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 Working Paper 3-2013 – A Strategic Framework for Mass Atrocity Prevention

Abstract At the 2005 World Summit of the United Nations, more than 170 Heads of State and Government accepted three interlinked responsibilities, which together constitute the principle of ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P). First, States accepted their primary responsibility to protect their own population from mass atrocity crimes. Second, they pledged to assist each other in fulfilling their domestic protection responsibilities. And finally, as members of the international community, they assumed the collective responsibility to react, in a timely and decisive manner, if any State were ‘manifestly failing’ to protect its population from mass atrocity crimes. Those three responsibilities are now commonly summarised in the language of R2P’s ‘three pillars’. Among the key constitutive elements of the principle of R2P, prevention has been deemed by many as the single most important. Scholars and policy-makers alike concede that it is both normatively and politically desirable to act early to prevent mass atrocity crimes from being committed—rather than to react after they are already underway. Yet, while the more general topic of conflict prevention has been—and continues to be—a subject of explicit discussion by policy-makers, an important field of inquiry for academics, and a crucial area of advocacy for civil society groups, there…

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