Constitutional Transitions is partnering with International IDEA for its new research project, “Constitutional Reform Processes and Security Sector Reform: Principles for Practice.” With seventeen experts from thirteen countries, the project aims to establish guiding principles for security sector reform in the context of constitution building processes, directed at individuals and groups in security sector agencies, political parties, civil society and international entities.
Negotiating a new constitution is an important element of any political transition to constitutional democracy. Security sector reform is often a critical factor for successful transition, and a central topic for negotiation during the constitution building process. But negotiations often risk failure, as the variety of actors involved can pose misunderstandings of mutual or different interests. Few to no resources exist for guidance on the process of security sector reform negotiations, or to offer an account of how involved parties should set the agenda for security sector reform. By providing highly structured analyses of selected case studies, this project will provide a valuable addition to the current understanding of how security sector reform works in times of democratic transition.
The project’s steering committee members are Zoltan Barany (University of Texas at Austin), Sumit Bisarya (International IDEA), Sujit Choudhry (Constitutional Transitions), and Richard Stacey (Constitutional Transitions). The project will produce a policy manual, aimed at field practitioners and a policy audience, an edited volume published by a leading university press directed towards an academic and research audience, and multiple working papers available freely online. A meeting of network experts is scheduled for April 2014 in The Hague, with project completion anticipated in Spring 2015.