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10 Hanggi 2003 Making Sense of Security Sector Governance [Dcaf]

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Chapter 1

Making Sense of Security Sector GovernanceHeiner Hnggi

IntroductionThe war in Iraq in spring 2003 was a further indication of the resecuritisation of international relations triggered by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This re-securitisation put an end to a decade in which international relations were by and large dominated by economic interests and, to a lesser extent, by democratisation concerns. Although the new (or renewed) primacy of security will be of a rather different nature as compared to the Cold War period despite the US-led return to the use of military force in Afghanistan and Iraq because it will be shaped by the agenda of mainly non-military security issues. Nonetheless, traditional security concerns will remain important, and in particular the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, though in a different context. International terrorism and issues related to transnational crime have already moved to the top of the agenda, and, in the long run, as the underlying causes of terrorism are increasingly addressed, other new security issues associated with human security and economic security will probably become more important: thereby revalorising the governance and economic dimensions of international politics. The new primacy of security notwithstanding, governance issues will move to the core of international relations, for three main reasons. Firstly, states with poor or malign governance such as failed states, rogue states or, as in the case of Taliban-era Afghanistan, hijacked states are increasingly perceived as security threats of a global scope because they offer prime breeding grounds for international terrorism. The ways and means of promoting good governance in such states, whether before or after conflict, will become a most contentious issue. The case of Iraq illustrates


Heiner Hnggi

the magnitude of the challenge of (re-)building the state and the much bigger challenge of democratising it. Secondly, new terrorism appears to be driven by a radical ideology of anti-globalisation, directed against fundamentally Western values such as human rights, liberal democracy, the market economy, and open, pluralistic societies. Western countries and their allies will have to find ways and means of fighting against terrorism without compromising the normative foundations of their societies and without falling into the trap of making the clash of civilizations a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thirdly, the primacy of security concerns risks being used as a pretext for legitimatising arbitrary or unholy alliances with coalition partners whose policies are at odds with democratic governance or have an ambiguous track record in terms of fighting terrorism. Such alliances tend to produce double standards in the promotion of values and, consequently, undermine both the legitimacy of the fight against terrorism and the opportunity to enhance governance. In short, the great challenge of post-9/11 international relations will be to strike a new balance between security concerns, which have taken primacy, and governance/values concerns, which risk being compromised. The underlying assumption of the essays in this volume is that security issues will increasingly be approached from a governance perspective and that, in this context, the internal dimension of security governance security sector governance is an issue whose rapidly growing importance has not yet been duly recognised. This chapter sets out to introduce security sector governance as a broad framework for the analysis of emerging problems and challenges that are discussed in the following chapters.

Security GovernanceSince the end of the Cold War, the bases and modalities of security and governance, both within and between states and societies, have been rapidly evolving. In parallel, the interconnectedness, and sometimes interdependencies, between security and governance are progressively becoming better understood. Whilst nowadays the notions of security and governance are part of both the academic and policy discourses, the same could not be said of security governance which is still a concept at its formative stage.1 In order to conceptualise security governance, it is necessary to specify what is meant by its two component terms: security and governance.

Making Sense of Security Sector Governance


For much of the Cold War period, security has been understood in terms of national security, which was largely defined in militarised terms. This did not preclude the acceptance of broader concepts such as common and cooperative security, but these were clearly linked to national security concerns in the politico-military field.2 The post-bipolar world, however, has been marked by a substantive widening and deepening of this traditional concept in both the academic and the policy discourses on security (see Table 1.1). On the one hand, it was increasingly noted that security might be endangered by more than military threats alone, which led to the inclusion of political, economic, societal and environmental aspects.3 In the meantime, non-military issues have put down roots on the international security agenda though some scholars have criticised the securitisation of non-military issues, and disagreements still exist about the importance of the non-military aspects of security as compared to the military ones as illustrated by the events of 9/11 and its aftermath. Table 1.1 The widening and deepening of the concept of securityMilitary security issues Non-military or new security issues Political Economic Societal Environmental

Scope (widening) Level (deepening) System State Sub-state Individual

International security National (external and internal) security Societal security Human Security

On the other hand, there is a growing recognition that in the age of globalisation and with the proliferation of internal wars and failed states, individuals and collectivities other than the state could and, indeed, should be the object of security. Following this view, security issues should not be addressed on the traditional national and international levels alone, but take into account the security concerns of individuals and groups. This led to the emergence of alternative security concepts such as human security and societal security.4 The concept of human security in particular has gained much recognition in the international policy arena. Though still an illdefined concept, it covers a wide range of problems such as anti-personnel landmines, small arms and light weapons, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, child soldiers, international terrorism and


Heiner Hnggi

transnational organised crime as well as, in its wider notion, all aspects of human development such as economic, food, health and environmental insecurity.5 What makes these problems new or non-traditional security issues is not that they are truly novel phenomena but rather that they are explicitly characterised and treated as security concerns in other words: that they are securitised. The concept of governance is quite a recent one which has come into use in the context of globalisation, reflecting the fragmentation of political authority among public and private actors on multiple levels of governance national, sub-national and international which accompanies globalisation. In its basic notion, governance refers to the structures and processes whereby a social organisation from the family to corporate business to international institutions steers itself, ranging from centralised control to selfregulation.6 Put simply, governance is the capacity to get things done.7 A more restrictive definition of governance brings politics into the equation. Accordingly, governance denotes the structures and processes which enable a set of public and private actors to coordinate their independent needs and interests through the making and implementation of binding policy decisions in the absence of a central political authority.8 This definition covers a wide range of phenomena such as the introduction of self-government at the local or sectoral level, the outsourcing of central government functions to the private sectors, the privatisation of security in established democracies and warlordism in failed states, the increasing network-type of cooperation between governments, international institutions and private actors as well as the post-conflict reconstruction and governance of states and other entities under the auspices of international institutions. At the state and sub-state level, governance is mostly exercised by governments hence governance by governments except for weak states or failed states where the government is forced to share powers with other actors, be it international institutions, foreign powers, armed rebel forces or criminal organisations. At the level of the international system, in the absence of a world government, governance takes the form of governance with (multiple) governments by way of rule-based cooperation between governments, international institutions as well as transnational actors such as corporate business and non-government organisations. If social behaviour in a global issue-area such as Internet governance is steered by private regulations, one may even speak of governance without governments, but which is still rather the exception.9 Thus, governance is more encompassing than

Making Sense of Security Sector Governance


government; it helps to grapple with the complex reality of the contemporary world in which governments are still the central actors in domestic and international affairs though they increasingly are seen to share authority with non-state actors on multiple levels of interaction (see Table 1.2). Table 1.2 The multi-level, multi-actor conce

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