New book, edited by Magnus Ekengren and Greg Simons

28 January 2011

The Politics of Security Sector Reform: Challenges and Opportunities for the European Union's Global Role

Omslag "The Politics of Security Sector Reform"Security Sector Reform (SSR) is increasingly becoming a cornerstone in international security and development cooperation. Indeed, the concept has often been seen as a panacea for many of the biggest threats to the world such as failed states, terrorism and poverty. In particular, this book focuses on the complexities of implementating SSR across the globe and the European Union's role for the reform of security sectors, including the ones of societal security. As suggested in the title of the book, this involves not only opportunities, but challenges to be overcome as well. There are three core themes in this book: Policy, Policies and Practice.

By presenting the themes in this particular order a greater appreciation of the influences on the process of SSR, from conception to implementation, is relayed to the reader. The contributors take stock of SSR as practised in the EU thus far and discuss policies for the future. Moreover, they address respectively the needs for SSR and the status of SSR cooperation programmes in a selection of recipient regions and countries such as the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Sub-Saharan Africa, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Afghanistan. This volume appeals to audiences interested in the EU as a global actor and the interrelationships between foreign, security, defence and development policies.

With its focus on understanding and linking policies and practice – 'the politics of SSR' – this book makes an important contribution to the process of enhancing international capacity to address SSR challenges. Bringing together key thinkers and doers, it provides a valuable in-depth analysis of SSR experiences and prospects. It highlights the need for balance between respecting national ownership of reforms and providing support to democratic forces, and argues that international efforts should be guided to a greater extent by the long-term goals of democracy and regional cooperation rather than short-term security objectives in areas such as counter-terrorism.
Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden, in the Preface

The Politics of Security Sector Reform: Challenges and Opportunities for the European Union's Global Role can be found on the Ashgate publishing website.