Democratic Governance in Security Centre

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DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE IN THE S ECURITY SECTOR

Nicole Ball Center for International Policy, Washington, DC Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland

Prepared for: UNDP Workshop on “Learning from Experience for Afghanistan” 5 February 2002

INTRODUCTION
That the subject of governance in the security sector is being addressed in the context of rebuilding Afghanistan is, I believe, a reflection of two important shifts in development thinking over the last decade. First, it is now widely acknowledged that without a safe and secure environment, there can be neither sustainable, poverty reducing economic and social development nor political development. Additionally, there is growing appreciation of the fact that sound governance of the security sector is critical to achieving that safe and secure environment. This paper begins by defining three concepts central to sound governance in the security sector: security sector; security community; and sound governance in the security sector. It then identifies seven of the key issues for external actors interested in promoting sound security-sector governance: security as a public good; comprehensive approach to security sector transformation; coherent external interventions; commitment of national leadership to a reform process; local ownership and capacity; confidence building measures; and importance of a long-term perspective. The paper concludes by considering encouraging the development of a contextual approach to external assistance.

KEY CONCEPTS
In thinking about how best to achieve democratic governance of the security sector, it is important to define several concepts: security sector, security community, sound governance in the security sector. Security Sector and Security Community1 The totality of the actors that affect the security of the state and its population constitutes the “security community.” The official actors within the security community comprise

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