Security Sector Reform

State Responsiveness to Public Security Needs: The Politics of Security Decision-Making

SSR Policy Briefing for HMGA Comparative Study of Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Uganda

Security sector reform (SSR) has moved rapidly up the international aid agenda during the past decade. HMG has played a leading role in developing the SSR policy agenda and currently has SSR assistance programmes in a number of countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East.

There is increasing recognition that SSR is a fundamentally political activity. Although defence is often the entry point for external assistance, SSR requires a broad developmental approach. Hence it is hoped that this Policy Briefing will be of interest to the three British international departments, and indeed other donors grappling with the need for a whole-ofgovernment approach.

This comparative study of the politics of security decision-making focused on three countries where HMG currently supports SSR: Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Uganda. The aim of the study was firstly, to enhance understanding about the factors which influence security decision-making processes, and secondly, to explore ways of incorporating this knowledge more effectively into HMG’s SSR and broader conflict prevention and development programming.

For the detailed analysis which underpins this Policy Briefing, see the full reports listed below:

  • SSR Policy Briefing for HMG
    CSDG Papers, Number 11, June 2008

  • Synthesis of Findings and Implications for UK SSR Policy
    Dylan Hendrickson
    CSDG Papers, Number 12, June 2008

  • Review of Methodology and Lessons for Future Research
    Sunil Bastian and Dylan Hendrickson
    CSDG Papers, Number 13, June 2008

  • Nigeria Country Study
    Okechukwu Ibeanu and Abubakar Momoh
    CSDG Papers, Number 14, June 2008

  • Sri Lanka Country Study
    Jayadeva Uyangoda and Sunil Bastian
    CSDG Papers, Number 15, June 2008

  • Uganda Country Study
    Sabiiti Mutengesa and Dylan Hendrickson
    CSDG Papers, Number 16, June 2008

This Policy Briefing was published by the Conflict, Security & Development Group, King’s College London

Enquiries concerning reproduction or dissemination of this report should be addressed to Dylan Hendrickson

On the 1 July 2008, the findings of this study were presented at Kings College London.

The speakers were:

  • Prof. Eboe Hutchful (Chair), African Security Dialogue and Research, Ghana
  • Sunil Bastian, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka
  • Dylan Hendrickson, CSDG
  • Dr. Abubakar Momoh, Lagos State University, Nigeria
  • Sabiiti Mutengesa, CSDG
  • Mark White, SSR Adviser, DFID

Following the presentation, the floor was open to a number of questions both from the NGO and governmental sectors.