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Research Report

Improving security and justice through local/non-state actors: The challenges of donor support to local/non-state security and justice providers

Maria Derks
Copyright Date: Apr. 1, 2012
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 36
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 5-10)

    In large parts of the globe, especially in fragile and (post-)conflict countries, many citizens cannot rely on the state to provide safety and public order. In many such cases the resources, capacity and skills for effective protection are absent and, as a result, police, military and related security services are unable to fulfil their roles. Moreover, in some cases, the police, the military and related security services are perceived to be part of the problem rather than the solution. The reasons may be manifold: they might be corrupt, colluding with criminal organizations or specific social groups within society, or used...

  2. (pp. 11-14)

    During the project, three case studies to identify local/non-state security and justice providers were carried out. It is important to note that these cases are very different from each other. Colombia is a large, middle-income country, with a long history of violence. There are two main – and interlinked- sources of this violence: the conflict between state security forces, Marxist guerrilla groups and paramilitary forces that has raged since the 1960s, and the highly lucrative illicit economy (drug trade) that developed from the late 1970s onwards. Burundi is a small, low-income country, with a history of ethnic conflict between its...

  3. (pp. 15-18)

    SSR as a concept is people-centred: it emphasizes that it aims to improve the security and justice situation for people. It seeks to do this through the reform and development of security and justice institutions towards more effective, efficient and accountable delivery services. In many conflict‐affected and fragile states, a mix of actors provides security and justice to people. For example, in the course of the research, it became apparent that rather than the ‘non-state/state’ dichotomy that is commonly used, there are three types of actors involved in providing justice and security services:

    1. Agencies of the central state (including those...

  4. (pp. 19-32)

    Donor support for security and justice development is almost always based on a negotiated agreement on a programme between the host (national) government and the donor government. Integrating local/non‐state actors into a wider SSR programme can complicate discussions on such an agreement between a donor and a host government.22 Most host governments consider security and justice as integral parts of sovereignty, and as such, the exclusive domain of the (central) state. Therefore, external support for SSR is a sensitive subject in itself – as it can easily be construed as foreign intervention in sovereign domestic issues and any proposals may...