Security sector reform, statebuilding and local ownership: Securing the state or its people?

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It is widely acknowledged that while local ownership is one of the core principles
of successful Security Sector Reform (SSR) programmes, the concept is narrowly
interpreted in terms of who owns what. Moreover, the focus of SSR is often on
building state institutions, rather than building the relationship between people
and the state, which further limits the extent to which people, particularly at
the community level, are engaged in SSR processes. It is argued that without
ensuring meaningful and inclusive local ownership of SSR programmes, public
trust and confidence in state security and justice sector institutions will be
limited. Crucially, this will leave the state vulnerable to renewed outbreaks of
conflict. To rectify this it is proposed that a hybrid SSR approach be promoted by
incorporating community safety structures into SSR programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-148
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Intervention and Statebuilding
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Security Sector Reform (SSR)
  • local ownership
  • statebuilding
  • peacebuilding
  • community safety structures

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