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Security Sector Reform

Risks Versus Transformational Opportunities in Gender-Responsive Security Sector Reform

Citation:

Gordon, Eleanor, Ciara McHugh, and Jane Townsley. 2020. "Risks Versus Transformational Opportunities in Gender-Responsive Security Sector Reform." Journal of Global Security Studies. doi:10.1093/jogss/ogaa028.

Authors: Eleanor Gordon, Ciara McHugh, Jane Townsley

Abstract:

This article investigates the gap between policy and practice in gender-responsive security sector reform (SSR) by exploring the ways in which risks perceived to be associated with gender-responsive SSR in conflict-affected environments legitimize inaction. A typology of risks is presented, which range from risks to individuals, security sector institutions, and peacebuilding efforts and encompass security, programmatic, fiduciary, and reputational risks. The risks are analyzed to consider the extent to which they are present and could be managed, mitigated, or avoided, rather than stall action. This article argues that the process of determining what constitutes a risk, and what constitutes a risk worth taking, is inherently political and serves to reinforce dominant power relations, including gendered power relations. The article then discusses the risks that result from inaction and the opportunities that are missed when arguments about risk trump gender responsiveness. As a result, it is argued that gender inequalities persist, women continue to be marginalized within and beyond the security sector, and transformational opportunities that could lead to sustainable peace are missed. The article concludes by arguing that the potential risks resulting from not advancing gender-responsive SSR far outweigh the perceived risks associated with it.

Keywords: security sector reform, gender, risks, transformational opportunities, peacebuilding

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peacebuilding, Security Sector Reform

Year: 2020

Restoring Confidence in Post-Conflict Security Sectors: Survey Evidence from Liberia on Female Ratio Balancing Reforms

Citation:

Karim, Sabrina. 2019. “Restoring Confidence in Post-Conflict Security Sectors: Survey Evidence from Liberia on Female Ratio Balancing Reforms.” British Journal of Political Science 49 (3): 799-821.

Author: Sabrina Karim

Abstract:

Civilian confidence in domestic institutions, particularly in the security sector, is important for stability and state consolidation in post-conflict countries, where third-party peacekeepers have helped maintain peace and security after a conflict. While other scholars have suggested that a strong security sector is necessary for mitigating the credible commitment problem, this article provides two alternative criteria for assessing security sector reforms’ effect on confidence in the security sector: restraint and inclusiveness. Female ratio balancing in the security sector meets these two criteria, suggesting that it has the potential to help enhance confidence in the security sector and thereby create the right conditions for the peacekeeping transition. The argument is tested using original surveys conducted in post-conflict, ex-combatant communities in Liberia. The expectations received empirical support. The findings indicate that restraining and inclusive reforms could improve trust in the state’s security sector. They also demonstrate the importance of considering gender in theories related to post-conflict peace building and international relations more broadly.

Keywords: security sector reform, peacekeeping, gender, ex-combatants, state building, Liberia

Topics: Combatants, Gender, Women, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Security Sector Reform Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2019

The Masculine Logic of DDR and SSR in the Rwanda Defence Force

Citation:

Duriesmith, David, and Georgina Holmes. 2019. “The Masculine Logic of DDR and SSR in the Rwanda Defence Force.” Security Dialogue 50 (4): 361–79.

Authors: David Duriesmith, Georgina Holmes

Abstract:

