State security sectors play a significant part in violent intrastate conflicts. When conflicts move towards resolutionary phases, a fundamental reform of these institutions is often necessary so that resulting peaceful dispensations can be better maintained. The security forces in Northern Ireland are one such example. During the negotiations for the Belfast Agreement1 in the late 1990s, it was considered vital to ‘take the gun out of Irish politics’ not only from paramilitary organisations but also from state forces. Thus, four issues surrounding security in the region had to be addressed, namely the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons arsenals, police reform, the normalization of security arrangements, and political prisoner releases, with each regarded as a pre-condition for the other. Decommissioning had to be more than a gesture of commitment to justify police reform and the relaxation of security arrangements, as well as the early release of prisoners, while police reform and the withdrawal of British troops had to be imminent for paramilitary weapons to be abandoned. All of these were necessary for the negotiation of a workable political solution to proceed. This paper looks at police reform in Northern Ireland as a case study for Security Sector Reform and how it affects human security in the region as a part of a post-conflict reconstruction process.
This paper aims to contribute discussion around the humanitarian–peace nexus to apply a newly-defined negative side effect of humanitarian assistance, partisan externality to the case of Syria. The Syrian case offers a new angle in partisan externality: humanitarian organizations can virtually select which side of the war could be legitimate for humanitarian assistance. This selectivity of partisan externality raises tension among humanitarian organizations. Case research of Syrian shows the difficulty for partisan externality and the consequent tension hard to be resolved. This paper examines an opinion exchange meeting with Japanese experts involved in humanitarian projects in Syria to find clues to deal with partisan externality and hurdles to overcome.
This paper contributes to the academic discourse by developing the newly defined concept of partisan externality, especially in the context of the humanitarian–peace nexus and concerns from the humanitarian side, and also in practical terms related to the Syrian case. As seen from the case research and meeting outcomes, humanitarian experts struggle with partisan externality and consequent tension among humanitarian organizations. This scenario could happen in other humanitarian operations from the Syrian case. The meeting's suggestion to explore positive peacebuilding and invest resources to generate lessons from previous operations in light of partisan externality would be suggestive to develop discussion around the humanitarian–peace nexus to mitigate concerns from the humanitarian side.