Conclusions from SSR Project

Based on the current literature on Secuirty Sector Reform, we note the lack of successful cases in the field, which has led the same theorists of the field to rethink, or to question, the current theoretical framework.

There has been a lack of depth in the socio-political analysis prior to the planning of
SSR processes.

SSR has been frequently considered as a process outside the country’s politics and
power relations, whereas we see it essentially as a political process with a strong
impact on power relations
, both among its elites, as between these and the external
actors (regional or global actors) or with respect to the population. Case studies have
allowed us to illustrate how the sociology of power is useful in order to reveal these
effects in power relations.

We also found a very reduced number of academic articles that analyze the security
sector in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, despite the outstanding
weight of the security sector in these states.

The sociology of power is a useful framework for the analysis of the security sector,
since it helps overcome rigid limits traditionally established in its study. The sociology
of power focuses on the power relations between the actors and in the resources of
power which they use. This proposal offers a theoretical framework that makes it
possible to reveal the dynamics in the power relations around the security sector, as
well as the impact of an SSR process. On the other hand, it allows us to include
social structures in our analysis, which are essential in order to identify where elites
and populations are placed and move. Likewise, this proposal allows us to analyze
complex social systems in detail without falling into simplifications that obscure
essential parts of the object of study.

Turkish Police surveilling a gathering of relatives of enforced disappeared in Siirt

The analysis of the security sector must take into account the transnational level,
avoiding the differentiation between internal and external. This becomes clear in the
analysis of power relations between elites, who often compete or establish alliances
with external or even transnational elites. It is also essential to maintain the
transnational approach when the analysis includes the arms industry, the arms trade
and military aid, as we understand these can be resources of power for those actors
who have the capacity to control them.

The analysis of the security sector must take into account the longue durée, namely,
the historical evolution, not only of the institutions formally attached to the field of
security, but of the progressive creation of elites, and the emergence and evolution of
power resources in a context of social structures also resulting from historical
processes.

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