Since the 1994 genocide and civil war, the Rwandan government has implemented an externally funded disarmament, demobilization and reintegration/security sector reform (DDR/SSR) programme culminating in the consolidation of armed groups into a new, professionalized Rwanda Defence Force. Feminists argue that DDR/SSR initiatives that exclude combatant women and girls or ignore gendered security needs fail to transform the political conditions that led to conflict. Less attention has been paid to how gendered relations of power play out through gender-sensitive DDR and SSR initiatives that seek to integrate women and transform hyper-masculine militarized masculinities. This article investigates how Rwanda’s DDR/SSR programme is governed by an oppressive masculine logic. Drawing on critical studies on men and masculinities and feminist work on peacebuilding, myths and the politics of belonging, it argues that Rwanda’s locally owned DDR/SSR programme places the military and militarization at the centre of the country’s nation-building programme. Through various ‘boundary-construction’ practices, the Rwandan government attempts to stabilize the post-1994 gender order and entrench the hegemony of a new militarized masculinity in Rwandan society. The case study draws on field research conducted in 2014 and 2015 and a discourse analysis of historical accounts, policy documents and training materials of the Rwanda Defence Force.

Keywords: DDR, gender, militarization, peacebuilding, Rwanda, SSR

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Genocide, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security Sector Reform Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2019

Brave warriors, Unfinished Revolutions: Political Subjectivities of Women Combatants in East Timor

Citation:

Siapno, Jacqueline. 2020. "Brave Warriors, Unfinished Revolutions: Political Subjectivities of Women Combatants in East Timor." In Women Warriors in Southeast Asia, edited by Vina Lanzona and Frederik Rettig, 246-63. New York: Routledge. 

Author: Jacqueline Siapno

Annotation:

Summary:
This chapter is an ethnography of institutions (military and police) and an examination of the DDR (Demobilisation, Disarmament, and Reintegration) and SSR (Security Sector Reform) processes in post-war Timor-Leste, focusing in particular on the situation of women in the National Police Force and the National Defense Force. The methodology includes fieldwork and oral interviews and public discussion presenting research findings to the hierarchy of justice, security, and defense institutions in East Timor and linking it to public policy on engendering security sector reform and corruption in the public service. The chapter includes interviews articulating the voices of women who fought in the anti-colonial resistance, their subsequent disillusionment, strategies for survival, their reflections on the unfinished if not betrayed revolution, but at the same time, the continuing pursuit of the ideals of justice, equality, independence, and healing from the war and from the life-space of militarised masculinities.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Peace and Security, Post-Conflict, Security Sector Reform Regions: Oceania Countries: Timor-Leste

Year: 2020

Security Sector Reform, Small Arms and Light Weapons and Gender in the Post-Conflict Western Balkans

Citation:

Szedlacsek, Eszter. 2019. “Security Sector Reform, Small Arms and Light Weapons and Gender in the Post-Conflict Western Balkans.” Corvinus Journal of International Affairs 4 (1): 26-38.

Author: Eszter Szedlacsek

Abstract:

We all experience war in a different way – building peace in post-conflict environments requires solutions that bring together various aspects of these experiences at the local, national and international levels. However, the actors involved and the social groups they address are only rarely those at the margin, and the diversity of the catch-all category of “locals” frequently goes unacknowledged when considering Security Sector Reform (SSR) and especially small arms control. Numerous studies have focused on SSR and gender in the Balkans, on perceptions of security in post-conflict environments and its gender-related aspects, as well as on the gendered aspects of small arms, but so far the analysis bringing together all of these aspects is scarce. This paper aims to address this gap, providing an overview of these areas to show that attempts at state-building and security-provision in the Western Balkans have failed to appropriately incorporate gender mainstreaming into their agendas. It is the central claim of this paper that policymakers must realize that gender mainstreaming without a broader understanding of gendered aspects of security does not and will not have transformative power – neither in the Western Balkans, nor in other post-conflict environments.

Keywords: security sector reform (SSR), post-conflict, small arms and light weapons (SALW), gender, Western Balkans

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security Sector Reform, Weapons /Arms Regions: Europe, Baltic states, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2019

Leading the Operationalisation of WPS

Citation:

Hutchinson, Susan. 2018. "Leading the Operationalisation of WPS." Security Challenges 14 (2): 124-43.

