Hybrid Security Governance in Post-Conflict States: Explaining the dangers of state security-orientated SSR in areas of limited statehood

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Multi-Layered Security Sector Reform in Areas of Limited Statehood

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Chapter 1 Introduction: Security Sector Reform in post-conflict societies ... 6

Addressing state fragility, war recurrence and civil war termination ... 8

Definitions ... 12

Security Sector Reform... 12

Post-Conflict States, Fragile States and Hybrid States ... 14

Thesis overview ... 15

Chapter 2 Review of the Literature: Civil War Recurrence and Durable Settlement of Civil Wars. 16 Theories on civil war recurrence... 16

Current theories of civil war resolution ... 18

The success or failure of peace agreements ... 20

Chapter 3 Hybrid Security Sector Governance in Post-Conflict States ... 23

The Dilemmas of Liberal State-Building in Areas of Limited Statehood ... 24

My Argument: The Danger of State-Centric SSR in Hybrid Political Orders... 29

Chapter 4 Methodology... 32

Chapter 5 Afghanistan: Ensuring whose security?... 34

Afghanistan’s conflict background... 34

Security Sector Reform: Afghan Police Reform... 38

US security approach to Afghan police reform ... 40

Militarization of the ANP ... 41

Public perception of the ANP in relation to security ... 43

Conclusion & Implications ... 46

Chapter 6 Timor-Leste: Security Sector Reform, 1999-2004 ... 47

Timor-Leste conflict background ... 47

Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste... 49

Reform of the East Timorese Police Service - PNTL ... 50

Reform of the New Timorese Defense Force–F-FDTL... 51

Conclusion: The failings of the state-centric SSR-model and the violent breakdown in 2006 ... 53

Chapter 7 Conclusion ... 54


Figure 1.1 Global Trends in Violent Conflict, 1946-2009 - (Hewitt in Hewitt et al 2012: 18)... 9

Figure 1.2 Trends in New and Recurring Conflicts, 1946-2003 (Hewitt in Hewitt et al 2012: 18) ... 10

Figure 1.3 Percentage of Civil Wars Ended, by Termination Type, 1940-2000 (Toft 2010b)... 11

Figure 1.4 Mapping the Security Sector (Law in Sedra 2010a: 4) ... 13

Figure 5.1 Location map of Afghanistan... 35

Table 5.1: Afghan Military Compared to Afghan Police Casualties, (Murray 2007: 118) ... 43

Figure 5.2: Prevalence of ANP Misconduct (UNDP 2011: 20) ... 44


AIA Afghan Interim Authority

ANSA Armed non-state actor

ANSF Afghan National Security Forces

AUP Afghan Uniformed Police

CSTC-A Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan

DDR Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration

DFID Department for International Development

FRETLIN Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor

F-FDLT Falintil-Forcas de Defesa de Timor-Leste

GAO Government Accountability Office

IHL International Human Rights Legislation

INTERFET International Force for East Timor

ISAF International Security Assistance Force

NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NTM-A NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan

OECD DAC Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Development Assistance Committee

PNTL Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste

PMC Private Military Company

RPG Rocket Propelled Grenade

SALW Small Arms and Light Weaponry

SSR Security Sector Reform

SSRP Security Sector Reform Provision

UNAMA United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

UNDP United Nations Development Programme

UNTAET United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor


Chapter 1

Introduction: Security Sector Reform in

post-conflict societies

Over the last two decades, external support to security sector reform (SSR) has emerged as a

crucial instrument in international peacebuilding and state-building operations and is widely

considered a sine qua non of contemporary post-conflict reconstruction efforts in post-conflict

or fragile states (e.g. DFID 2003: 30; OECD DAC 2001: II-35). Aiming to stabilize societies

just emerging from a period of intrastate conflict, SSR operations seek to foster a reform

process that aims to transform the security and justice architecture of the state in a manner

consistent with the principles of democratic governance (Sedra 2010a). This means assuring

that poorly governed and ineffective security sector (i.e. military, police, and correctional

institutions) are transformed into professional and accountable state institutions that are

operationally effective and efficient, while also being subject to civilian democratic oversight.

Herbert Wulf points out that the appeal of the term ‘SSR’ lies in its ability to integrate various

peacebuilding objectives under one intellectual umbrella: “the reduction of military

expenditures and their redirection to development purposes; security-relevant development;

donor activities in conflict prevention and post-conflict situations, and; improvement in the

efficiency and effectiveness of governance over institutions charged with the provision of

security (2004:30).

From Bosnia to Haiti to Liberia and Afghanistan, more than 20 major multilateral

peacebuilding missions were deployed to post-conflict societies between 1989 and 2007

(Paris and Sisk 2009b: 1). Reflecting on the past two decades of peacebuilding, addressing

post-conflict issues of organized crime, proliferation of small arms and light weaponry

(SALW), renewed violent conflict between armed groups, preventing fragile regions

becoming breeding grounds and safe havens for transnational terrorism are essential policy

targets for mediating a fragile post-conflict environment along the road to sustainable peace

and social and economic development. In other words, without an effective and accountable

security sector, there can neither be peace, nor development, nor justice.

Although SSR is widely endorsed among the international donor community as a core

instrument of state-building and as a precondition for achieving peace and development in

regions recovering from conflict or making transitions from authoritarianism, civil war, state

fragility or collapse, its record of achievement has been quite limited. With nearly half of the


that the leading states, leading institutions and international financial institutions’

state-building strategy remains underdeveloped vis-à-vis the complex challenges of transforming a

fragile cease-fire situation into an enduring and constructive peace (Bryden et al 2005: 1).

Faced with the multi-layered and multi-dimensional challenges of post-conflict state-building,

the fragmented peacebuilding community had to “get its act together”, as reported by the

Utstein Group in 2004 (Smith 2004), and seek to “work together in an ‘integrated’,

‘comprehensive’, ‘holistic’ or ‘joined up’ manner” (Andersen 2011: 7). As a result, coherence

is guiding as a key requirement for external supported peacebuilding operations. This

‘coherence agenda’ is determined by academics such as Fukuyama (2004) and Rotberg (2004)

who focus on creating western-type rational-legal structures in post-conflict or fragile states

which extends the state’s capacity for control, regulation, implementation in the fields of

security, basic social services and the rule of law and promise legitimacy by improved state

performance. However, a growing number of scholars such as Lawrence (2012), Boege et al

(2009) and Andersen (2011) argue that contemporary state-building operations often falls

short because it is based on ideal-typical models of stable and democratic states in the OECD

world which does not reflect the societal realities of most post-conflict states in which the

state is absent and has been replaced by non-state or ‘hybrid’ governance structures and

practices. Even though both streams agree that SSR is a crucial element of state building in

post-conflict societies, they disagree on the extent to which the public delivery of security is

distributed among state and non-state security and justice providers.

