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  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Democracy is founded on every citizen's right to take part in the management of public affairs. This requires the existence of representative institutions at all levels and, as a cornerstone, a parliament in which all components of society are represented and which has the requisite powers and means to express the will of the people by legislating and overseeing government action.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Author: David Betz
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: It is a truism that the nature and limits of parliamentary oversight in any state are determined by the constitutional and political structure unique to that state. That is to say, a state's constitutional and political “framework of legislative oversight” ultimately constrains the extent to which its parliamentarians may regulate their defence establishment. In some countries, parliament has the legal wherewithal to exert a high degree of scrutiny and control over developments in the defence sector. In others, parliaments possess only limited legal prerogatives in this respect because the executive dominates the defence sector.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary
  • Author: Leif Mevik
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: In Norway, monitoring of the secret services (EOS services) is carried out by a parliamentary monitoring body, the Committee for Monitoring of Intelligence, Surveillance and Security Services. The Committee conducts continuous monitoring of the Norwegian Police Security Service, the Norwegian Intelligence Service and the Norwegian National Security Authority (NoNSA). The monitoring arrangement is independent of the EOS services and the remainder of the administration. The Committee's members are elected by the Storting (the Norwegian parliament), and the Committee reports to the Storting annually. The arrangement was established in 1996. The continuous monitoring takes the form of regular inspections of the secret services. The Committee also deals with complaints from private individuals and organizations that believe the secret services have committed injustices against them.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Marie Vlachová
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: In the mid-1980s, only three per cent of Czechoslovak women served in the professional corps. By the turn of the millennium, their number had increased to ten per cent. The process of a slow, but steady integration of women into the Czechoslovak/Czech armed forces, its present state and future perspectives are described in this study.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe
  • Author: Marie Vlachová
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Throughout modern history, the fate of the Czech nation has always been determined by politicians and not the armed forces. Czech soldiers have seldom fought for "their cause", i.e. one with which they are able to identify fully. The existence of Czechoslovakia's pre-war army, which was supposed to guarantee national sovereignty, was too short-lived, ending unimpressively when the political representation decided to demobilize prior to the country's occupation by the Nazis. The First Republic tradition was not sufficient to overcome widespread anti-military sentiments, which were personified by the infamous Czech literary character known as "Soldier Shweik" - whose origins lie in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During the Communist era, most people were unable to identify with a fight against imperialism, that was designed by the Communist regime as the main reason for compulsory service in the military. The fact that the army stayed away from the public resistance to the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces, only exacerbated the common perception that the military was no more than an obedient instrument of the Soviet Union's power politics. Even after the collapse of communism, doubts about the necessity to have an army persisted within Czech society. After November 1989, the armed forces drifted from the public.s and politician.s centre of attention for a short time. However, once it became apparent that the army would not intervene in the political transformation process; both the population and the new political representation shifted their focus towards political, economic, and also social issues.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Ian Leigh
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: This paper is a contribution to a continuing project of the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF): to provide a map or 'matrix' of legal norms to govern security sector reform. Previous contributions have addressed civil-military relations and work remains to be done on policing. The focus here is on the implications of this approach for the norms governing security and intelligence agencies.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Geneva
  • Author: Anyu Angelov
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: The notion of national security could be perceived in a narrow meaning or in an exceptionally broad meaning. Using this term in broader sense creates opportunities of binding mutually the functions and the responsibilities of almost all state institutions, local administration and municipalities in almost all spheres of public life. But such a perception hides a danger of dilution and chaotic shift of responsibilities between agencies for some of their paramount activities. And sometimes the broader sense could mislead even governments in their decision-making process. Let me give you a brand new Bulgarian example. Recently the Supreme Administrative Court stopped temporarily one of the biggest privatisation deals- those on Bulgarian tobacco holding known as "Bulgartabac". Striving for acceleration of the privatisation process and finding no other opportunity to overrule the court's decision about a concrete buyer, the government passed a bill, in which only the parliament is authorised to make decisions on the privatisation of fifteen of the biggest state companies, among them Bulgarian Tоbacco Holding, Bulgarian Railways, Bulgarian Airlines. Those decisions cannot be protested by the prosecution and overruled by the court. The only motivation of such exclusive procedure was the "exceptional importance of these companies for the national security". The bill was adopted by the National Assembly with shake majority, but was vetoed by the President.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Bulgaria
  • Author: Hans Born, Philip Fluri
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: There is a widespread belief that security policy is a 'natural' task for the executive as they have the requisite knowledge and ability to act quickly. The decision to go to war, to contribute troops to multinational peace support operations, to conclude international treaties or to raise defence spending, to mention just some of the most important governmental security responsibilities, are regarded to be executive decisions. The stubborn perception exists that parliaments should be kept out of these decisions. Parliament tends to be regarded as a less suitable institution for dealing with security issues, especially given its often time-consuming procedures and lack of full access to the necessary expertise and information. Additionally, parliaments are regarded as ill-suited institutions for keeping classified information secret. However, this is a misperception. The past teaches us that parliaments do play a major role in matters of security in democratic states, both in times of war and peace. In the times of the Roman Republic, the Dutch Republic in the sixteenth century, Great Britain in the Second World War, or, more recently at the outbreak of the Second Gulf War, Parliaments across the globe have debated, influenced and exercised oversight over security policy and security sector reform, even in the middle of war.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Romania, Dutch
  • Author: Agnieszka Gogolewska
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: In representative democracies, parliaments play a crucial, albeit sometimes neglected or underestimated role in assuring a proper functioning of the democratic civilian control of the security sector. In that sense, parliaments represent an important link in the chain of democratic institutions exercising such control. It would be wrong however to assume that the controlling functions of the legislatures are realised in much the same way as the executive or civilian bureaucracy exercises them. In democratic systems parliaments are an institutional expression of popular legitimacy and accountability, therefore their controlling role is more general and principle-driven that is the case of other institutions, directly responsible for managing security sector.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Poland
  • Author: Jack Petri
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: I have been asked to present brief comments on the subject of officer career management in a peacetime democracy. As I have spent much of my 30-year military career involved either directly or indirectly in the management of officers in a democracy (mostly in peace, but also in war), I am very happy to be able to share my thoughts and experience with you today.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government, Peace Studies