The articles in this publication emphasise the varying experience of security sector reform on the African continent.
In the late 1990s, a peoplecentred human security perspective was introduced by Northern and Southern experts from academic centres, think-tanks, international organisations, governmental advocacy groups and nongovernmental organisations, who converged to consider the role of security forces in enforcing state and human security. This epistemic community has established links between the security system and society-at-large, focusing on threats to individuals’ socioeconomic and political conditions, and on communal and personal safety. By supporting these networks, the UK has played a leading role in formalising the Security Sector Reform (SSR) concept, which was officially endorsed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in 1997. Thereafter, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) adopted a series of guidelines and political and operational principles relating to SSR.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 43.4 (2012) Security Sector Reform: An Essential Challenge for Peace Building Processes in Africa