This thesis seeks to explain how the exclusive focus of the state-centered SSR-model

undermines post-conflict transition and fails to enable an environment for sustainable peace

and socio-, economic-, and political development. I argue that a state-centric approach to SSR

is likely to be less effective in hybrid states and can even destabilize state recovery by

protecting state institutions (such as the security sector) that are not embedded in society. I

will show that the weakness of the dominant SSR-model lies in its liberal narrative that

alienates non-state security providers and render them passive, thereby weakening both the

ability of non-state actors to provide services at the end-user level and diminish the sense of

local ownership of fixing solutions to local problems. Furthermore, I will show that that the

‘top-down’ imposition of the western statehood model may increase violence in post-conflict

hybrid societies as non-state actors decide to what extent they accept or resist reforms

strengthening of state security institutions. This may explain that the rising living of civil war


peace rather than undermine it. This thesis considers the positive potential of an inclusive

SSR-model that engages non-state and local security actors in post-conflict reform in contrast

with the dominant state-centric approach that is applied today.

In order to illustrate the impact of implementing a state-centric SSR-model in hybrid

political orders, the police reform of Afghanistan and Timor-Leste are analyzed. Whereas the

Afghanistan case demonstrates that the US dominated SSR policy undermined both the

effectivity of the Afghan police and the legitimacy of the state, the Timor-Leste case

demonstrates that an exclusive SSR agenda can fuel violence illustrated by the violent clashes

between the ‘local’ police and the ‘state’ army in 2006.

Studying the topic of effective post-conflict security governance is important for a

number of reasons. First, it is important to recall that the concept of SSR is relatively young,

having first emerged in the late 1990s. This thus leads us to be less confident in the general

applicability of any lessons learned from them. With more than a decade of experience under

our belt, it is important to evaluate current SSR practices and perhaps recast the SSR concept

to narrow down the gap between SSR policy and practices applied to current and future civil

war resolution.

Second, civil wars are highly destructive. They are the most common form of

large-scale organized violence, resulting in an estimated 37.194 battle-related deaths in 2012,

causing an ever-growing groups of displaced persons, and it is accompanied with the

crippling destruction of infrastructure and in extent the economy which reinforces the

negative spiral between violence and underdevelopment (Themnér and Wallensteen 2013:

509). Additionally, civil wars have exhibited the capacity to cause disruption at the local level

(such as in the Great Lakes region in Africa) but also at the international level (such as


Addressing state fragility, war recurrence and civil war termination

Among scholars of peace and conflict research, state-building theory and security

studies, a great deal of ink has been spent on describing the relationship between large-scale

violence, state performance and global security. In the modern world order, the state fulfills a

dual role with regard to political order: first, the state has an internal role and is responsible

for providing and guaranteeing security and justice for their citizens; second, all states have an


and consequently lies a the root of the global order. The issue of ineffective, failing, fragile or

conflict-affected states does not only affect the citizens in the affected state, but tends to

undermine both state functions and causes problems at the international level. Accordingly,

transforming war-torn societies into stable

and developed states lies at the core of the

international security paradigm and is

ranked as “one of the most important

foreign policy challenges of the

contemporary era” (Krasner and Pascual

2005: 13). This understanding is clearly

reflected by the terrorist acts of September

11, 2001 and the ‘War on Terror’ that

followed: if the international community

turns a blind eye to local problems in

post-conflict or fragile states, they have the

potential to cause global problems. Therefore, “learning to do state-building better is thus

central to the future of the world order” (Fukuyama 2004:120).

Perhaps the most common observation since the end of the Second world War, and in

particular since the end of the Cold War, seems to be that, while interstate conflicts have

decreased in frequency, civil wars have increased and are currently the dominant form of

large-scale violence in the world, especially in the developing world. According to the

UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset v.4-2014, there have been 278 major armed conflicts

that started between 1946 and 2013, of which 180 were civil wars. In 2012, there were 32

armed conflicts active in 26 locations worldwide. The vast majority of these conflicts (31 out

of 32) were fought within the border of a singly state between two or more belligerent parties,

by definition involving at least one armed non-state actor. The armed conflict between South

Sudan versus Sudan was the only active interstate conflict recorded in 2012, as hostile

tensions around multiple issues of the common border remained after South Sudan gained

independence on 9 July, 2011.

Examining trends in global conflict since 1946, shown in Figure 1.1, we find that the

number of active armed conflicts has neither displayed an upward nor downward trend during


conflicts stood at 38, an unprecedented high. In the decade that followed, commonly

described as the ‘golden age of interventionism’, the number of active conflicts dropped to a

low of 20 in 2004. In 2005 the number increased to 27 and since then it has remained

relatively stable.

Two factors explain the decrease in the number of active armed conflicts between

1989 and 2004. First, the end of the bipolar world order eliminated the incentives for the

United States and the Soviet Union to keep providing security assistance to combatants in

proxy conflict-states. Active conflicts were more likely to end because it became more

expensive for combatants to acquire arms and other means to continue their wars. Moreover,

as the US-USSR externally motivated hostility disappeared, combatants were less motivated

to continue fighting. Second, the United States and its western allies came under increasing

pressure to military intervene to end civil wars and protect citizens other than their own from

physical violence. Wielding unrivaled military, economic and diplomatic power, the leading

states of the Alliance were pressured, mostly coming from the rising humanitarian front, to

direct their resources at ending civil wars.

