“One UN”, Two Cultures: United Nations Support for Security Sector Reform

Title: “One UN”, Two Cultures: United Nations Support for Security Sector Reform
Authors: Blencowe, Andrew
Date: 2013-09-27
Abstract: Security Sector Reform (SSR) is a vital component in many peacebuilding programmes around the world. As a leader in international peace and security, the United Nations plays a significant role in supporting SSR processes in fragile and conflict-affected states. However, the organization is still struggling to conceptualize its role in SSR. This lack of clarity has allowed UN bodies to adopt and implement different approaches to SSR. This paper uses process tracing to highlight key distinctions between the approaches of two prominent UN bodies involved in SSR – the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – and identify each body’s evaluation process as the key factor for this difference. It is these evaluation processes that shape the institutional cultures that facilitate the development of the different approaches. The findings of this study suggest that the UN’s desire to develop a “One UN” approach to SSR will require more than just political will, but also structural and cultural change. Furthermore, these findings support arguments made elsewhere that liberal peacebuilding’s mixed record does not necessarily warrant its abandonment. Rather, better outcomes are possible by correcting the poor implementation of liberal principles.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/26193
CollectionAffaires publiques et internationales - Mémoires // Public and International Affairs - Research Papers