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Co-operation, Contestation and Complexity in Post-Conflict Security Sector Reform

Ansorg, Nadine, Gordon, Eleanor (2019) Co-operation, Contestation and Complexity in Post-Conflict Security Sector Reform. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 13 (1). pp. 2-24. ISSN 1750-2977. E-ISSN 1750-2985. (doi:10.1080/17502977.2018.1516392) (KAR id:68903)

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Security Sector Reform (SSR) remains a key feature of peacebuilding interventions and is usually undertaken by a state alongside national and international partners. External actors engaged in SSR tend to follow a normative agenda that often has little regard for the context in post-conflict societies. Despite recurrent criticism, SSR practices of international organisations and bilateral donors often remain focused on state institutions, and often do not sufficiently attend to alternative providers of security or existing normative frameworks of security. This article provides a critical overview of existing research and introduces the special issue on “Co-operation, Contestation and Complexity in Post-Conflict Security Sector Reform”. We explore three aspects that add an important piece to the puzzle of what constitutes effective SSR. First, the variation of norm adoption, norm contestation and norm imposition in post-conflict countries that might explain the mixed results in terms of peacebuilding. Second, the multitude of different security actors within and beyond the state which often leads to multiple patterns of co-operation and contestation within reform programmes. And third, how both the multiplicity of and tension between norms and actors further complicate efforts to build peace or, as complexity theory would posit, influence the complex and non-linear social system that is the conflict-affected environment.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17502977.2018.1516392
Projects: Security Sector Reform and the Stability of Post-War Peace
Uncontrolled keywords: SSR; post-conflict; peacebuilding; norms; actors; conflict; cooperation
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Funders: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (
Depositing User: Nadine Ansorg
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2018 11:10 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:43 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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