As the international donor community became more engaged in the domestic affairs of

other sovereign states, gaining

experience with external

supported peacebuilding

operations, it is worrying to

find that the number of active

armed conflicts remained

stable since 2005. According

to Joseph Hewitt, the reason

why global conflict trends have

stabilized is because of the

growing number of conflict

recurrence (2012: 18). It seems that the international peacebuilding experiment has been

unable to achieve the desired outcome of sustaining the peace in conflict-affected states. The

good news is, see Figure 1.2, that the onset of new conflicts has been very low since the late

1990s. However, the number of recurring conflicts has steadily increased in frequency since


become more effective in mediating local tensions and preventing them to escalate into

large-scale violence, but is unsuccessful in post-conflict recovery efforts.

Ending civil wars is a

laudable goal but making sure

they stay terminated is equally

important. This raises the

question why do some civil wars

end, while others reignite? Some

scholars argue that the current

problem of civil war recurrence

is related to the approach how

active conflicts are in fact

terminated. Monica Toft

(2010a), a preeminent scholar in

the field of civil war termination,

argues that civil wars that are ended through negotiated settlements are less likely to produce

sustainable peace than civil wars ending by means of military victory by one side. According

to her research, “military victory reduces the likelihood of war recurrence by 24 percent,

while negotiated settlements increase the chances of recurrence by 27 percent” (2010a: 55).

Figure 1.3 illustrates that since the end of the Cold War policymakers have exhibited a

marked preference for terminating civil wars by means of peace agreements rather than

allowing armed conflicts to take their natural course. Although no data is accessible on the

number of civil wars ended by peace agreements since 2000, Toft (2010b: 14) observed that

peace agreements ended 41 percent of all civil wars during the 1990s and argues that it is very

likely that this percentage has increased ever since.

There is also a sense of urgency related to this matter. Political scientists have been

observing an ever-growing pool of post-conflict states within the global world order in which

the danger of recurrence highlighted by Hewitt (2012) is most likely. Looking at various state

performance rankings and indices, Ulrich Schneckener points out that there are currently 100

sates performing on or even blow the index level of “fragile states” (2007, found in Boege et

al 2009: 17). Acknowledging the large number of states that are vulnerable to violence and


the number of major armed conflicts in the world may increase, which will have global

consequences. This warning is reflected in a published report by the Development Assistance

Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD DAC),

“the challenge of ensuring [the] security of states and their populations is both most urgent

and most difficult in the context of societies seeking to ‘rebuild’ following war where there is

a risk of recreating the conditions that gave rise to the violence in the first place” (2005:57).


Before continuing, this section introduces the key term of the thesis, including both

what is meant and what is not meant by my use of the concepts of “security sector reform”

and “hybrid states”.

Security Sector Reform

The concept of security sector reform was first introduced in a 1998 speech by the

UK’ Secretary of State for International Development Clare Short1. According to the United

Nations Development Program (UNDP), the term ‘security sector’ also referred to as the

‘security system’ describes the “structures, institutions and personnel responsible for the

management provisions and oversight of the use of force to protect the state and its citizens”

(2003: 5). Wulf adds that using the term SSR implies per definition that it is integrated within

an overall strategy of development and democratization of the recipient states (2004: 3).

When the reform of the security sector is discussed, it refers to all the bodies that are

encapsulated within the security and justice branches of government. Mark Sedra, senior

fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), defines SSR as those

actors and organizations that are concerned with the provision of security and justice services.

These include (1) all bodies authorized to use force (such as the police and the military), (2)

intelligence and security services, (3) civil management and oversight bodies, (4) judicial and

public security structures (such as the judiciary and correctional structures), (5) non-statutory

security forces (such as liberation and guerrilla armies, private military companies (PMC’s),

terrorist organizations, organized military groups and other militia groupings), and (6) civil

society (most notably NGO’s and the media) (Sedra 2010a: 3). For a more detailed overview

of the Security Sector see Figure 1.4.

1Clare Short, “Security, Development and Conflict Prevention”, Speech at the Royal College


In the context of this thesis, the evaluation of SSR is placed in the context of the

security environment in post-conflict or fragile states. According to Sedra (2010a: 5),

mandates for SR operations pursue three overarching objectives. The first task is to restore

order and strengthen the capacity of security providers (state and non-state) to provide

services that are effective, fair, accessible, accountable and respect human rights. The second

task is to rebuild governance networks and strengthen the capacity of the state to develop

policy, manage institutions and provide civilian oversight so that the security sector can take

responsibility for the protection of the state and its citizens. The third task is to establish a

security sector that is both financially sustainable as well as properly sized to meet existing

and future security needs. In the long-term it should be fitted to contribute to the regional and

international security solution and mitigate transnational security threats (such as terrorism

and drug trafficking).

In this thesis I use a narrow definition of SSR, especially focusing on security sector

organizations that have the capacity to provide order and safety through the use of or threat to


use force. This means that I focus primarily on the justice and law enforcement institutions

and (non-) statutory security forces within a political defined territory (see Figure 1.4).

Post-Conflict States, Fragile States and Hybrid States

Scholars and practitioners have long noted that modern statehood fails to characterize

the multitude of states within the international system. Consequently, we conceptualize states

along a continuum of state performance, causing terms of “fragile”, “failing”, “weak”,

“collapsing” states to emerge. Policymakers and scholars use this terminology to describe the

difference between adequate and inadequate levels of state performance in target states. Most

governments or research institutes premise on a functionalist analysis of fragile states, as

clarified by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), which

defines fragile states as a state “where the government is not able or willing to deliver core

functions to the majority of its population, i.e. controlling the territory and providing security

(DFID 2005: 7).

However, the problem is that these terms are very vague and distinctions become

easily blurred. Generally speaking, state fragility refers to declining capacity or lack of

willingness to perform core state functions as the state’s monopoly on the legitimate use of

violence and its ability to enforce political decisions (Lawrence 2012: 3). Volker Boege et al

(2009) point out that the problem is that state performance, as framed in the context of a

state’s monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, is being compared against the OECD-type

western state, which is regarded as the ideal stable state model. To say that something is

‘fragile’ or ‘unhealthy’ or ‘weak’ is incredibly normative and has little relevance in the debate

explaining the strength of the security sector and in extension the stability of the target state.

