Peacebuilding and Security Sector Reform

As illustrated by the cases of Syria, Libya or Ukraine, the consequences of ongoing conflicts remain devastating and extend from direct civilian casualties, internally displaced persons and human rights violations to regional and international security threats such as humanitarian crises and refugee flows.This research theme examines the ways in which states and non-state actors such as international organisations and civil society actors have grappled with these issues over time. This theme brings together SPAIS researchers with a wide ranging disciplinary expertise on peacebuilding, development and security sector reform and combined with extensive regional expertise (e.g. Western Balkans, Asia, Horn of Africa) to provide a comprehensive approach to the challenge of promoting sustainable peace. Current GIC research in this area spans from the role of civil society actors, the evolution of conflict prevention capabilities to the transformation of international peacebuilding initiatives, with a particular focus on issues of capacity building, resilience and local ownership.

Current projects within this theme include:

A major Horizon 2020 research programme on Preventing and Responding to Conflict: Developing Civilian Capabilities for a Sustainable Peace (EU-CIVCAP). The three-year €1,714,976 EU-CIVCAP project will provide a comprehensive, comparative and multidisciplinary analysis of the EU's current conflict prevention and peacebuilding activities.  The project started in December 2015.  Further information on the EU-CIVCAP project can be found on the project page here.

Safe Seas is a pilot project that studies lessons from maritime security capacity building in the Western Indian Ocean.  The objective is to develop key guidelines and best practices for the coordination, programming and implementation of maritime security capacity building and maritime security sector reform. The project compares the ongoing efforts to restructure the maritime security sector in four countries (Djibouti, Kenya, Seychelles, and Somalia). Although maritime capacity building has been done in limited forms for decades by international navies and the International Maritime Organization, it is generally considered as a new field of international activity.

Keeping Enough in Reserve is a three year, £296,620 project, examining the employment and identity issues pertaining to reservists serving with the British Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Naval Reserve.  The project addresses a number of key challenges associated with the proposed transformation of the armed forces under the Future Reserves 2020 programme, in ways that ensure not just the assimilation of reservists, but crucially, their genuine integration. In order to do so, the research will focus on the consequences of the reservist policy for the relationship between the armed forces and its host society, what it means to be both a soldier and a civilian in citizenship and identity terms, how employers both view and respond to the FR20 programme, and ultimately, the likelihood that such a transformation will succeed.

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