Security Interventions

Identifying ‘what works’ for effective security interventions.

Our central argument is that the reason why most security interventions fail is because they are subverted by the dominant logics of public authority, namely the political marketplace.
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Police protection of the displaced in Bulengo, DR Congo. Source: Flickr, Julien Harneis. 

Security interventions can be defined broadly to include what is known as security sector reform (SSR), as well as external security interventions.

In our focus countries – the DR Congo, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Iraq - there are enormous challenges to security sector reform. In some cases, a ‘security sector’ has not existed at all, or a centralised and authoritarian security sector existed previously that has now disintegrated.

The dominant modalities for SSR over the last 25 years have either been applied and failed, or have not been applied at all. As such, in the CRP countries we prefer to use the term security arena to refer to the diverse array of actors engaged in security provision, and armed contestation for power, profit and position.

Our central argument is that the reason why most security interventions fail is that they are subverted by the dominant logics of public authority, namely the political marketplace and/or the manipulation of identity politics.

It has been possible to identify security interventions, including for example local police reform and external efforts aimed at localised stabilisation that ‘work’ in the sense of providing security for civilians temporarily. However, we suggest that such interventions can only bring lasting benefits insofar as they open space for a shift of political logic towards what we call civicness

Our security interventions research outputs: 

Publications

2020

Gebrehiwot Berhe, Mulugeta and Detzner, Sarah 'Sustaining momentum: seizing the opportunity for SSR in Sudan', LSE Conflict Research Programme, June 2020.

2019

Detzner, Sarah ‘Security Sector Reform in Sudan and South Sudan: Incubating Progress’, LSE Conflict Research Programme, December 2019.

Boswell, Alan, Yamanaka, Nanaho, Sarkar, Aditya and De Waal, Alex 'The Security Arena in South Sudan: A Political Marketplace Study', LSE Conflict Research Programme, December 2019.

de Waal, Alex, Boswell, Alan, Deng, David, Ibreck, Rachel, Benson, Matthew and Popisil, Jan 'South Sudan: The Politics of Delay' LSE Conflict Research Programme and World Peace Foundation, December 2019.

Al-Khafaji, Hayder ‘Iraq's Popular Mobilisation Forces: The Possibilities for Disarmament, Demobilisation & Reintegration’, LSE Middle East Centre, November 2019.

Thill, Michel ‘Recycling as bricolage in the Congolese National Police: lessons from police training in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’, LSE Conflict Research Programme, September 2019.

Skelton, Mac and Ali Saleem, Zmkan, ‘Iraq’s disputed internal boundaries after ISIS: heterogeneous actors vying for influence’, LSE Middle East Centre, November 2019.

De Waal, Alex ‘Pax Africana or Middle East Security Alliance in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea?’, LSE Conflict Research Programme and World Peace Foundation, January 2019.


2018

Beyene, Abdeta Dribssa ‘The Security Sector Reform Paradox in Somalia’, LSE Conflict Research Programme, November 2018.

Wondemagegnehu, Dawit Yohannes ‘Peacekeeping in a difficult neighborhood: The case of South Sudan’, LSE Conflict Research Programme, November 2018.

Podcasts

What works? Effective security sector reform in conflict situationsConflict Zone from the LSE Conflict Research Programme, 22 September 2020. 

Blogs

 

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LSE International Development Department,, Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit,, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE

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