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  • Author: Velizar Shalamanov
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Security Sector Reform (SSR) is an essential part of transformation of the totalitarian states to democratic ones. Security was motive, tool and excuse for the Communist Parties to control totally the state, economy and society at all. As a result security sector - named Armed Forces was extremely large, powerful, secret (un-transparent), under communist party control and separated from society even using all the resources of the society, including young men for 2-3 years.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bulgaria
  • Author: Marie Vlachová, Ladislav Halberštát
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: There is no doubt that the security situation in Europe changed dramatically during the last decade. Whilst total war has disappeared from the inventory of security threats, regional wars with devastating consequences for affected countries, are still topical. With ethnic hostility, organised crime and the world-wide terrorism list of non-military threats has become much wider. A widening gap between rich Western countries and their poor neighbours in Eastern and South Eastern Europe represents another serious danger, as well as do uncontrollable corruption in politically and economically weak regimes, the inability of states to protect their borders efficiently against trafficking, smuggling, illegal immigration and weapons proliferation, including weapons of mass destruction. Information warfare which results in serious damage being caused by attacks on the information systems of developed countries represents another relatively new security threat. Expertise in security political decision-making has become very important, and thus in the future, a shortage of competent specialists in governmental and parliamentary structures could affect states' ability to anticipate threats and make an adequate decision.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Hans Born
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: During situations of national emergencies, natural disasters, conflict and war, state institutions have to act quickly and decisively in order to divert dangers. Every state and its society need to have a competent political leadership and government agencies that are able to act efficiently. From a democratic governance point of view, however, it is equally important that the decision-making process and the resulting outcome is both accepted and valued by the people. In other words, it is essential that the processes and outcomes of the state institutions are legitimate within a democracy.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Wim F. van Eekelen
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Democracy takes many forms. The basic notion that governments derive their legitimacy from the freely expressed votes of their citizens is translated in many different parliamentary practices. Even the conceptual distinction of the three main functions of government – legislative, executive and judicial – as defined in Montesquieu's Trias Politica, seldom resulted in a complete separation of powers. In many countries the members of the executive also sit in parliament. In the US the separation between legislature and executive is the most complete. The President has wide-ranging authority; his ministers are not responsible to Congress. Nevertheless it works, because of a complicated system of checks and balances affecting both legislationand budget appropriations. In France the President of the Republic regards foreign affairs and defence as his special domain in which the cabinet, let alone parliament, has little influence. A common characteristic of Western democracy, however, is its pluralistic character in which the people elect their representatives and have a choice between different political parties. In some cases the decisions reached in parliamentary assemblies are subject to a referendum as a form of direct democracy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Hans Born
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Intelligence services are an instrument in the hands of the state institutions, which can be used both for the better and the worse. If the intelligence services are in the hands of responsible democratic leaders, then intelligence contributes to the democracy's ability to function well. This is can be learnt from the history of the 20th Century: intelligence played a crucial role in helping to defeat Hitler, it played a significant role in preventing the Cold War from turning into a nuclear war and intelligence kept the super power arms race from getting totally out of hand2. On the other hand, if intelligence services are in the hands of those who are interested in conflict and coercion, intelligence can be used for the worse. Therefore, it is essential to secure democratic and parliamentary oversight of the intelligence services.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, National Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Zoran Pajic
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: The broadening and deepening of the concept of security has focused renewed attention on the appropriate role of the security sector in the political and economic systems of the states. Bloated and poorly regulated militaries are seen as a primary cause of severe distortion in the allocation of national resources between the security and non-security sectors. The negative development impact of a dysfunctional security sector is magnified in countries that have experienced a significant deterioration in their capacity to deliver services and in war-torn societies. In such cases, there is an urgent need to restore physical security, to optimise the use of scarce public resources, and to attract sustained external support for the recovery process.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Yugoslavia
  • Author: Budimir Babović
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Apart from the principal question of their content, reforms in general pose a twofold preliminary question: is there a sufficient quantum of willingness to proceed with the reforms and how speedily should they be carried out. A public opinion survey carried out by The Center for Policy Studies (Belgrade) in the period from August 25 to 28, 2001 has demonstrated that only 38 percent of interviewed persons consider the reforms should be quick and thorough, even painful for most citizens. At the same time, 47 percent of those interviewed believe that reforms should be conducted gradually, so they are less painful. The first question left 35 percent of persons without a response or undecided, the second left 30 percent.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Yugoslavia, Serbia
  • Author: Vladimir Mochalov
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: Following the disintegration of the USSR, there was no decrease in the total length of the Russian border in comparison with that of the Soviet Union (more than 60'000 km²). The number of bordering countries rose from fifteen to sixteen. Furthermore, 13'500 km² of new boundaries were created. This figure represented a fifth overall length of the border). Yet, the new boundaries were not formalised in legal terms, they were not appropriately equipped and, in fact, lacked border guard control.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union