Securing Sierra Leone, 1997-2013: Defence, Diplomacy and Development in Action

securing-sierra-leone-1997-2013Professor Paul Jackson has recently co-authored a new book on Securing Sierra Leone, 1997–2013. Launched at RUSI in May 2015, the monograph examines the development and impact of security-sector reform on the state-building process in Sierra Leone.

Between 1991 and 2002, Sierra Leone was wracked by a devastating civil war and the complete collapse of state institutions. Since then, however, the UK’s contribution to post-war reconstruction has been widely held up as an example of successful stabilisation and state-building – particularly of the country’s security and justice institutions.

Securing Sierra Leone, 1997–2013 examines how the process of state-building through security-sector reform developed in Sierra Leone, and the impact of this experience on international conceptualisations of such reform as well as on international interventions more broadly. The study is the most detailed of its kind, based on a comprehensive analysis of UK engagement in Sierra Leone between 1997 and 2013, including a host of first-hand accounts from key local and international actors.

This monograph shows why the UK intervention in Sierra Leone has been a relative success. However, it also questions the sustainability of state-building efforts that are driven by concepts of the liberal state. In Sierra Leone, critical challenges remain, not least in the combination of a particular vision of what a state should look like and the unrealistic expectations of progress on the part of the international community.

About the Authors

Peter Albrecht is a Security-Sector Development Adviser with the UN in Somalia, seconded by the Danish government from the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), where he is a Senior Analyst. He holds a PhD from Copenhagen Business School (CBS), an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a MA research degree from Aarhus University. He co-authored Reconstructing Security after Conflict: Security Sector Reform in Sierra Leone (2011) and co-edited Policing and the Politics of Order-Making (Routledge, 2015).

Paul Jackson is Professor of African Politics at the University of Birmingham. He was formerly the Head of the university's School of Government and Society, and Director of both the International Development Department (University of Birmingham) and the Global Facilitation Network for Security Sector Reform (Institute of Development Studies). Paul has worked within the fields of politics and security for several governments, the UN, the EU and the World Bank. He has sat on the Advisory Board of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, and is a current member of the Folke Bernadotte Institute working group on security-sector reform. He has published extensively on security and development issues.

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