EU and Security Sector Reform: Tilting at Windmills?

Overall, the EU’s approach to civilian peacebuilding and crisis management toolkit, hence security sector reform (SSR) hinges on set of liberal norms. One of the key implications of this particular liberal normative underpinning is the assumption of ‘democratic civil-military relations foster stable societies’. After decades of social engineering, in the Anglo-American context, this assumption became a fact of life. However, outside these regions, these norms – often exported through liberal democratic state building and peacebuilding projects – is met with suspicion and resistance. Further, it has also lead to absence of a shared consensus around the main normative tenet thus often end up becoming exclusive, top-down and unsustainable, in the long run. Emergence of ceremonial, hybrid and frictional security governance arrangements, institutions and practices are few notable outcomes related to this.

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