An Approach to Linking Reforms in Security and Justice Sectors in Post-War Environments

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Security sector reform (SSR) emerged as a strategy in postconflict states during the late 1990s, driven by development donors, international organizations and other international affairs consultants which have been accepted by policymakers, development practitioners and security experts. Primarily, SSR aims to strengthen, professionalize, discipline and democratize security forces: the national army and state police. However, SSR has faced many challenges. SSR in transitional administrations such as Kosovo and East Timor in 1999 and Afghanistan in 2002 has been dominated by the international community leading such processes. As a result, the international community and international donors have heavily focused on professionalizing the security forces under externally driven programs. This practice has failed to adopt a holistic vision of SSR. Less investment in the judicial sector has made the whole process counterproductive. This article argues that SSR has three pitfalls. SSR focuses on physical security; is externally driven and compartmentalized. The rule of law and justice, otherwise justice sector reform (JSR) needs to be injected into SSR to benefit a more sustainable peacebuilding program.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Pages (from-to)125-153
Number of pages29
JournalInquiry & Insight
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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