Why Is SSR Important? A United Nations Perspective.

  • Citation: Ebo, Adedeji, and Kristiana Powell. “Why Is SSR Important? A United Nations Perspective.” Edited by Mark Sedra. The Future of Security Sector Reform, 2010.
    • Topics:
    • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
    • Keywords:
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Burundi
    • Timor-Leste
    • SSR
    • United Nations (UN)
    • importance of reform

Security sector reform (SSR) has come a long way since it first emerged on the international security and development policy scene in the late 1990s. This model of security assistance is now a mainstay in state-building policy and practice, widely perceived as a precondition for stability and sustainable development in countries recovering from conflict or making transitions from authoritarianism, fragility or collapse. After all, the SSR process is built to confer one of the basic building blocks of the Weberian state, a monopoly over the use of coercive force. But SSR is much more than that. The main innovation of the SSR model as compared to previous forms of security assistance in the Cold War and before, is its focus on governance. The professionalism and effectiveness of the security sector is not just measured by the capacity of the security forces, but how well they are managed, monitored and held accountable. Moreover, the SSR model conceives of the security sector as more than its blunt, hard security instruments, recognizing that the security forces cannot perform their duties effectively in the absence of competent legal frameworks and judicial bodies as well as correctional institutions and government oversight bodies.

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