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The Discourse of Security in Development Policies: A Genealogical Approach to ‘Security Sector Reform’

Abstract : Security is one of the objectives that has become associated with development policies. This article offers a genealogical perspective on this shift, focusing on the introduction of “Security Sector Reform” (SSR) into development policy as an apparatus with a two‐fold normative process. The first point of note is the securitization of development policy. This pertains both to the discourse elements of the apparatus—here, the effects of the use of security semantics—and to its political technologies, with an SSR apparatus which can function as a new label for military co‐operation. This has led to new approaches in societies where this has taken place, with threat a key focus. There has also been a process of depoliticization in the wake of technical, standardized approaches. This has sidelined debate on the norms and political choices involved, albeit implicitly. Secondly, one can observe structural ambivalences in the field, chiefly on the issue of the state and the normative contradictions of a policy to strengthen “fragile states” that relies on external intervention in national politics. The case study of Lebanon complements this analysis, highlighting the structural tensions between the various aims of SSR, and how this affects local ownership: both the perception and reception of SSR are marked by power relationships which translate into hegemonic and counter‐hegemonic labelling.
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Contributor : Pénélope Larzillière Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, June 29, 2018 - 9:36:20 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 1, 2022 - 1:25:00 PM



Pénélope Larzillière. The Discourse of Security in Development Policies: A Genealogical Approach to ‘Security Sector Reform’. Development Policy Review, 2017, ⟨10.1111/dpr.12342⟩. ⟨ird-01826846⟩



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