Security Sector Reform

Conflict Zones and Human Rights

Security sector reform develops effective and accountable security institutions based on international norms of transparency, accountability, and the rule of law. Stimson experts provide recommendations to strengthen critical security institutions to help ensure the security of a state and its population.

 
Photo credit: Martine Perret via flickr

Current Research

January 3, 2011

Amidst the largest public expenditure cuts since World War II, the UK's Conservative-led coalition government is pushing through far-reaching defense reforms and using them to create a more cost-effective and capable military equipped for the challenges of the future.   READ MORE

October 8, 2010

The need for transitional justice mechanisms has been endorsed by a newly released UN mapping report on human rights abuse in the DR Congo. The place to start is with serious vetting and accountability processes as bridges to long-term and sustainable security sector reform.   READ MORE

September 27, 2010 | EXPERT: William Durch , EXTERNAL: Madeline England

Revised and updated in 2010 by editors William Durch and Madeline England READ MORE

April 1, 2010 | EXTERNAL: Brandon L. Hunt , EXTERNAL: Katherine N. Andrews , EXTERNAL: Kathleen A. Walsh , EXPERT: William Durch

December 15, 2009 | EXTERNAL: Madeline England

Security sector reform (SSR) aims to support the development of “effective, inclusive, and accountable security institutions so as to contribute to international peace and security, sustainable development, and the enjoyment of human rights by all” (United Nations, A/62/659, para. 45(a)). READ MORE

December 1, 2009 | EXTERNAL: Madeline England

Management of the security sector is the implementation, direction, and operation of security policies, decisions, and practices. READ MORE

December 1, 2009 | EXTERNAL: Madeline England

Although definitions for security sector governance vary, reform centers around two dimensions that enable effective oversight and accountability of the security and justice sector: 1) an institutional dimension to (re)build transparent mechanisms and processes for security policy, decisions, and READ MORE

December 1, 2009

A national security policy (NSP) is a government-wide analysis and description of the strategic level concerns a country faces; it addresses how the government plans to deals with these concerns. READ MORE

December 1, 2009 | EXTERNAL: Madeline England

Security sector reform (SSR) aims to support the development of "effective, inclusive and accountable security institutions so as to contribute to international peace and security, sustainable development and the enjoyment of human rights by all." Achieving these normative goals is a long-term, c READ MORE

December 1, 2009

Threat assessments compile and analyze current and prospective challenges to a country's security and interests, and may be conducted as part of wider reviews of national security and defence policy and institutions. READ MORE

December 1, 2009 | EXTERNAL: Madeline England

This practice note focuses on planning and implementing SSR activities in stabilization environments. READ MORE

December 1, 2009

In countries recovering from conflict, defence institutions may be particularly resistant to change, often because change would entail loss of political control or decreased access to wealth, including reduced ability to exploit natural resources. READ MORE

December 1, 2009 | EXTERNAL: Madeline England , EXPERT: William Durch

FOPO, at the request of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) Unit in UN DPKO's Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, has collected and analyzed good practices in six key areas of security sector reform. READ MORE

September 24, 2009 | EXPERT: Alix Boucher

On 12 January 2009, the Stimson Center hosted a workshop to mark the launch of a new report, Targeting Spoilers:The Role of UN Panels of Experts by Alix J. Boucher and Victoria K. Holt. In March 2009, Holt and Boucher also published an article in International Peacekeeping that READ MORE

September 24, 2009 | EXPERT: William Durch , EXTERNAL: Madeline England

The growing numbers of international police authorized by the Security Council to serve in UN peace operations attest to a recognition of the importance, and challenge, of fostering the rule of law in post-conflict environments. READ MORE

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