The Centre for Security Governance has launched their new Special Collection on 'New Approaches to SSR in Africa' featuring 8 country case studies from Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and South Africa addressing hybrid governance, informality, and the challenges of sustaining security and justice sector reform. These papers offer examples of how governance emerges from the interfaces between traditional, formal, public, private, national, international, individual and community interests and of how these interests change over time to affect how security and justice services are delivered.
While the ambitions of comprehensive and holistic SSR programs, embedded with local ownership and context-specificity, remain the hallmarks of current programming, there is a dearth of case study evidence supporting the realization of these objectives. Rather, academic and policy literature is filled with country, region and sector specific studies, which generate a largely predictable set of outcomes and recommendations. It is often difficult to see how – or even if – the practice of SSR intervention has evolved. In this light, the papers in this special collection could be considered as evaluating the successes and challenges of SSR by looking at cases where bottom-up approaches to security questions are being negotiated, cases where formal and informal actors interact and form governance arrangements, and cases where the complexity of political change interacts with the needs of reform agendas.
This Special Collection seeks to move the SSR debate forward by further grounding policy debates in the complex interactions from which governance emerges. SSR interventions remain a key tool for improving security and justice in conflict-affected states and as experience and reflection combine, we hope that policy makers, national actors and civil society actors begin to develop more innovative ways to work at the coalfaces of security and justice sector governance.
For full access to the collection, New Approaches to SSR in Africa, please kindly follow the link.