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Civil-Military Occasional Paper 2-2015 – Security Sector Reform Trends: Conflict-Affected States and International Responses

Abstract This background paper outlines issues that emerged from research commissioned by the Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC) in early 2013 to map international perspectives and trends in security sector reform (SSR). The concept of SSR has evolved over the last two decades to describe a range of efforts to improve the security of a state and its citizens through an effective, affordable, accountable and transparent security sector. In all cases, but particularly for conflict-affected states, SSR is about governance of the security sector. Many Australian government departments and agencies, civil society and other organisations have contributed to SSR throughout the post-Cold War period. One trend observed in war-to-peace transitions after the Cold War is that the more expansive peace processes that follow complex civil wars still centre on first gaining agreement about future security arrangements. Some of the most common provisions in peace agreements include restructuring the security apparatus, demobilisation, and re-establishing civilian oversight over state security institutions. These ambitious goals mean timing, sequencing and political legitimacy are critical to achieve meaningful reform within and between those institutions. Transitional political arrangements after conflict—in place until the first post-conflict elections—were shorter (under two years) in many cases in the 1990s, and…

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Civil-Military Occasional Paper 3-2014 – Survey of Australian not-for-profit experiences: Security sector reform in conflict-affected states

Abstract In the twenty years since the end of the Cold War, Australian not-for-profits (NFPs) have found a range of ways to support societies manage transitions from warfighting postures to modes of peaceful coexistence, and from military governments to civilian-led democracies. In managing the transitions, these societies have relied heavily on the expertise and relative neutrality of national and international civil society organisations. These organisations have helped national political and military leaders find and return to a path of reconciling former combatants and enemies, and deciding how to re‑establish viable security institutions that respond to civilian control and enjoy sufficient public trust. Very little information has been collected to understand the nature and scope of these experiences, however, so in 2013 the Australian Government tasked the Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC) to commission a survey of Australian NFP work in support of security sector reform (SSR). Specifically, SSR is understood to be a concept that ‘evolved over the last two decades to describe a range of efforts to improve the security of a state and its citizens, through an effective, affordable, accountable and transparent security sector. In all cases, but particularly for conflict-affected states, SSR is about the governance of the…

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Civil-Military Occasional Paper 2-2014 – The Links Between Security Sector Reform and Development

Abstract This paper explores the relationship between security and development, with a focus on how different types of violence inhibit development in fragile and conflict-affected states. This paper is based upon a comprehensive literature review of separate pieces of research including academic studies, datasets and policy analysis. It explores statistics and figures that illustrate the barriers that insecurity poses to achieving development outcomes in fragile and conflict-afflicted states. It also examines these dynamics in detail in four countries: Afghanistan, Solomon Islands, South Sudan and Timor-Leste. The assignment was not to come up with policy recommendations per se; rather it was to present a comprehensive synopsis of how different types of violence shackles and inhibits development in fragile and conflict-affected states. The research team believes that the material presented will be of use to inform policy debate and development, including in the field of security sector reform. The analysis is contextualised by focusing on three types of violence: political, criminal and interpersonal. The barriers these different types of violence pose to development is presented throughout the report, and embedded in the country case studies. The statistics uncovered in the course of the project are stark and unnerving. These statistics, among others,…

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