Title: “Security Sector Reform and the Challenge of Vertical Integration”

Author: Timothy Donais, Wilfrid Laurier University

Published: Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 12:1 (2018): 31-47. https://doi.org/10.1080/17502977.2018.1426681


The poor performance of conventional security sector reform (SSR) programming, especially in fragile and conflict-affected states, has led to growing calls for the development of a new generation of reform strategies capable of transcending the state-centrism of earlier approaches and delivering sustainable security dividends to insecure populations. This paper reflects on the challenges of second-generation SSR, with a particular emphasis on the imperatives of reconciling different understandings of ownership, of rendering SSR processes more inclusive, and of acknowledging the realities of non-state security provision. The paper suggests that at its core, SSR is about strengthening state-society relations, and that second-generation SSR will ultimately be judged on how effectively it comes to terms with the argument that genuine and sustainable change can only emerge through an endogenous process of relationship transformation, in which insiders, not outsiders, are the primary agents of change.

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