This article explores issues around security sector reform (SSR) and the involvement of the international community in peace-building. It argues that the international architecture which surrounds SSR privileges a particular form of knowledge that reflects a technocratic approach to security, and illustrates this by systematically examining the literature. Research on the literature itself shows that three core themes dominate: state-centric approaches, technocratic approaches, and approaches to local ownership. These comprise a current, linear approach to SSR that ignores much of the critical literature on peace-building. The article then goes on to draw on some of this critical literature to develop an alternative approach to SSR building using a non-linear approach which incorporates a better understanding of institutional politics, an emphasis on process rather than structures, and analysis of hidden politics.
- security sector reform
- linear peacvebuilding