Security Sector Reform in Conflict-Affected Countries: The Evolution of a Model, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Security Sector Reform in Conflict-Affected Countries

The Evolution of a Model, 1st Edition

By Mark Sedra


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This book examines the evolution, impact, and future prospects of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) model in conflict-affected countries in the context of the wider debate over the liberal peace project.

Since its emergence as a concept in the late 1990s, SSR has represented a paradigm shift in security assistance, from the realist, regime-centric, train-and-equip approach of the Cold War to a new liberal, holistic and people-centred model. The rapid rise of this model, however, belied its rather meagre impact on the ground. This book critically examines the concept and its record of achievement over the past two decades, putting it into the broader context of peace-building and state-building theory and practice. It focuses attention on the most common, celebrated and complex setting for SSR, conflict-affected environments, and comparatively examines the application and impacts of donor-supported SSR programing in a series of conflict-affected countries over the past two decades, including Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The broader aim of the book is to better understand how the contemporary SSR model has coalesced over the past two decades and become mainstreamed in international development and security policy and practice. This provides a solid foundation to investigate the reasons for the poor performance of the model and to assess its prospects for the future.

This book will be of much interest to students of international security, peacebuilding, statebuilding, development studies and IR in general.

Table of Contents


1. Security Sector Reform and the the Liberal Peace

2. The Origins and Evolution of the Security Sector Reform Model

3. Assessing the Security Sector Reform Model in Conflict-Affected Countries

4. The Ultimate Test: An Overview of Afghanistan’s Security Sector Reform Process

5. The Slide toward Expediency in Afghanistan: From Orthodox Security Sector Reform to Realist Train and Equip


About the Author

Mark Sedra is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Canada. He is author/editor of five books.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Conflict, Security and Development

Designed to meet the needs of researchers, teachers and policy makers in this area, this series publishes books of new, innovative research in to the connections between conflict, security and development processes. The series encourages a multidisciplinary approach to the links between these thematic issues, including the nature of conflict itself and the underlying conflict drivers, the underlying characteristics and drivers of insecurity, and the effects and use of development strategies in post-conflict environments and how that relates to broader peacebuilding strategies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Asia / Central Asia
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General