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  • Author: Anyu Angelov
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • 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 Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • 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 Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • 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 Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • 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
  • Author: Philipp Fluri
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Unlike in many other developing countries on the way to democracy, the military plays a more limited role than other security providers, notably the Ministry of the Interior whose forces are much more powerful than the military and have their own armed units. They pose the greater potential threat to security and stability, and thus form a graver potential impediment to economic and political reform than the military. Whereas the economic, social and even some of the defence systems in the post-Soviet republics have gone through reforms, the forces and institutional structures of the Ministries of the Interior have remained more or less the same; change has occurred only in their size which again does not imply larger or more transparent budgets.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Central Asia
  • Author: Philipp Fluri
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: The countries of the Southern Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) experienced seventy years of one-party centralized management of the security sector – a heritage they share with all other former Soviet Republics (though precise time spans vary). Independent state-building can be expected to be slow, and it has further been vexed by armed conflicts which are far from being permanently settled and which have led to considerable numbers of IDPs and refugees in Georgia and Azerbaijan. This specific situation has naturally slowed the build-up of security sectors much different from the local post-Soviet replica of the once union-wide complex of security services.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
  • Author: Larry Watts
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: According to March 2002 poll, 60% of the Romanian population believe that their intelligence services – in particular the SRI (Serviciul roman de informatii – domestic security intelligence) and the SIE (Serviciul de informatii externe – foreign intelligence) – have been “transformed into democratic institutions on the western model.” 52% believe that the services are serving national interests in a politically-neutral fashion as opposed to partisan aims of the sitting government (32%), and 55% had a generally “good opinion” concerning their performance. 73% of the population believes that the services do not have too much power, and half of those believe they have too little power, while 74% believe that intelligence specialists remaining from before 1989 – about 15% of the SRI and 18% of the SIE – should be retained. Periodic polling by other agencies regularly rank the SRI just behind the church and the army, and ahead of the government and police, in terms of public trust.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Romania
  • Author: Miroslav Hadzic
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Unwilling to establish the principles of future relations in the joint state, the heads of the Federal, Serbian, and Montenegrin authorities, after being pressured by the European Union (EU), finally signed the Belgrade Agreement. Afterwards, they began to draft the Constitutional Charter of the joint state of Serbia and Montenegro. The entire project is based upon the supposition that this supra-national creation will only have delegated powers agreed to by member states. This infers that the Union will not have original sovereignty; rather Serbia and Montenegro will have it. The implementation of this solution will sever all ties with the federal organization of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) and its predecessors, only simplifying matters, as Montenegro has already unilaterally excluded itself from the authority of federal bodies, and in that way, has practically abolished this state.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Serbia, Montenegro
  • Author: Heiner Hänggi
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Good governance of the security sector, when considered from a disarmament perspective, indicates linkages between two principal issue-areas in contemporary international politics, i.e. those of 'security' and 'governance'. These two issue-areas are closely intertwined, contributing to evolving definitions of the terms themselves. During the bipolar period, security was generally defined in 'hard' military terms. Following the end of the Cold War, the concept was broadened to include 'soft' and human security concerns. This was paralleled by a broadening of the concept of confidence-building measures to include, inter alia, the role of security forces in the society. The fundamental principles of good governance include transparency and accountability of the exercise of state power. The implementation of good governance of the security sector (including military, paramilitary, internal security forces, police, border guards, and intelligence services) is a long and often difficult process, and whether this can be achieved is dependent on the capability and willingness of the individual countries.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Peter Gill
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: In the past thirty years throughout Europe, the Americas and more sporadically elsewhere the issue of how to institute some democratic control over security intelligence agencies has steadily permeated the political agenda. There have been two main reasons for this change. In what might be described as the 'old' democracies (North America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand) the main impetus for change was scandal involving abuses of power and rights by the agencies. Typically, these gave rise to legislative or judicial enquiries that resulted in new legal and oversight structures for the agencies, some of these achieved by statutes, others by executive orders. The best known examples of these are the U.S. congressional enquiries during 1975-76 (chaired by Senator Church and Representative Pike), Justice McDonald's enquiry into the RCMP Security Service in Canada (1977-81) and Justice Hope's into the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Australia, North America, New Zealand, Western Europe