Volker Boege et al (2009: 16) argue that “the conventional perception of so-called

fragile states as an obstacle to the maintenance of peace and development can be far too

short-sighted, as is its corollary, the promotion of conventional state-building along the lines of the

western OECD state model as the best means of sustainable development and peace within all

societies”. We need to remind ourselves that the Euro-American state model has only recently

emerged, and by promoting it as an ideal-type model that can be attained in a short period of

time one ignores the historical context in which they evolved. Volker Boege et al (2009) note

that instead of using the terminology of ‘failed states’ it is rather more fruitful to think in


et al (2009), I define hybrid states as “regions in which diverse and competing claims to

power and logics of order co-exist, overlap and intertwine, namely the logic of the ‘formal

state, of traditional ‘informal’ societal order, and of globalization and associated social

fragmentation” (Boege et al 2009: 24). It generally refers to models of statehood in which

informal or non-state structures perform state functions in the fields of security,

representation, welfare and other public goods instead provided by central government

institutions. The term hybrid states or hybridity can change development discourse of major

donor countries and encourage appreciation of such political models by getting rid of the

negative connotations associated with the ‘fragility’ terminology.

Thesis overview

Chapter 2 provides a review of the literature of civil war recurrence theory and current

civil war resolution theories, outlining the importance of security provisions in the aftermath

of a civil war. In chapter 3 I will outline the dilemmas of liberal peacebuilding and in

extension highlighting the inherent tensions of implementing a state-centric SSR-model in

hybrid states just emerging out of armed conflict. It will explain the logic of diminishing

effectiveness and stability behind the ‘hybridization’ process of the security sector in

post-conflict states and explain how state-centered SSR causes violence as local/non-state actors

may resist externally imposed models of statehood.

Chapters 4-6 explore state-centric SSR programmes in Afghanistan and Timor-Leste

and traces key actors, conflict sources, post-conflict implementation of security sector reform

provisions (SSRP’s) and post-conflict outcomes. Chapter 4 provides the methodology by

which the case studies were carried out. Chapter 5 examines the police reform in Afghanistan

during the post-2003. In chapter 6 I examine SSR in Timor-Leste and pay specific attention to

the violent clashes in 2006. Taken together, the case studies seek to the reasons why the

state-centric model has not been successful in both cases.

Finally, chapter 7 presents policy recommendations for current SSR practitioners and


Chapter 2

Review of the Literature: Civil War Recurrence and

Durable Settlement of Civil Wars

The literature review will address three areas of research related to the rising trend of civil

war recurrence in post-conflict states during the past fifteen years. In the first section, research

studies related to current explanations on civil war recurrence will be addressed. The second

section will address the literature on current theories of civil war resolution and the

correlation with positive war outcomes. Finally, the third section will address the emerging

literature discussing the success and failure of negotiated settlements and highlight the

importance of post-conflict security governance in transitional societies.

Theories on civil war recurrence

The question this thesis focuses on is why do some transitions from civil war to

sustainable peace succeed and others fail? Civil wars can trap a country in a pattern of

repetitive violence and poverty, described by some as the “conflict trap” (Collier 2007: 17

-37). Based on the findings of Hewitt (see Figure 1.2), societies that have just emerged from

civil war appear to be more likely to experience a second or a third war than are societies with

no prior experience of armed violence. A survey of the literature reveals that although much

has been written about civil wars (how and why they start, the associated costs of large-scale

violence, how combatants sustain themselves during the war, and how wars end), limited

attention has been paid to the relationship between civil war termination types and long-term

sustainable peace. Scholars and policymakers alike are still struggling to find a reliable

formula to guide conflict states through the multidimensional obstacle course of

post-conflict transition: the social transition from fighting to peace; the political transition from

wartime government (or absent government) to postwar government; the institutional

transition of the security sector from intrastate conflict towards restoring order and increasing

effectiveness for domestic public security and external defense, and; the economic transition

from war-driven accumulation and distribution to a justifiable and responsible system that in

turn reinforces peace and security.

Most civil war scholars tend to rely on three main arguments explaining why wars

repeat themselves: (1) theories that focus on why the war began, (2) theories that focus on

how the original war was fought, and (3) theories that focus on how the original war was


factors that explain why wars began, and by extension, why they end. In most cases, the

stimuli that lie at the root of the conflict are resource inequality and fear. According to the

‘resource argument’, wars recur mostly because citizens have (a) a lack of resources, or (b)

are greedy to gain more resources. These two perspectives are generally grouped in what are

called the ‘grievance’ and the ‘greed’ school in civil war literature. Under the resource

grievance rubric, the argument is that wars recur because of inequality in income, the lack of

political representation, land, security, ethnic and religious divisions and other resources

(Cramer 2003; Davies 1962; Gurr 1970: Collier and Hoeffler 2004). The latest addition to the

writings within the grievance school is the notion of “political exclusion” by Charles Call

(2012). Call’s central argument in Why Peace Fails is that the “perceived or actual

deprivation of an expected opportunity for former warring parties, or the social groups

associated with them, to participate in state administration, through either appointed posts or

elected office” serves as a ‘trigger’ for war recurrence (2012: 4). Alternatively, the more

recent ‘resource greed hypothesis’ finds that wars in essence the product of greed and

suggests that wars begin and recur because of economic variables (Collier and Hoeffler 2004;

Collier 1999). In effect, wars recur because contending parties repeatedly fight over control of

the spoils of the state such as oil, drugs and rare minerals. Paul Collier argues in The Bottom

Billion that there is a significant relationship between the presence of natural resources and

conflict, which Phillip Le Billon describes as the “resource curse” (2006: 11-27). The greed

hypothesis gained significance in the study of civil wars when the problem of diamonds,

commonly known as ‘conflict diamonds’ or ‘blood diamonds’, gained worldwide attention.

For example, it became widely recognized that the civil wars in Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra

Leone and the DRC have been mainly driven by continuous clashes over the control over

diamond mines.