Author: Susan Hutchinson

Annotation:

Summary:
"This paper considers how an intervening security force can implement the relevant components of the suite of United Nations Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The analytical framework of the paper is a generic operational cycle comprised of preplanning, planning, conduct, and transition. Specific tasks identified in the resolutions are organised in this generic operational cycle. The tasks are those commonly led by security forces, or directed by government, and include: conflict analysis or intelligence; deliberate planning; force structure; population protection; female engagement; support to the rule of law; security sector reform; and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration. This paper focuses on the experiences of the Australian Defence Force, with additional examples from militaries of Canada, Ireland, Sweden and the United States as well as organisational experiences from NATO and the United Nations. The paper draws on operations including, but not limited to, in Afghanistan, Rwanda, Yugoslavia and East Timor. Overall, the paper makes a unique contribution to the military operationalisation of the WPS agenda" (Hutchinson 2018, 124).

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Gender, Women, Governance, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Security, Security Sector Reform, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Western Europe, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Rwanda, Sweden, Timor-Leste, United States of America, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2018

Deepening the Conversation: Feminism, International Policing and the WPS Agenda

Citation:

Huber, Laura K., and Natalie F. Hudson. 2019. “Deepening the Conversation: Feminism, International Policing and the WPS Agenda.” International Peacekeeping 26 (5): 579–604.

Authors: Laura K. Huber, Natalie F. Hudson

Abstract:

Scholarship on international police reform and Women, Peace and Security (WPS) has flourished in the last decade and the potential for engagement across these two bodies of literature is promising. Given the increased use of police personnel in international peace missions and emphasis on gender mainstreaming policies, the need for assessing the impact of these two trends has never been greater. Thus, this paper seeks to bridge gaps between the mainstream policing scholarship and feminist scholars focused on post-conflict peacebuilding police reforms. We explore how feminist scholars can engage with policing literature’s technocratic language and ‘in the field’ experience as well as how policing scholars can interact with feminist scholars to transform traditional approaches to security in the context of the WPS Agenda. We demonstrate the benefits of increased dialogue and interaction by highlighting the common and diverging challenges in both fields in three areas: the design, implementation, and evaluation. Finally, to illustrate the dynamic intersection of these areas of study and practice, we examine the transnational policing efforts to gender mainstream the Liberian National Police (LNP) in the context of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

Keywords: feminism, police, gender, security sector reform (SSR), peacekeeping

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, International Organizations, Peacebuilding, Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Security, Security Sector Reform, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2019

Gender and the Security Sector: Towards a More Secure Future

Citation:

Arostegui, Julie L. 2015. "Gender and the Security Sector: Towards a More Secure Future." Connections 14 (3): 7-30.

Author: Julie L. Arostegui

Annotation:

Summary: 
In recent decades, the nature of war has changed dramatically. Internal conflicts are being waged by opposing armed groups, often divided along ideological or ethnic lines that increasingly target civilians and wreak havoc on society with severe physical, psychological, social, political, and economic consequences. With the changed nature of conflict has come an increasing demand to consider its varied effects on women and girls, men and boys, and to address their specific needs before, during, and after conflict. There is also an increasing awareness of the importance of including women in peace and security processes. Women are 50 percent of the population and a critical part of society and, without them, real and sustainable peace cannot be achieved. They are not merely victims of conflict; they also play active roles as combatants, peace builders, politicians, and activists, and are often in the strongest position to bring about peace in their communities. Women around the world have emerged as voices of peace, mobilizing across communities and using their social roles and networks to mediate and mitigate violence. They have demanded attention to the complex issues of peace and peace building, and the needs of the communities involved, rather than to just cease-fires and power sharing. The international community has responded with a framework for addressing women, peace, and security, which includes United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions and binding international law. Regional bodies such as the European Union, NATO, and the African Union have also developed strong frameworks around gender equality and women’s rights in order to build sustainable peace, driven by advocacy by women’s groups and the experiences of conflict. With these changes has also come a paradigm shift in the concept of security from one of state security to human security. Whereas traditionally security involved the protection of borders and state sovereignty, the modern concept of security addresses the security of individuals and communities. It broadens both the nature of security threats such as poverty, discrimination, gender-based violence, lack of democracy and marginalization, and the actors involved, including non-state actors and civil society. It means creating societies that can withstand instability and conflict. It is more than the absence of armed conflict; it is an environment where individuals can thrive.2 A security sector that is based in human security takes into account the differing needs of men, women, boys, and girls, and ensures that the full and equal participation of women addresses the needs of all of the population and helps to establish a more peaceful and secure society. Integrating a gender perspective into the security sector is essential: 1) to abide by universally accepted human rights principles; 2) because when both men and women are involved in decision-making processes, there are better outcomes; and 3) using gender perspectives and mainstreaming increases operational effectiveness" (Arostegui 2015, 7-8).

