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Security Sector Reform

Security sector reform (SSR) includes a bundle of activities designed to ensure that post-conflict and fragile states can make the transition to a democracy characterized by clear civilian oversight over key security institutions. Actors targeted for SSR typically include:

  • state security forces (such as armed forces and the police);
  • security management and oversight bodies (such as legislative select committees, financial management bodies, and civil society organizations);
  • justice and law enforcement institutions (such as the judiciary, prosecution services, and human rights commissions); and
  • unofficial security forces (such as rebels, private bodyguard units, private security companies, and political party militias).

Growing attention is being devoted to SSR, particularly since the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched an SSR Handbook in 2007. Indeed, a wide coalition of donor governments, UN agencies, and non-governmental organizations are heavily invested in promoting various aspects of SSR, including those related to the control of firearms and ammunition.

Many SSR activities incorporate small arms- and light weapons-specific components as part of a comprehensive approach. For example, legislative reform may involve upgrading firearms control acts. Likewise, some governments may undertake practical arms control programmes that remove small arms and munitions from uncontrolled circulation. Taken together, their intention is to create the necessary conditions so that state security forces are able to exercise a monopoly over the legitimate use of force.

   

Small Arms Survey Publications

  • Violent Deaths due to Legal Interventions, July 2015. Research Note No. 53, Armed Violence.

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  • Development Deferred: Eastern Sudan after the ESPA, by the Small Arms Survey, May 2015. Working Paper No. 36 (also available in Arabic)

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  • Politics by Other Means: Conflicting Interests in Libya's Security Sector, by Wolfram Lacher and Peter Cole, October 2014. Working Paper No. 20 (also available in Turkish, Arabic)

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  • From Bad to Better: Reflections on Refugee and IDP Militarization in Africa, by Sue J. Nahm, 2006. In Robert Muggah, ed. No Refuge, co-published with Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) by Zed Books.

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  • A Guide to the Destruction of Small Arms and Light Weapons: the Approach of the South African National Defence Force, by Sarah Meek and Noel Stott, co-published with the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), 2004.

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Other Publications

  • Sedra, Mark (ed). 2010. The Future of Security Sector Reform. Ontario: CIGI.

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  • Muggah, Robert. 2010. The effects of stabilisation on humanitarian action in Haiti, Disasters (Special issue: States of fragility: stabilisation and its implications for humanitarian action), pp. 444-463. London: ODI.

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  • Muggah, Robert, Oliver Jutersonke and Dennis Rodgers. 2009. Gangs, Urban Violence and Security Interventions in Central America, Security Dialogue, Vol. 40, August-October, pp. 373-397.

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  • Muggah, Robert, Sarah Collinson and Samir Elharawy. 2010. States of Fragility: Stabilization and Humanitarian Action. HPG Working Paper. London: Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

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  • Muggah, Robert. 2010. We must rethink the rebuilding of Haiti. The Globe and Mail online. 18 January.

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  • Muggah, Robert and Nat J. Colletta. 2009. Context matters: interim stabilisation and second generation approaches to security promotion, Journal of Conflict, Security and Development, Vol. 9, Issue 4, pp. 425 – 453. London: Routledge.

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  • Muggah, Robert and Kees Kingma. 2009. Critical issues in DDR: Context, Indicators, Targeting and Challenges. Washington DC: World Bank.

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  • Muggah, Robert. 2009. Haiti, in Bridging State Capacity Gaps in Situations of Fragility, PDG's Experts Series, pp. 39-44. Paris: PDG-OECD.

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  • Hood, Ludovic. 2006. Security Sector Reform in East Timor, 1999-2004. International Peacekeeping, Vol. 13, No. 1. Pp 60-77.

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  • Horn, Adrian, Funmi Olonisakin, and Gordon Peake. 2006. United Kingdom-led Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone. Civil Wars, Vol. 8, No. 2. Pp. 109-123.

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  • Sedra, Mark. 2006. Security Sector Reform in Afghanistan: The Slide Towards Expediency. International Peacekeeping, Vol. 13, No. 1. Pp. 94-110.

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  • Luethold, Arnold. 2004. Security Sector Reform in the Arab Middle East: A Nascent Debate. In Bryden et al., eds. Reform and Reconstruction of the Security Sector. Geneva: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), pp. 93 – 118.

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  • Wulf, Herbert. 2004. Security sector reform in developing and transitional countries. Berlin: Berghof Research Center for Constructive Conflict Management.

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  • Kuznetsov, Yevgeny, Igor Musienko, and Alexander Vorobyev. 1996. Learning to Restructure: Studies of Transformation in the Russian Defense sector. Bonn: Bonn International Center for Conversation (BICC).

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