The resource motivated civil war literature has done a great service to the further

advancement of our understanding of the causes of civil war and why they end. The major

flaw of this theory is its inability to explain cases where motivations other than resources were

in play. Specifically with regard to the wars fought in former Yugoslavia and Chechnya

during the 1990s were not motivated by resources but rather by the basic notion of fear. The

‘fear school’ explains armed conflict based on the logic of the ‘security dilemma’ introduced

Robert Jervis (1978) on interstate wars studies, and applied to intrastate wars by Barry Posen

(1993) and David Lake & Donald Rotchild (1996). The security dilemma describes an


which each combatant party is set on increasing their own security situation that inadvertently

threatens the security of its rivals. Consequently, rival factions will be motivated restoring

their security by increasing their weapon stockpiles or mobilizing troops, which if continued

long enough may lead to an outbreak of another war, or lead to higher costs in blood and

treasure of an existing war. On the whole, both schools have increased our understanding of

the motivations behind civil wars and help us to design better ways to end war and end them

for good. Monica Toft adds that wars are usually not solely motivated by either resources or

fear, but “most civil wars are fought by belligerents who possess mixed motivations, with

individual fighters and groups of fighters likely driven by a combination of greed and fear”

(2010a: 26).

The second set of civil war recurrence arguments primarily focuses on the costs and

duration of the original war to determine whether combatants will renege on their

commitments that instigated the peace and decide to resume the armed conflict. This

hypothesis is premised on expected utility choice theory which assumes that combatants are

rational actors and their choice to continue or renege on their commitment to peace accords

depends on the relative costs and benefits of resuming back to armed violence (Wittman

1979; Mason and Fett: 1996). Barbara Walter argues in Committing to Peace that the costs of

war (i.e. the duration and number battle-related casualties) only has a significant effect for

bringing contending parties to the negotiation table but have no significant effect on whether

rival factions will be more likely to sign a bargain and end the war, nor commit to peace

during the implementation of the peace agreement. According to Walter (2002: 161), the most

significant factor in explaining the absence of repeated war are post-conflict security

guarantees given to all major armed parties by third-parties.

The next paragraph will discuss the third set of arguments, which focuses on the

premise that the way that civil wars are ended is the deciding factor for the duration of the


Current theories of civil war resolution

The assumption that the way civil wars are terminated determines the duration of the

peace that follows is not new. The current literature on civil war resolution can be roughly


The first civil war resolution theory camp, the ‘military victory’ camp or otherwise

referred to as the ‘let it burn’ camp, argues that the best approach to attain sustainable peace is

that wars should be allowed to ‘burn themselves out’, implying that external actors adhere to

the principle of non-intervention and let rival factions fight it out between themselves to

determine which side wins. The argument is that allowing wars to take their natural course,

leading to the destruction of the organizational structure of command and identity of the

factions fighting the war except for the victor, is a surer basis for peace in the longer-term.

This argument build upon the writings of Robert Wagner (1994) and Edward Luttwak (1999),

who found that civil wars that are terminated through military victory are more likely to

produce longer-lasting peace than wars ending through peace agreements.

In Give War a Chance, Luttwak argues that “the transformative effects of both

decisive victory and exhaustion are blocked by outside intervention” (1999: 44). In The

Causes of Peace Wagner argues that the reason why military victories are more likely to

produce a long-lasting absence of civil war recurrence in contrast with negotiated settlements

is because of the destruction of the organization basis of the its losing rival and minimalizing

its rivals ability to reignite the war. Lacking statistical evidence for Wagner’s argument, Roy

Licklider (1995) subjected the “Wagner hypothesis” to a statistical test in The Consequences

of Negotiated Settlement in Civil Wars and found some support for it. In addition to Licklider,

Monica Toft (2010a) advocated the ‘let it burn’ hypothesis revealing that “military victory

reduces the likelihood of war recurrence by 24 percent, while negotiated settlement increase

the chances by 27 percent” (2010a: 55). Moreover, Toft (2010a) finds a stronger empirical

relationship between rebel military victory and durable peace instead of military victory by

state forces.

The second set of theories, in general described as the ‘negotiation school’, emerged

after the end of the Second World War and gained prominence particularly since the early

1990s, currently dominating the academic and policy discourse on how to end civil wars and

make sure they do not repeat themselves. The rise of this school is associated with the

paradigm shift in security assistance following the end of the Cold War and the rising

prominence of humanitarianism and the growing number of international humanitarian

legislation (IHL) in global politics. According to a survey conducted by Toft (2010a),


politics journals2between 1990 through 2000 belonged to the ‘negotiation camp’. Theories of

the ‘negotiation school’ advocate the position that in an active intrastate conflict, both

contending parties as well as external parties should do everything in their power to end the

war as soon as possible and minimalize the cost and destruction associated with war.

While both sets of theories have different views on how to best end civil wars to

produce sustainable peace, either military victory or negotiated settlement they share two

fundamental rationalist-based assumptions to the study of war. First, both theories agree that

wars will only end when contending parties reach a bargain they prefer rather than continuing

armed hostilities. Peace will only last as long as all signatories remain committed to the

signed bargain. Second, the duration of peace, either by military victory or peace agreement,

must reduce uncertainty among the rival factions and stabilize expectations. This means that

all combatants perceive in the scenario of hypothetically resuming the war, all parties must

have the same expectations on who would win.

The success or failure of peace agreements

This thesis does not aim to put forward the ‘let it burn’ thesis, as has been done by

Roy Licklider in The Consequences of Negotiated Settlements in Civil Wars (1995) and

Monica Toft in Securing the Peace (2010). Instead it focuses on contributing to the existing

literature explaining why the process of implementing negotiated settlements break down and

fail to produce sustainable peace, since negotiated settlements are preferred over military

victories in the international policy discourse (again see Figure 1.3). There are two core

theories that explain the success or failure of negotiated settlements relevant to explaining the

rising trend of civil war recurrence of conflicts ended through negotiated settlement. First,

peace negotiations break down because adversaries cannot promise and give credible

guarantees to abide by the terms of the bargain after the treaty is signed and the implantation

starts. Introduced by Barbara Walter in Committing to Peace, the logic behind her “credible

commitment theory” states that the greatest problem contending parties face in constructively

ending a civil war resides in the availability of an enforcing third party willing to oversee,

verify and monitor the DDR process and prevent that either party to the agreement takes


advantage of its rivals. Dividing the “Peace Process” into a three-stage process3, Walter

(2002) argues that the security environment that exists during the peace implementation

phase, exercised by military presence of third parties, is the deciding factor that defines the

post-war outcome.

