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  • Author: Mahmoud Alawna, Nora-Elise Beck, Vlatko Cvrtila, Fatima Itawi, Saša Janković, Arnold Luethold, Frederic Maio, Felix Tusa
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This working paper aims to support the ongoing efforts of the Palestinian executive authorities, security forces, independent institutions, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media to strengthen the Palestinian complaints system. It identifies deficits in the complaints system of the Palestinian security sector and proposes recommendations to rectify them. It particularly stresses the need to improve coordination between the vast number of complaints units and calls for greater clarity on the role of civil society and the media. It hopes to raise awareness for these issues among Palestinian decision-makers and citizens and international actors. When fully functioning, the complaint handling system can be an effective source of information for the government to improve its performance and develop its services. The paper builds upon the discussions of the complaints working group, consisting of Palestinian government officials and representatives of the security forces, civil society and the media. DCAF presented the recommendations to senior Palestinian decision-makers in late September 2016, providing these with cases of international best practice.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Human Rights, Governance, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Europe, Palestine, West Bank
  • Author: Arnold Luethold, Luigi de Martino, Riccardo Bocco
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: The Graduate Institute for Development Studies (IUED) in Geneva and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) conducted in July 2005 a survey in order to measure public perceptions of Palestinian security sector governance. The survey involved 1,500 individuals living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Middle East, Palestine, Jerusalem, Gaza
  • Author: Mindia Vashakmadze
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Periodic and genuine elections based on universal and equal suffrage are a fundamental component of democratic society. It is recognised by the international community that all human beings should have the right to vote and to stand for election. Moreover, everyone has the right of equal access to public service. The inequality or discrimination based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status should be prohibited.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Democratization, Politics
  • Author: Fred Schreier, Marina Caparini
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: The emergence and rapid growth of private military companies (PMCs) and private security companies (PSCs) in the 1990s followed from the downsizing of the armed forces in the aftermath of the Cold War and the development of many new conflicts which increased demand for military manpower and expertise. The redefinition of security strategies and the restructuring of armed forces by Western governments resulted in the elimination of non-core activities from the functions of many armed forces. These have increasingly been filled through various forms of alternative service delivery, in particular being outsourced to PMCs and PSCs.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Civil Society, Cold War
  • Author: Henning Sørensen
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This chapter pursues developments of Danish civil-military relations to identify changes in the degree of military influence. Two case studies are put forward. The first case deals with long-term change processes in the field of civil-military relations. In this case study, four major areas are investigated: the personnel composition of the Danish defence, its expenditures per capita, its organisational structure, and military participation in defence commissions. Changes in all four areas are pursued over the last-half century revealing increased military influence in Danish civil-military relations. A striking indicator of this development is the case of top military disobedience in 2001, which constitutes the second case study entitled 'Military disobedience of the Danish defence commander'. The consequences of the major military influence for three actors: 'politicians', 'media', and the 'armed forces' are discussed and it is argued that neither of them gains from the increased military influence, not even the professional soldiers. The reported extreme of military behaviour contrasts many examples of military respectful democratic decision-making. Reasons for the military disobedience may be explained by the distinction 'to have' or 'to exercise' democratic control, where the former is the proper type of democratic control of the armed forces and not the latter as wrongfully perceived by the former Danish Joint Chief of Staff (JCS).
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Development
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Philipp H. Fluri
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: The effort to universally promote and apply multilateral disarmament and arms control treaties requires public understanding of the contribution of such treaties to international security. All too often specialized knowledge of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation treaties remains concentrated with the executive and a few specialized departments of the Ministries of Defense or Foreign Affairs: whilst parliamentarians and the public remain largely ignorant about them. However, without either comprehensively informed and committed parliamentary oversight and guidance, or scrutiny by an empowered civil society, arms control and disarmament treaties will neither be sufficiently understood nor successfully implemented.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Civil Society, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Antje Fritz
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Free media and unhampered and impartial journalism are crucial elements of any democracy. Journalists provide the information which a society needs to debate current policies, public issues, societal threats, the potential failings of its institutions as well as necessary reforms. In so doing, journalism fulfils a major democratic function, which includes, as a crucial responsibility, the duty to make issues transparent and therefore to help citizens to gain information about and exert oversight of the state's executive bodies (Ward 2004). But even if those pre-conditions are satisfied, some societal areas, especially those which concern security related issues, tend to resist efforts to provide transparency and public oversight. This is especially the case when intelligence services and intelligence related issues are involved.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • Author: Herbert Wulf
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, numerous developments have significantly changed the position of the armed forces. Firstly among these developments is the fact that the vast majority of wars are no longer fought between states. Rather, today's wars and violent conflicts tend to have mostly inner societal causes (Kaldor 2001). Additionally, the observation of present day realities, especially in big urban centres of the world, shows that more people die from the day-to-day exertion of criminal violence than from warrelated causes. Inner-societal insecurity and violent conflict sometimes leads to the international community turning to military means to control and pacify the areas concerned.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Ian Leigh
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This paper first discusses the meaning of civil society and, in particular, its strengths and limitations. The second section considers what civil society can add to the representative democratic process. In the remaining sections, I discuss how civil society interacts with the law in a democratic state. There are two distinct aspects to this. Firstly, there are the legal and constitutional pre-conditions that allow civil society to flourish. These include issues about group autonomy, freedom of the press and of protest, including the place of civil disobedience. Secondly, there are the specific ways in which civil society can use the legal process to further its ends.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Dušan Reljic
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Media are often acclaimed as the "fourth power" in a democracy. They are hailed as the "watch-dogs" of democracy. As an integral force of civil society, the mass media is expected to play a prominent role in controlling the parliament, the government and the judiciary, in investigating whether private industrial and financial interests respect the law, sounding the alarm if the environment is polluted, and engaging in conflict prevention and resolution. Mass media are omnipresent in modern times. Perhaps, therefore, people expect omnipotence from the media.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Communism, Democratization