Policy and Research Papers
Lessons not learned: Problems with Western Aid for Law Reform in Postcommunist Countries
Those who work in the legal reform business generally expected greater impact from this investment in new laws. Analysts, drafters, and project implementers often assumed that market forces would propel a greater level of implementation once the right laws were in place. Instead, a number of common problems repeatedly appear as counterparts in beneficiary countries have moved from legislation to implementation.
These problems have been independently identified by numerous legal reform professionals. They
can be summarized as follows:
• Lack of ownership: Laws are often translated or adopted wholesale from another system as “hasty transplants,” without the necessary careful, patient adaptation to the local legal and commercial culture and without substantial involvement by the stakeholders most directly affected, including the private sector and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), not simply government counterparts.
• Insufficient resources: Law reform projects are too short term and too lightly funded to create the needed mechanisms and processes that would permit sufficient absorption through broadbased discussion and sustained participation in the process of reform.
• Excessive segmentation: Overly narrow diagnoses and responses to legal shortcomings produce projects that ignore systemic problems and fail to add up to an integrated, effective whole.
Security Strategies Today : Trends and Perspectives
There have been considerable developments in security-policy thinking since the end of the Cold War, and a complex set of transnational threatsand challenges necessitates new security policies and strategies. Not only the attacks of 11 September 2001, but also the dark side of globalisation such as climate change, the global spread of dangerous technologies and international organised crime have changed the security perspective and policy procedures in recent years. Consequently, new
national-security strategies, white papers and security-policy documents have been drafted in order to take into account the changing security landscape.
On 6 April 2009, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) welcomed a group of leading security experts for a seminar entitled “Security Strategies Today : Trends and Perspectives”. The goal of the seminar was to provide a forum for experts from different European states, major international powers and regional and international organisations to take stock of current security polices in the European region and beyond. The participants had an opportunity to assess the direction of security-policy thinking by analysing a number of key security-policy documents such as national-security strategies, defence concepts and white papers, among others. Assumptions regarding future threats were considered, as were a variety of drafting processes and methodologies.
More than 30 participants attended the seminar, including representatives of the Defence Ministries of Finland, Germany and Sweden, as well as representatives of the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In addition to faculty members from the GCSP, regional and international experts from a range of academic and policy institutions participated, including speakers from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the International Affairs Institute (Rome), the Institute for International Strategic Studies (Beijing), the Royal Institute of International Relations (Brussels) and the Foundation for Strategic Studies (Paris).