The second core argument is that the main weakness of negotiated settlements is that

they tend to lack sufficient means to impose credible “harm” to potential defectors to the

peace treaty. Where military victories excel in terms of guaranteeing harm to its losing rivals

if they should renege on their commitments, the key strengths of negotiated settlements lies

solely on their credible promise to provide mutual benefits of the peace such as the cessation

of violence, containing mutually agreed upon provisions on the development and

reconstruction of the target state, redistribution of offices in the postwar government and the

opportunity to participate in the electoral process. Combing both the strengths of negotiated

settlements in terms of affording postwar benefits and military victories in terms of

guaranteeing credible harm to defectors, Monica Toft (2010a) urges policymakers to integrate

SSRP’s in peace agreements and that the international donor community adopts a hybrid

strategy of “mutual benefit and mutual harm” (2010a) or “carrot and stick” settlement strategy

(2010b). Toft (2010a) claims that SSR has shown to reduce the likelihood of the recurrence of

major armed conflict following a negotiated settlement by 24 percent, but also observes that

third-party security guarantees, in contrast to the argument of Walter (2002), increases the

likelihood of civil war recurrence by 13 percent (Toft 2010a: 55). According to Toft (2010a),

the lack of credible commitment to punish defectors is attributable to the observation that SSR

is only given secondary consideration in the vast majority of signed settlements, or if SSRP’s

are written into the peace agreement, then their implementation is allocated only anemic

resources. The implication of lack of attention and resources to SSR hinders the mutual harm

mechanisms, which according to Toft (2010), will make it more likely that negotiated

settlements will fail in ending civil wars and constructing sustainable peace.

The fundamental assumption overlapping both the “credible commitment theory” and

the theory of “mutual benefit and mutual harm” is that peace in the early period of the post

-conflict environment is very fragile and the peace signatories are in search of credible

guarantees that discourage opposing parties to renege on their signed commitments and take

3According to Walter (2002), the “Peace Process” consists of the following three phases:


tactical advantage of the peace environment by launching a surprise attack. Credible

post-conflict security guarantees can be provided by willing and committed third parties (such as

the U.N. or NATO) or improving domestic security governance by giving more attention and


Chapter 3

Hybrid Security Sector Governance in Post-Conflict


The literature on civil war recurrence and the theories on the durable settlement of civil wars

are premised on the assumption that the quality of peace following the original war will

determine the duration of the peace that follows. It is clear that the problematic post-conflict

environment of insecurity and violence poses a critical barrier to further economic, political

and social development of a country.

Since the early 2000s, the SSR approach has become an integral policy field of

state-building policy and practice, and is increasingly recognized as a precondition for the

advancement of peace and stability and the creation of an enabling environment for economic

development in post-conflict states and is claimed to offer the most effective and expedient

strategy for reducing civil war recurrence. We distinguish two central principles that shape

international attempt to (re)construct post-conflict security sectors by means of SSR. First, the

legitimate use of physical violence is exercised by the state and is managed through a system

of control based on democratic principles. Second, state institutions responsible for providing

security and justice services are made accountable and transparent by a system of democratic

oversight. Despite the popularity of SSR as an instrument of state-building in post-conflict

states, only few academics have studied the SSR concept (Jackson 2011: 1804). In this

chapter I put forward the argument that contemporary SSR operations in post-conflict states

are not meeting expectations because of the biased liberal narrative that underlies

contemporary SSR policy. It is argued that SSR is based on the development principles of

“people-centered, locally owned” but contradicts its principles in practice by securing state

institutions rather than providing citizens a security environment in which they feel safe and

protected. A state security-centric SSR policy that focuses on securing state institutions rather

than people is not only ineffective as they lack socio-political legitimacy and require

significant human and financial capital but is also counterproductive as local/non-state actors

resist and reject externally imposed reconstruction efforts by means of violence.

The first part of this chapter will outline the narrative of liberal peacebuilding and

explains the contradictions between the underlying concepts of human versus state security in

the context of SSR in war-torn societies. The second part presents the conditions that exist in

hybrid political orders and explain why state security-centered SSRs are less effective in such


security governance as a consequence of the exclusive western orientated ideal-type SSR


The Dilemmas of Liberal State-Building in Areas of Limited Statehood

As a starting point for analyzing the dominant SSR-model it is necessary to explore

what the dominant understanding of what a state is and when it is legitimate as a means to

grasping what international state-building missions aim to achieve. The most prominent

approach to state-building in post-conflict states is based on Max Weber’s idea of legal

rational domination: “A compulsory political organization with continuous operation will be

called a “state” insofar as its administrative staff successfully upholds the claim to the

monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force in the enforcement of order” (Weber 1968:

54; emphasis in the original). In order to be given the responsibility to wield the monopoly on

the use and the threat of use of coercive force, the state has to provide security for its citizens.

Thus, legitimacy is seen as a condition for exercising authority.

The current state-building discourse is very much orientated on the liberal narrative

and focuses on the (re)construction of the ‘Weberian’ institutions in post-conflict states (Mac

Ginty 2010: 396). Louise Andersen (2011) points out that the liberal state-building agenda

reflects two distinctive ideas. Firstly, liberal development policies presume that security and

development are intrinsically linked, known as the ‘security-development nexus’. Intrastate

conflict hinders economic growth and inflicts significant human, economic and political costs

on the affected state and its citizens. On the other hand, it implies that the likelihood that

sustainable peace and stability will be attained rests upon the extent of economic and political

development. The second idea is the ‘liberal peace thesis’ which claims that liberal

democracies are more peaceful than non-democracies, because they “tend not to wage war

against other liberal democracies and because they have developed peaceful mechanisms for

solving domestic political conflicts and thus remain unlikely to experience civil war”

(Andersen 2011: 6). The paradoxes and dilemmas of liberal interventionism have been

extensively researched during the last decade (see Bain 2001; Paris 2004; Caplan 2005; Paris

and Sisk 2009a). According to the literature, the overarching dilemmas and paradoxes of the

liberal template emerge when leading states, leading international organizations and

international financial institutions seek to pursue international order, state sovereignty and


Taken together, the ‘security-development nexus’ and the ‘liberal peace thesis’

represent the basic core of the liberal template and remain constitutive for Western-backed

peace support operations in post-conflict states today (Paris and Sisk 2009a: 2). The

application of the template shifted over time, as the peacebuilding discipline underwent an

important macro-level shift in strategy during the late 1990s and early 2000s. While focus in

the early 1990s was on political and economic freedom, current peacebuilding strategies

emphasize that the development and stabilization of post-conflict or fragile states is dependent

on the construction and strengthening of legitimate, functioning and autonomous

governmental institutions, or what Roland Paris and Timothy Sisk refer to as “state-building”

(2009: 1). The underlying principle is that states “have to become more effective in order to

make aid more effective, and vice versa” (Fritz and Menocal 2006: 27).