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Law, International Organizations, Peace and Security, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Human Security, Security Sector Reform, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS

Year: 2015

Masculinity, Post-Conflict Police Reform & Gender-Based Violence in Northern Ireland & Bosnia Herzegovina

Citation:

Melia, Jan. 2018. "Masculinity, Post-Conflict Police Reform & Gender-Based Violence in Northern Ireland & Bosnia Herzegovina." PhD diss., University of Aberdeen.

Author: Jan Melia

Abstract:

This dissertation aims to examine masculinities and transitional police reform, considering policy and processes, and investigating the policing of gender-based violence in post-war societies. Drawing upon current feminist theory in the field of transitional justice, it focuses on masculinities in formal post-conflict police reform processes, an area that has been much under-researched in the academic literature. More specifically, the dissertation examines international processes focused on police reform advocacy relating to gender-sensitive reform, and local level police reform relating to gender-based violence (GBV). To examine local level reforms, two post-conflict case sites, Bosnia Herzegovina (BiH), and Northern Ireland (NI) were selected for investigation. My research understands gender as a discursive construct and investigates the gendered conceptions built into police reform policy, process, and practice. How these conceptions come to be part of police reform texts and how they manifest in post-conflict policing responses to gender-based violence (GBV) is the focus of the dissertation. Overall, my research identifies masculinity as an unstated norm in police reform, and case study findings indicate that hegemonic masculinities shape police reform policy and practice relating to GBV in particular ways, reiterating conventional gender norms, and limiting the potential for transformative change. Findings suggest that current reforms in post-conflict transitions contribute to, and constitute a process of remasculinisation.

Keywords: masculinity, police, police administration, women

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict, Security Sector Reform Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, United Kingdom

Year: 2018

Beyond “Market” and “State” Feminism: Gender Knowledge at the Intersections of Marketization and Securitization

Citation:

Stachowitsch, Saskia. 2019. “Beyond ‘Market’ and ‘State’ Feminism: Gender Knowledge at the Intersections of Marketization and Securitization.” Politics & Gender 15 (1): 151–73.

Author: Saskia Stachowitsch

Abstract:

This article assesses the implications of the shifting market-state relationship for feminism in the neoliberal era. In a case study of the private military and security industry as an actor that is uniquely positioned at the intersections of security governance and global markets, the analysis combines feminist security studies’ critique of securitized gender discourses and feminist global political economy scholarship on corporate-led equality initiatives. Based on a critical discourse analysis of documents from industry and nongovernmental organizations, such as codes of conduct and policy recommendations, I argue that the discourses on gender put forward in the context of security privatization merge securitized and marketized discourses to the effect that the emancipatory potential of “gender” is further curtailed, raising new challenges for feminist knowledge in powerful organizations. The article thus contributes to the critical gender research on private security, debates on the neoliberalization and securitization of feminism, and the integration of feminist security studies and feminist global political economy.

Topics: Economies, Feminist Economics, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Feminist Foreign Policy, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Security Sector Reform

Year: 2019

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