Policy and Research Papers
The Deaf, the Blind and the Politician: The Troubles of Justice and Security Interventions in Fragile States
This article argues for an integrated, political and pragmatic approach to justice and security development as one of the key objectives of effective international support to peace building and state building in conflict-affected and fragile states. Developments since the 1990s suggest that different actors and communities have started to work on the same issues from different angles and with – perceived– different mandates. As a result, important parts of the debate on how to deal with security system reform (SSR), justice reform and the rule of law seem somewhat stuck in conceptual arguments. This article suggests moving away from such debates and instead to focus on what such justice and security engagements are meant to achieve, for whom, and which general approaches are likely to provide most added value. It argues that results require political focus, long-term processes and need to be in tune with local elite interests – whilst pursuing the aim of gradually helping to improve delivery of justice and security as basic services for all, to appropriate local standards. External and domestic objectives require careful balancing, creative compromises and strong incentives. The article also outlines a number of recurrent challenges to effective programming and suggests some ideas for improvement to achieve better results and more value for money.
Independent Progress Review on the UN Global Focal Point for Police, Justice and Corrections
This report presents the results of an independent review of the progress that the GFP initiative has made since January 2012, conducted at the request of the GFP managers, by a joint research team from the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael), the Stimson Center and the Folke Bernadotte Academy.
Mapping a way forward for Security Sector Reform
As Security Sector Reform (SSR) faces pressure to address new issues and threats, the moment is right to assess unresolved issues concerning both the concept and the practice of SSR. Four points stand out as essential to improving SSR initiatives.
First, SSR efforts require a more nuanced balance of support for state actors and their informal counterparts, to reflect more accurately the realities of security provision in different political contexts. Second, while continuing to strengthen security actors’ capacity, SSR’s original focus on governance and political analysis of the security sector needs to be more central to such efforts. Third, SSR programs must be longer in duration, more iterative in approach and less prescriptive in terms of expected outcomes. Lastly, as modern security threats come into sharper focus on the international community’s agenda, particularly threats posed by transnational organized crime and violent extremism, SSR must not fall into the trap of ‘solving security problems’ or becoming a quick-fix solution. Rather, it needs to be more carefully applied, in line with its original core tenets.