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Security Sector Reform A three-year program of research and dialogues on security sector reform in the Arab world PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Salam Kawakibi   
Saturday, 04 June 2011 12:39

Begun in October 2007, this three year program endeavors to foster study and establish dialogue between the key players of the security sector reform.

Because of the sensitive aspect of the issue, there is little or no discussion in Arab countries on how to promote good governance, transparency and accountability of the security sector. To respond to security threats and challenges, the general trend is to expand the security sector, which is not conducive to reforming, downsizing, increasing transparency and promoting democratic practices.

At the same time, demands for political reforms are increasing everywhere. Will the obstacles to SSR prove stronger and resist in face of the pressure from societies to achieve rule of law, respect of human rights, good governance and transparency of public institutions, democratic social and political practices?

Through this project, ARI’s objectives are to foster a domestic informed discussion on SSR, and promote the idea that citizens have a right to debate and question the role, the basic goals and the mode of operation of their security sector.

• Identify the challenges and the political context in which this debate is occurring and define appropriate strategies to tackle the issue;

• build a community of practice among scholars, reform activists and practitioners involved in studying the security sector as well as military and security representatives and civilian officials through well-framed dialogues on reforms issues;

• draw lessons from other developing countries and establish partnership with key Latin American, Asian and African think-tanks well versed in SSR research with a view to building an interactive network on the local, regional and international levels;

• lay the ground for future work on this area by other groups within Arab societies: universities, research centers and activists groups;

• formulate recommendations on patterns of reform and actors to involve in the process for a relevant and effective agenda for reform of the sector.

*ARI consortium mobilizes the research capacity, experience and access to policy-makers and members of the security sectors of Arab countries among its member institutes, and network within and beyond the Arab region. The research draws primarily on the expertise of member-institutes already involved in SSR projects.

* Research covers 8 countries (Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Yemen) and four transversal themes. Comparative analysis and collaboration with foreign partners also forms a key area for investigating the sector and assessing implications of reform.

*An SSR working group is currently developing a critical assessment of benchmarks and approaches to SSR. It surveys and analyzes the security apparatuses in each country and promotes dialogue among SSR academics and practitioners, working collaboratively with advocacy associations and other civil society organizations, as well as with networks involved in SSR studies.

*ARI works to raise awareness within civil society through the use of media, a series of seminars and dialogues in the region, public lectures in think-tanks and Arab universities, conducting public opinion surveys and smaller more targeted surveys of elites involved in security.

*Activities include a combination of small workshops and off-the-record meetings as well as more public seminars. An international conference will take place in the final phase of the project.

* Regular policy papers are published and posted on the website as the project unfolds. An edited book will be published upon completion of the project.

 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 July 2011 13:56
 

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