Albrecht Schnabel

Policy and Research Papers

Mapping Evolving Internal Roles of the Armed Forces

DCAF's newest addition to its SSR series has just been published, co-authored by Albrecht Schnabel and Marc Krupanski and titled "Mapping Evolving Internal Roles of the Armed Forces." It is widely assumed, at least from a Western perspective, that the armed forces provide national defence against external threats. In reality, within many consolidated Western democracies the armed forces are assuming an increasingly wide range of internal roles and tasks. These can include domestic security roles and the provision of humanitarian assistance in situations of natural or humanitarian catastrophe, often under the command and control of different civilian agencies. This SSR Paper seeks to make sense of this complex reality. Different internal roles of armed forces are analysed, drawing on the cases of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Through carefully examining evolving internal roles and identifying patterns and lessons from these experiences, this SSR Paper provides an important contribution to understanding the evolving nature of contemporary armed forces.


Operationalizing Human Security: Tools for Human Security-Based Threat and Mitigation Assessments

This publications, one of two, presents the final results of a collaborative project onOperationalizing Human Security (OPHUSEC), carried out by DCAF, the Laboratory of Urban Sociology at the EPFL Lausanne (EPFL-LaSur), the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, and the Swiss Peace Foundation (swisspeace). The project was funded by SDC and the Swiss National Science Foundation. It examined the link between human security analysis and human security provision to improve the lives of people living in threatened communities and to sensitize security providers about means and ways to channel existing resources and capacities more effectively towards the alleviation of serious threats in specific local contents.  Operationalizing Human Security: Tools for Human-Security-Based Threat and Mitigation Assessments (Cahier 21) offers a series of practical suggestions and tools to allow the replication of some or all of the project’s practical assessment and mitigation components.

Available for download here.


Security Sector Reform Narrowing the Gap between Theory and Practice

The persistent gap between theory and practice in SSR can be a source of much irritation and disappointment – at failures to implement SSR norms as well as in response to concepts and strategies that seem unhelpfully far removed from local realities. This paper compares ideal-case SSR environments with real-life conditions of implementing SSR. Through offering suggestions for better practice in SSR implementation, it shows that the art of ‘applied SSR’ can be learned.

To access the full report Security Sector Reform Narrowing the Gap between Theory and Practice, kindly click on the link.

This paper is part of DCAF's SSR Papers series. Click on the link for more DCAF publications on security sector reform.



Back to the Roots: Security Sector Reform and Development

There has now been more than a decade of conceptual work, policy development and operational activity in the field of security sector reform (SSR). To what extent has its original aim to support and facilitate development been met? The different contributions to this volume address this question, offering a range of insights on the theoretical and practical relevance of the security-development nexus in SSR. They examine claims of how and whether SSR effectively contributes to achieving both security and development objectives. In particular, the analyses presented in this volume provide a salutary lesson that development and security communities need to take each other’s concerns into account when planning, implementing and evaluating their activities. The book offers academics, policy-makers and practitioners within the development and security communities relevant lessons, suggestions and practical advice for approaching SSR as an instrument that serves both security and development objectives.


Other Documents

The Security Sector's Role in Responding to Health Crises

This report is informed by the two-day roundtable-style workshop entitled "The Security Sector and Global Health Crises: Lessons from the 2014 Ebola Epidemic in West Africa" in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The workshop's main discussions, outcomes and recommendations are expected to facilitate better preparedness to mitigate future epidemics through collaborative and coordinated efforts between health and security sector communities, and directed at local, national and regional actors as well as the international donor community engaged in West Africa.

Other Document