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Security Sector Reform

Security Sector Reform and the Paradoxical Tension between Local Ownership and Gender Equality

Citation:

Gordon, Eleanor, Anthony Cleland Welch, and Emmicki Roos. 2015. “Security Sector Reform and the Paradoxical Tension between Local Ownership and Gender Equality.” Stability: International Journal of Security and Development 4 (1).

Authors: Eleanor Gordon, Anthony Cleland Welch, Emmicki Roos

Abstract:

This article analyses the tension or conflict that can exist between the principles of local ownership and gender equality that guide Security Sector Reform (SSR) programmes when gender discrimination and patriarchal values characterise the local environment (and ‘locals’ do not value gender equality). In these situations, international actors may be reluctant to advocate gender equality, regarding it as imposing culturally alien values and potentially destabilising to the SSR process. It is argued, however, that the tension between local ownership and gender equality is deceptive and merely serves to protect the power of dominant groups and disempower the marginalised, often serving to disguise the power relations at play in post-conflict environments and avoid addressing the security needs of those who are often at most risk. The paper concludes that rather than a tension existing between the two principles, in fact, local ownership without gender equality is meaningless. Moreover, failing to promote gender equality undermines the extent to which SSR programmes result in security and justice sector institutions that are representative of and responsive to the needs of both men and women. It can also perpetuate structural inequalities and conflict dynamics and, ultimately, limit the success of SSR and broader peacebuilding processes.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Justice, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security, Security Sector Reform

Year: 2015

Gender Perspectives and Military Effectiveness: Implementing UNSCR 1325 and the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security

Citation:

Egnell, Robert. 2016. “Gender Perspectives and Military Effectiveness: Implementing UNSCR 1325 and the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security.” Prism: A Journal of the Center for Complex Operations 6 (1): 73-89.

Author: Robert Egnell

Annotation:

Summary: 
"To further the discussion on gender in military affairs, this article discusses two questions: why should gender perspectives be introduced and implemented in military organizations? And how should this process be managed to do so successfully? Regardless of whether we agree that gender perspectives are important for military affairs or not, or if we simply obey the “orders” of the National Action Plan (NAP), we are facing the challenge of implementing UNSCR 1325 in a vast organization with a culture that has traditionally been unkind to these perspectives. The process of implementation must therefore be approached as an uphill battle that will involve substantial resistance. The article draws on a major study of a similar process in Sweden that will serve to highlight general tactical choices, organizational hurdles, and policy implications for an international audience" (Egnell 2016, 74).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Peace and Security, Post-conflict Governance, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Security Sector Reform Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2016

What Role for the Security Sector? An SSR Approach to Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Citation:

Holvikivi, Aiko. 2015. "What Role for the Security Sector? An SSR Approach to Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda." Connections 14 (3): 31-44.

Author: Aiko Holvikivi

Annotation:

Summary:
"The United Nations Security Council resolutions on “Women, Peace and Security” identify security sector reform (SSR) as a tool for their implementation. Nonetheless, the resolutions are often seen as the purview of women’s organizations and the responsibility of ministries of foreign affairs, leaving the role of security sector institutions and their obligations for reform murky. On the other hand, a body of literature oriented toward practitioners and policymakers charts out the rationale and practical tools for ensuring SSR interventions are gender responsive. This literature tends to view the women, peace and security resolutions as a tool for integrating gender perspectives in SSR interventions. However, this literature’s ultimate goal remains the good governance of the security sector.
 
"In this article, I seek to bridge this gap through an examination of the roles and responsibilities of the security sector in implementing the women, peace and security agenda. More precisely, I examine the processes and principles associated with security sector reform, and argue that its technical components and ultimate objectives are key to the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda. In other words, I ask what SSR can bring to the women, peace and security agenda, rather than how the integration of gender furthers SSR.
 
"As other contributions in this volume have already introduced the women, peace and security agenda, the following section focuses on the concept and key tenets of SSR and engages in a brief discussion on mainstreaming gender into SSR interventions. The analysis that follows is structured around the four pillars of the women, peace and security agenda, and examines what reform and good governance of the security sector can contribute to the realization of these goals. In other words, it identifies roles and responsibilities for the security sector in implementing this agenda. The final section summarizes how SSR is key to the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, and how SSR approaches can complement its further development" (Holvikivi 2015, p. 31-2).

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Security Sector Reform

Year: 2015

Institutionalising Women, Peace and Security in the Pacific Islands: Gendering the ‘architecture of entitlements’?

Citation:

George, Nicole. 2016. “Institutionalising Women, Peace and Security in the Pacific Islands: Gendering the ‘Architecture of Entitlements’?” International Political Science Review 37 (3): 375-89. 