Premised on the Weberian model of statehood, Ghani et al. (2005) lists ten features of

statehood that have to be established in order to reduce the risk of war recurrence and prolong

peace and development. These are:”(1) a legitimate monopoly on the use of violence, (2)

administrative control, (3) sound management of public finances, (4) investment in human

capital, (5) the creation of citizenship rights and duties, (6) provision of infrastructure, (7)

market formation, (8) management of assets of the state, (9) effective public borrowing, [and]

(10) maintenance of the rule of law” (Ghani et al. 2005: 2). SSR is a crucial sub-policy field

of state-building that currently provides the main narrative for understanding and responding

to the issue of post-conflict transition and preventing the recurrence of war. According to the

liberal state-building template, conflict-torn states are deemed to require institution building,

professionalization, equipment modernization and management reform of its security sector.

The liberal underpinnings of the SSR agenda are evident in the emphasis placed upon both

restoring the state’s monopoly on the use of coercive force, the basic building block of the

Weberian state, and controlling the powers of the state through the promotion of democratic

oversight, good governance and rule of law. The dominance of the Weberian model in

international development policies is reflected in the Capstone doctrine, which outlines the

guiding principles of UN peace operations:

“The deployment of troops and police must be accompanied by efforts to restore the

State’s monopoly over the legitimate use of force; re-establish the rule of law and


institutions of governance; and promote socio-economic recovery (DPKO 2008:


With the dual emphasis on operational efficiency and democratic oversight, the state

security-orientated SSR-model is based on the premise that the security sector within

post-conflict states cannot perform their duties effectively and lacks both accountability and

legitimacy, which consequently negatively affects post-conflict development and increases

the chances that the original war will reignite.

Despite its growing popularity, the SSR model seems to be in crisis. Although there is

no shortage of case studies where SSR programs have been tested or tried out, Mark Sedra

(2010: 102) makes the point that what is lacking are success stories that have actualized the

core principles and objectives of SSR policy in practice. The question, then, is what accounts

for this acknowledged gap between policy and practice?

To understand the dilemma between SSR theory and operational reality it seems

particular useful to pay attention to the inherent tensions that are linked with external

supported liberal peacebuilding. According to Paris and Sisk (2009b: 305), the main reason

for the gap between peacebuilding policy and peacebuilding practice derives from the

inherent incongruities that arise when “universal values are promoted as a remedy for local

problems” (Paris and Sisk 2009c: 305). As the literature review made clear, scholars agree

that each post-conflict environment constitutes a different context, but in practice “donors

tend to employ the same tools, strategies and ideas, often implemented by the same officials

or contractors that nomadically move from one context and program to the next”(Sedra 2010:


The main problem is that the SSR-model, which according to the OECD DAC SSR

Handbook (2007) should be premised on the principles of “people-centered” and “local

ownership”, is in fact state-centric biased. The state-centric SSR ideology maintains that the

state is the sole actor responsible for security and justice provision and therefore must

maintain its monopoly on the use of coercive force. The problem lies not so much in the

liberal underpinnings of this holistic SSR-model but in the discrepancy between ideal-typical

notion of democratic security governance found in stable and democratic societies in the

OECD world upon which the current SSR-model is based and the fragile nature of


The fact is that many countries, especially societies just emerging from a large-scale

episode of violence, do not resemble the ideal-typical model of the Western state and will

remain an unlikely prospect in the foreseeable future (Boege et al 2009; Lawrence 2012;

Baker 2010). The persistence of the state-centric paradigm concerning the necessity of the

state’s monopoly on the use of coercive force causes two main problems when applied to

post-conflict states. First of all, promoting the liberal state model as an ideal-typical model of

statehood is to ignore the rather competitive and violent historical context of the establishment

of the monopoly over the legitimate use of physical force in Western states, and with it the

rather recent emergence of the modern state (Boege et al. 2009: 18). The nature of the

post-conflict state does not lends itself the conditions required for a speedy transformation of its

security sector that resembles the Weberian state. Bruce Baker argues that the implementation

of international standards of democratic security governance in areas of limited statehood are

“expensive, highly complex and requires a cultural transformation that cannot be engineered

overnight” (2010: 211). In addition, Lawrence argues that “international state-building often

falls short because it aspires to an externally fabricated model that does not accommodate

local interests and desires while attempting to radically re-engineer a society in a short time

frame”(2012: 2). To illustrate this point, Schroeder et al observed that past attempts to instill

international standards of democratic security governance in post-conflict recipient states

consequently resulted in “bloated post-conflict security sectors, weak informal institutions,

and the inability to respond to multiple internal and external challenges to the sovereignty of

the state” (2014: 215).

Second, what the state-centric SSR-model fails to acknowledge is that there are other

actors besides state security forces that provide security, frameworks for conflict resolution

and other basic social services. This can be explained by looking at the consequences of the

normative ‘fragility’ terminology within the state-building discourse, which defines

post-conflict or fragile state institutions as lacking “the willingness or capacity to perform core

state functions in the fields of security, representation and welfare” (Boege et al 2009: 16).

Post-conflict or fragile states are not deemed as ‘states’ according to the Weberian perspective

as the state lacks the monopoly on the use of coercive force. Within the liberal state-building

narrative, the state-centric SSR-model presumes that the absence of strong state institutions

within post-conflict states provides a ‘blank slate’ for international security sector reform

initiatives to ‘be downloaded into’, but overlooks the variety of non-state actors, local norms


and Scheye 2014). Boege et al point out (2009:20) that the void of ‘statelessness’ in areas of

limited statehood does not always imply the complete absence of institutions or resemble an

environment of Hobbesian anarchy and chaos. Many of today’s post-conflict or fragile state

emerged from a historical colonial context of indirect rule in which the institutions that

became the state never consolidated a monopoly of violence (Lawrence 2012: 3), while

customary non-state institutions of governance that existed prior to the era of colonial rule

“determine the everyday social reality of large parts of the population in developing countries

even today, particularly in rural and remote peripheral areas” (Boege et al 2009: 20). In the

fragile context of post-conflict transition, where modern statehood is largely absent, it is not

just the institutions that are different:

“People do not perceive themselves as citizens or nationals (at least in the first place).

