[Easttimorstudies] The Post-Conflict Security Sector (comparative study)

ETAN fbp at igc.org
Tue Oct 24 22:10:10 EST 2006

Geneva Centre for the Armed Forces (DCAF)

Policy Paper – 14

The Post-Conflict Security Sector
David M. Law

Geneva, June 2006

Table of Contents

1. Introduction ............. 1

2. Characteristics of the Post-Conflict Security Sector.... 2

3. Comparing Post-Conflict Environments .................. 4

4. Comparing External Actors’ Security Sector (Re)construction Efforts.. 6

5. Assessing the Security Sector (Re)construction Programmes...12

6. Conclusions..15


This essay draws on a recent study of how the 
international community has dealt with the
need to construct or reconstruct the security 
sector in six countries where there has been
severe conflict leading to significant 
international engagement. Various factors are
identified as having been critical in shaping the 
outcome of (re)construction efforts, and
they are evaluated from several perspectives. The 
author observes that external actors
have tended to take a limited and unbalanced 
approach to the security sector, focusing on
building the efficiency of statutory security 
actors, and neglecting the development of
managerial and governance capacity. He concludes 
that while programmes tended to
become more effective after the first major 
post-Cold War effort was undertaken in Haiti
in 1994, the plight of the reconstruction effort 
in Afghanistan after 2001 may point to a
reversal of this trend.

Keywords: security sector reform, post-conflict (re)construction, international
intervention; UN; disarmament, demobilisation and 
reintegration; Afghanistan, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Haiti, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste



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John M. Miller         fbp at igc.org
National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network
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