Author: Nicole George

Abstract:

Efforts to adopt provisions of the United Nations Women, Peace and Security agenda in local policy contexts are often hailed enthusiastically by gender advocates as a transformative development. But closer scrutiny of these localisation efforts may reveal something different. This article draws on theories of feminist institutionalism to examine the formal and informal institutional interplays which have shaped the Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security that was formalised by the Pacific Islands Forum in 2012. My analysis shows that although the Regional Action Plan is a significant development in rhetorical terms for the Pacific region, and may lay the foundation for future policy progress on gender and security, its focus is also constrained. This becomes particularly evident when the Regional Action Plan’s emphasis on women’s peacebuilding is compared with the plan’s relative silence on the growing regional challenge of gender and environmental insecurity. To explain these developments I show how the plan sits in interesting, and unresolved, tension with existing institutional norms and practices which gender the ‘architecture of entitlements’ governing how Pacific Island women can legitimately enter debate on regional security.
 

Keywords: women, peace and security, gender politics, Pacific Islands, peacebuilding, environmental security

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Security Sector Reform Regions: Oceania

Year: 2016

Sex, Security and Superhero(in)Es: From 1325 to 1820 and Beyond

Citation:

Shepherd, Laura J. 2011. “Sex, Security and Superhero(in)Es: From 1325 to 1820 and Beyond.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 13 (4): 504–21.

Author: Laura Shepherd

Abstract:

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 was adopted in October 2000 with a view to ensuring that all aspects of conflict management, post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding be undertaken with a sensitivity towards gender as an axis of exclusion. In this paper, I do not dwell on the successes and shortcomings of UNSCR 1325 for long, instead using a discussion of the Resolution as a platform for analysis of sub- sequent Resolutions, including UNSCRs 1820 (2008), 1882 (2009), 1888 (2009) and 1889 (2009). This last relates specifically to the participation of women in peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction and is the most recent pronouncement of the Security Council on the issue of ‘women and peace and security’. Through this analysis, I draw attention to the expectations of and pressures on (some) women in the arena of peace and security, which can only be alleviated through discursive and material change in attitudes towards equality and empowerment. I argue that the Council is beginning to recognize – and simultaneously to constitute – (some/most) women as agential subjects and suggest that the fragmented and mutable representations of women in Council resolutions offer a unique opportunity for critical engagement with what ‘women’ might be, do or want in the field of gender and security.

Keywords: Resolution 1325, peacebuilding, participation, gender, security

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Mainstreaming, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, UNSCR 1820, UNSCR 1888, UNSCR 1889, Security Sector Reform

Year: 2011

Sexed Bodies and Military Masculinities: Gender Path Dependence in EU's Common Security and Defense Policy

Citation:

Kronsell, Annica. 2016. “Sexed Bodies and Military Masculinities: Gender Path Dependence in EU's Common Security and Defense Policy.” Men and Masculinities 19 (3): 311–36.

Author: Annica Kronsell

Abstract:

This article explores the European Union (EU)’s Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) through a framework based on feminist institutional theory that highlights the durability in the dynamics of gender relations. Path dependency based on historic features of military institutions—a strict sex division based on ‘‘gender war roles’’— has influenced the development of different CSDP bodies. The CSDP is sexed because male bodies dominate the organizations studied, yet this remains invisible through normalization. A dominant EU hierarchical military masculinity is institutionalized in the EU’s Military Committee, combat heterosexual masculinity in the Battle groups, and EU protector masculinity in the EU Training missions. The CSDP embodies different types of military masculinities; the relations between them are important for the reproduction of the gender order through a gendered logic of appropriateness. Yet, this too is invisible as part of the informal aspects of organizations. While women’s bodies are written out of the CSDP, the construction of femininity in relation to the protector/protected binary is central to it. Two protected femininities are read in the texts. The vulnerable femininity of women in conflict areas is important for how the CSDP understands itself in relation to gender mainstreaming. In relation to the vulnerable femininity, CSDP constructs an EU protector masculinity, in turn, set against an aggressive violent masculinity in the areas where missions are deployed. Women’s bodies are absent from the CSDP and they lack agency but are nevertheless associated with a protected femininity. 

Keywords: conflict, Europe, feminism, gender equality, hegemonic masculinity

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gendered Discourses, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarization, Security, Security Sector Reform Regions: Europe

Year: 2016

Security Sector Reform and the Paradoxical Tension between Local Ownership and Gender Equality

Citation:

Gordon, Eleanor, Anthony Cleland Welch and Emmicka Roos. 2015. “Security Sector Reform and the Paradoxical Tension between Local Ownership and Gender Equality.” Stability: International Journal of Security & Development 4 (1): 53, 1-23.

