Livelihoods, human development and human security: Exploring conceptual differences, similarities and complementarities

This paper, originally published as a chapter in an edited volume, explores the meanings, similarities and divergences of the “human security” concept with other leading conceptual security frameworks for development practitioners, namely “livelihoods” and “human development”. Each serves as the guiding policy and analytical framework for a variety of governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental agencies. While they hold significant currency within debates, policies and practices of international development, they are less prominent within the peace and security fields, where the concept of human security is better known. Moreover, the meanings of the three concepts – and more precisely their relationships with one another – often remain poorly understood.

Evolving Internal Roles of the Armed Forces: Lessons for Building Partner Capacity

Governments and societies have been contemplating the appropriateness of newly defined or previously secondary purposes for their armed forces, which extend beyond their core role of national defense. These include the assignment of a variety of external and internal military and civilian roles and tasks. Some of these are performed as a subsidiary activity in support of operations under civilian command. An examination of the internal roles of the armed forces in 15 Western democracies shows that armed forces assist in internal security provision mainly as a resource of last resort when efforts are required to respond to exceptional situations. This is the case primarily during and after natural and humanitarian catastrophes as well as other emergencies that exceed the response capacities of civilian and hybrid security institutions. Under the command and control of civilian agencies, the usually subsidiary operations of the armed forces are designed to enhance the capacity of civilian security providers in such situations. What does this mean for armed forces in the developing countries in their indigenous state-building processes? What are the implications for donor nations from the North in their efforts towards “building partner capacity?”

Ferguson, Missouri: Not Just an American Tragedy

The shooting death of Mike Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer and the subsequent stand-offs between protestors and heavily armed law enforcement units might seem like a quintessentially all-American tragedy. But it’s not. Consider the violent rioting that erupted across England in 2011, after police in London shot dead Mark Duggan, a black British …

Equality Betrayed: Speaking Out Against Ethnic Profiling by French Police

Adji Ahoudian is a French citizen, and an elected member in the office of the mayor of the 19th arrondissement in Paris. He proudly remembers the day he received his new official I.D., with the Republican motto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. But then, after attending a council meeting one day, he was stopped by the police …

Immigration Crackdown in Stockholm Provokes Pushback

The messages keep coming in to the Facebook and Twitter accounts of a social network called REVA Spotter: 10.37am: uniformed police at Fridhemsplan station, on their way to the platform. 11.04am: uniformed cops at Central station, Sergels Square exit. Seem to be checking ID. 11.30am: police checks at Maltesholmsvägen and Hasselby Square. The updates provide …

Still Waiting for an End to Police Discrimination in Spain

Rosalind Williams has a special place in the struggle against discrimination by European police forces against people of color and ethnic minorities. Twenty years ago, she was stopped and asked for her identity papers by Spanish police in a railway station. An African-American who had acquired Spanish citizenship by marriage, she was travelling with her …

It Takes Two to Tango: Towards Integrated Development and Security Sector Reform (SSR) Assistance

*NOTE: This is an excerpt of Chapter 12 in the edited volume "Back to the Roots: Security Sector Reform and Development", edited by Albrecht Schnabel and Vanessa Farr and published by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) as their 2012 Yearly Book. This work was written with Albrecht Schnabel and …

Mapping Evolving Internal Roles of the Armed Forces

It is widely assumed, at least from a Western perspective, that the armed forces provide national defence against external threats. In reality, within many consolidated Western democracies the armed forces are assuming an increasingly wide range of internal roles and tasks. These can include domestic security roles and the provision of humanitarian assistance in situations of natural or humanitarian catastrophe, often under the command and control of different civilian agencies. This SSR Paper seeks to make sense of this complex reality. Different internal roles of armed forces are analysed, drawing on the cases of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Through carefully examining evolving internal roles and identifying patterns and lessons from these experiences, this SSR Paper provides an important contribution to understanding the evolving nature of contemporary armed forces.

The Rule of Law and Security Sector Reform: Conceptualising a Complex Relationship

There is a clear need to better understand the relationship between two concepts at the heart of peacebuilding: the Rule of Law (RoL), and Security Sector Reform (SSR). If it is acknowledged in principle that they are interdependent, in practice enduring conceptual ambiguities and contradictions undermine latent synergies. As a consequence, international donor agencies are …