They define themselves instead as members of particular sub- or trans-national social

entities (kin, group, tribe, village)…it is the community that provides the nexus of

order, security and basic social services. People have confidence in their community

and its leaders, but they have no trust in the government and state performance…As

members of traditional communities, people are tied into a network of social relations

and a web of mutual obligations, and these obligations are much more powerful than

obligations as a “citizen”. People do not obey the rules of the state but the rules of

their group. Legitimacy rests with the leaders of that group, not with the state

authorities” (Boege et al. 2009: 23).

Auditing the diverse non-state security networks in Africa, Baker (2011: 210) found

that “non-state actors are the primary providers of protection, deterrence, investigation,

resolution and punishment for most Africans in most circumstances”. Similar to Baker, the

OECD finds that “in sub-Saharan Africa at least 80 percent of justice services are delivered by

non-state providers” (OECD DAC 2007: 17). In cases where there is an absence of modern

statehood and there is a presence of informal governance alternatives, Baker and Eric Scheye

argue that “the state-centric SSR practice falsely assumes that the state is the major provider

of security and justice, […] overestimates its penetration of society and overlooks the various

non-state actors providing the majority of security and justice services at the user-level of

conflict-affected states” (2007: 507, 512-514).

The problem is that external led state-building and SSR operations focus on rebuilding


regions, especially in post-conflict states in Africa, the state is not the main actor in providing

security and justice but has often been the source of injustice and insecurity and therefore

enjoys less legitimacy and authority compared to local or non-state security providers that

substitute for the state in these areas.

My Argument: The Danger of State-Centric SSR in Hybrid Political Orders

Starting off with the observation that external attempts to (re)construct security governance in

post-conflict or fragile states by means of SSR have in general not led to the comprehensive

transfer of liberal democratic security governance in recipient states. Acknowledging this

trend, the OECD DAC stated in its SSR flagship report that “SSR programmes must consider

the need for a multi-layered or multi-stakeholder approach. This helps target donor assistance

to state and non-state justice and security providers simultaneously at the multiple points at

which actual day-to-day service delivery occurs” (2007: 17).

As has been made clear, many countries emerging from conflict do not resemble the

Weberian state model. Rather than policymakers make a choice between a human

security-orientated versus state security-centered SSR approach, there is consensus among scholars

that the latter approach is currently dominating the state-building and SSR discourse.

Conducting a state-centric SSR model seems to be a welcome policy choice for involved

donor countries as it is theoretically sound to manage expectations like controlling violence

and preventing terrorism and insurgency movements to destabilize the state and reignite the

original war. This theory suggest that the model of hybrid security governance emerges in

response to the ill-advised state security-orientated SSR model.

Two obstacles impede the effectiveness of a state-centric approach to meet the short to

medium term requirements of post-conflict security in conflict-torn states. First, a state-centric

approach aspires to construct a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence that enjoys

widespread legitimacy and accountability. Based on the findings of Baker (2011), the OECD

DAC report (2007) and Baker and Scheye (2007), it is more often the case than not that in

post-conflict environments security and justice provision is carried out by non-state actors

instead of state security forces. As Boege et al (2008) earlier pointed out is that “it might be

theoretically and practically more fruitful to think in terms of hybrid political orders” (2008:

16). Recalling the importance of effective SSR in early post-conflict transition as was


spoiler behavior, ranging from political obstruction to outright violence, but these teeth must

be fully endorsed by local stakeholders (Sedra 2011: 108). In line with the non-state or hybrid

nature of most post-conflict states, this theory of hybrid security governance suggests that the

probability of war recurrence will diminish when reform of the security sector includes

non-statutory security actors.

The second obstacle of the state-centric SSR-model is that it is very expensive and its

implementation design is based on a short timetable. As one can imagine, post-conflict states

have severe fiscal restraints. State revenue sources have been distributed and allocated based

on a war-time economy design and are highly dependent on donor support and other uncertain

revenue streams (Baker 2011: 214). Similarly, Lawrence finds that “human resources

available to the fragile or post-conflict state are often grossly inadequate due to shortages of

police officers, lawyers, legislators and civil servants” (2012: 4). The state-centric SSR

approach is more expensive in terms of financial and human capital as it fixed on establishing

an entire ‘new’ security system, which consequently leads to the problem of ineffective

under-financed policing structures: “under-financed police will remain urban-based,

under-trained, under-equipped, ineffective and unsupported” (Baker 2011: 214). Taking into account

the scarcity of available resources in a post-conflict environment, the hybrid model of SSR

focuses on making use of existing security networks to provide more effective, human and

financial sustainable, legitimate post-conflict security and justice services. In addition, public

expenses that would otherwise be invested in the state policy and judiciary may now be

allocated to other critical development areas such as education and healthcare.

This thesis suggest that in the process of implementing a state security-orientated

security governance model, non-state security providers will 'decide' for themselves to what

extent they adopt or resist the external implemented security model. The crucial assumption

that underlines this theory is that security governance are not just 'downloaded' into societies

as if they were a empty computer. As has been made clear, informal governance networks

exist where the state doesn't. The process of complementation and competition is what creates

hybrid models of security governance, as domestic actors will decide for themselves to what

extent their interests are included in this reform process. The greater non-state actors manifest

competition against the external attempts to transform security governance in post-conflict or

fragile states will determine the extent of 'hybridity' of the security sector. As the process of

competition is played by actors who are armed and are challenging their counterparts claims


Based on the emergence of the hybrid security governance model in response to externally

imposed SSR policies in post-conflict or fragile states, this thesis offers the following

hypothesis that will guide the case study analysis of SSR and post-conflict reconstruction in

Afghanistan and Timor-Leste:

Hypothesis 1: A state security-orientated SSR policy is likely to be less effective in hybrid

political orders and directly fuels violence as local traditions of governance and politics





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