contribute to the overall security and prosperity of the state—and in turn, to regional stability and U.S. national security. 

Effective, Legitimate, Secure: Insights for Defense Institution Building  offers an introduction to the concept of DIB and argues that establishing effective and legitimate defense institutions to undergird a partner’s defense establishment is the only way to ensure long-term security.

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Introduction à la prévention des conflits internationaux

La contagion des conflits internationaux constitue un défi majeur
des relations internationales modernes. Face à ce danger, la
communauté internationale a fait de l’anticipation des conflits une
impérieuse nécessité. Des instruments juridiques, des acteurs, des
techniques et des méthodologies sont mobilisés afin de détecter
les conflits au plus tôt et d’en prévenir la survenance. Cet ouvrage
expose de façon concise l’ensemble des principes et des activités
qui ressortent de cet activisme en faveur de la préservation de la
paix. Il a pour ambition d’apporter un éclairage très large sur une
question qui est peu étudiée par les auteurs francophones.
Ainsi, il examine à la fois les succès, qui sont loin d’être
négligeables, et les défaillances des mécanismes de prévention
des conflits internationaux. L’auteur plaide pour la diffusion d’une
véritable culture de la prévention des conflits. Il souligne cependant
la complexité de cette ambition. Cet effort ne saurait en effet
faire l’économie d’une connaissance préalable et approfondie de
la mécanique des conflits et d’une parfaite maîtrise des outils
d’intervention sur les dynamiques de violence.