Authors: Eleanor Gordon, Anthony Cleland Welch, Emmicka Roos

Abstract:

This article analyses the tension or conflict that can exist between the principles of local ownership and gender equality that guide Security Sector Reform (SSR) programmes when gender discrimination and patriarchal values characterise the local environment (and ‘locals’ do not value gender equality). In these situations, international actors may be reluctant to advocate gender equality, regarding it as imposing culturally alien values and potentially destabilising to the SSR process. It is argued, however, that the tension between local ownership and gender equality is deceptive and merely serves to protect the power of dominant groups and disempower the marginalised, often serving to disguise the power relations at play in post-conflict environments and avoid addressing the security needs of those who are often at most risk. The paper concludes that rather than a tension existing between the two principles, in fact, local ownership without gender equality is meaningless. Moreover, failing to promote gender equality undermines the extent to which SSR programmes result in security and justice sector institutions that are representative of and responsive to the needs of both men and women. It can also perpetuate structural inequalities and conflict dynamics and, ultimately, limit the success of SSR and broader peacebuilding processes.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security Sector Reform

Year: 2015

Gender and Security Sector Reform: Gendering Differently?

Citation:

Kunz, Rahel. 2014. “Gender and Security Sector Reform: Gendering Differently?” International Peacekeeping 21 (5): 604–22. 

Author: Rahel Kunz

Abstract:

Recent efforts to implement gender mainstreaming in the field of security sector reform have resulted in an international policy discourse on gender and security sector reform (GSSR). Critics have challenged GSSR for its focus on ‘adding women’ and its failure to be transformative. This article contests this assessment, demonstrating that GSSR is not only about ‘adding women’, but also, importantly, about ‘gendering men differently’ and has important albeit problematic transformative implications. Drawing on poststructuralist and postcolonial feminist theory, I propose a critical reading of GSSR policy discourse in order to analyse its built-in logics, tensions and implications. I argue that this discourse establishes a powerful ‘grid of intelligibility’ that draws on gendered and racialized dualisms to normalize certain forms of subjectivity while rendering invisible and marginalizing others, and contributing to reproduce certain forms of normativity and hierarchy. Revealing such processes of discursive in/exclusion and marginalized subjectivities can serve as a starting point to challenge and transform GSSR practice and identify sites of contestation.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Security, Security Sector Reform Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2014

Building a more competent security sector: The case of UNMIL and the Liberian National Police

Citation:

Karim, Sabrina, and Ryan Gorman. 2016. “Building a More Competent Security Sector: The Case of UNMIL and the Liberian National Police.” International Peacekeeping 23 (1): 158–91. doi:10.1080/13533312.2015.1115354.

Authors: Sabrina Karim, Ryan Gorman

Abstract:

Increasingly UN peacekeeping missions are helping to implement security sector reforms (SSR), including gender reforms, targeted at the local police of host countries. This study uses the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the Liberian National Police (LNP) as a way to explore whether SSR may have helped improve individual officers' professional and gender competencies. Conducting a novel lab-in-the-field experiment, we test the individual competencies of 612 LNP officers, also analysing possible determinants of these competencies. We find that most officers have knowledge about statutory crimes and evidence gathering, most officers participate in group activities, almost half are aware of gendered crimes and that male and female officers are equally competent. However, our results suggest that the reforms are at the nascent stages of working, and that more focus should be put into basic training and gender mainstreaming in the Liberian National Police, especially as new recruits are added.

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Mainstreaming, Peacekeeping, Security, Security Sector Reform Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2016

Security Sector Reform, Gender and Local Narratives in Burundi

Citation:

Wilén, Nina. “Security Sector Reform, Gender and Local Narratives in Burundi.” Conflict, Security & Development 14, no. 3 (May 27, 2014): 331–54. doi:10.1080/14678802.2014.923152.

Author: Nina Wilén

Abstract:

This paper maps the difficulties with operationalising the gender discourse described in the peace accord and post-conflict documents, which guide Burundi's peace-building process, through local women's narratives from the security forces. The author claims that due to limited international and local investment, the local women involved in the security forces initiate small practical changes by referring to their vision of femininity, while theoretically legitimising these demands by linking them to the international human rights discourse in order to survive in an overwhelmingly masculine arena. International organisations and donors’ focus on traditionally feminine and softer areas, such as reconciliation and reintegration programmes, together with local elites’ tendency to view gender as an ‘add-on’ contribute to this development.

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Peacebuilding, Security Sector Reform Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Burundi

Year: 2014

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