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Neo-colonial attitudes to security in war-torn nations out-of-date and unhelpful

Date:
October 18, 2018
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
Developed countries imposing their own Security Sector Reform (SSR) processes onto nations recovering from war often rely on entrenched colonial attitudes with no guarantee of success. Researchers looked at the Democratic Republic Congo and Nepal contrasting their outcomes and examining the reasons for success or failure of SSR policies based on Europe. They question whether the systems work in their countries of origin where statistics show ongoing institutional racism.
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Developed countries imposing their own Security Sector Reform (SSR) processes onto nations recovering from war often rely on entrenched colonial attitudes with no guarantee of success.

Research led by the University of Kent specifically looked at the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) and Nepal contrasting their outcomes and examining the reasons for success or failure of SSR policies based on European templates. They question whether the systems even work in their countries of origin where statistics show ongoing institutional racism.

SSR is a key feature of peacebuilding interventions and is usually undertaken by a state alongside national and international partners. Many programmes still aim to create a security sector following a European template, without sufficiently acknowledging that this might not work in countries outside of Europe.

Dr Nadine Ansorg of Kent's School of Politics and International Relations (POLIR) at Kent, together with Dr Julia Strasheim, Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt Foundation, Hamburg, found that social and political dynamics, historical and cultural details, and the involvement of other nearby countries all have to be factored into when creating meaningful SSR policies for a nation.

In DRC, the high number of rebel groups from within and outside the country posed a major obstacle to a successful demobilisation of forces. Nepal, in a contained geographical area and without involvement of neighbouring countries and other vested interests, experienced a completely different outcome to DRC.

The research highlights the need to genuinely acknowledge that SSR programmes must respond to their specific contexts. A programme that works in one country will not necessarily work in another which may explain the mixed results in peacebuilding and the co-operation and tensions within reform programmes.

Dr Ansorg said: 'There is a strong streak of post-colonial, persistent Eurocentric concepts in international SSR programmes, by the United Nations, World Bank, and other donors. After all, the government also persistently embodies a neo-colonial attitude towards countries from the Global South, as the recent visit of British Prime Minister Theresa May to Africa showed, and not forgetting the words of former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the subject.'


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Materials provided by University of Kent. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nadine Ansorg, Julia Strasheim. Veto Players in Post-Conflict DDR Programs: Evidence From Nepal and the DRC. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 2018; 1 DOI: 10.1080/17502977.2018.1501981

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Neo-colonial attitudes to security in war-torn nations out-of-date and unhelpful." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181018125154.htm>.
University of Kent. (2018, October 18). Neo-colonial attitudes to security in war-torn nations out-of-date and unhelpful. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 24, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181018125154.htm
University of Kent. "Neo-colonial attitudes to security in war-torn nations out-of-date and unhelpful." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181018125154.htm (accessed June 24, 2024).

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