Cooperation, Contestation and Complexity in Peacebuilding: Post-Conflict Security Sector Reform

Nadine Ansorg (Editor), Eleanor Gordon (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportEdited Bookpeer-review


Security Sector Reform (SSR) remains a key feature of peacebuilding interventions and is usually undertaken by a state alongside national and international partners. External actors engaged in SSR tend to follow a normative agenda that often has little regard for the context in post-conflict societies. Despite recurrent criticism, SSR practices of international organisations and bilateral donors often remain focused on state institutions, and often do not sufficiently attend to alternative providers of security or existing normative frameworks of security.

This edited collection explores three aspects that add an important piece to the puzzle of what constitutes effective Security Sector Reform (SSR). First, the variation of norm adoption, norm contestation and norm imposition in post-conflict countries that might explain the mixed results in terms of peacebuilding. Second, the multitude of different security actors within and beyond the state which often leads to multiple patterns of co-operation and contestation within reform programmes. Third, how both the multiplicity of and tension between norms and actors further complicate efforts to build peace or, as complexity theory would posit, influence the complex and non-linear social system that is the conflict-affected environment.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages142
ISBN (Print)9780367637569
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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