Context matters: interim stabilisation and second generation approaches to security promotion

The scale and ferocity of post-war violence regularly confounds the expectations of security and development specialists. When left unchecked, mutating violence can tip ‘fragile’ societies back into all out warfare. In the context of formal peace support operations, conventional security promotion efforts are routinely advanced to prevent this from happening. These include disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and wider security system/sector reform (SSR). There are also lesser known but no less important interventions to promote security that deviate from-but also potentially reinforce and enhance-DDR and SSR. Faced with dynamic post-war contexts, erstwhile warring parties, peace mediators and practitioners have crafted a host of innovative and experimental security promotion initiatives designed to mitigate risks and symptoms of post-war violence including interim stabilisation measures and second generation DDR. Drawing on a growing evidence base, the article sets out a host of contextual determinants that shape the character and effectiveness of security promotion on the ground. It then issues a typology of emergent practices-some that occur before, during and after DDR and SSR interventions. Taken together, they offer a fascinating new research agenda for those preoccupied with post-war security promotion.

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