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Security sector reform - a global challenge

Behind this contemporary motto of international organizations lie two different and arguably contradictory issues: how can the security sector been made more democratically accountable to people whose security is at stake? How can it be streamlined so as to cost less? Hanne Røislien, in her seminal study of the place of Judaism in the IDF, meanwhile reminds us that behind any discussion of a “security sector”, we find people, whose attitudes and approaches to security are essential to consider.

Nowhere are issues related to Security Sector Reform more apparent than in the post-Spring Arab world. New security forces are rebuilt while previous ones ought to be made accountable for past abuse. Who are the main forces driving such reforms? How are they publicly debated in contexts of unruly democratic transitions? Such question also brings to light the complex role played by international organisations, such as NATO or the EU, in promoting their vision of Security Sector Reform.

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Re-thinking detention without trial

Whatever the outcome in Abu Qatada’s case, there is an opportunity to learn from mistakes when dealing with terrorist suspects in the future. Whatever type or range of future terrorist threat the UK faces, there should be no need to resort to detentions without trial in the UK or to tacitly support torture abroad

It is time for an inclusive politics

With Communities Secretary Eric Pickles pushing a tough new government approach to British Muslim organisations, the former head of the Muslim Council of Britain argues the time is ripe for rapprochement.

Mexico’s war on drugs: can you expect the military to function as police?

A side-effect of the war on drugs launched by President Calderon was to involve the army in carrying out police operations against gangs. However, this blurring of lines between both security institutions resulted in an increase in human rights violations.

Religion and coming to terms with soldiering in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)

Judaism is crucial for how IDF soldiers comprehend their role as soldiers and share their experience, as well as providing them with the worldview that locates their role as individual soldiers within a larger framework of collective meaning. This applies not merely to the minority of religiously observant recruits, but also among the remaining conscripts.

Police, magistrates and prisons by G4S. Is this what the British people want?

Police privatisation is one part of a bigger story in the UK. With precious little public scrutiny the world’s largest security company has gained astonishing influence over our government and our lives

Being secure in the space of occupation: notes from a student-led experiment in New York

Security is nothing if not the radical equality experienced when acting in concert. But even in spaces created through collective action, producing security in the commons requires positive action.

Time to end exceptional security policies targeting Muslims: they don't work

Contemporary counter-terrorist policies often discriminate directly or indirectly against Muslims, as the recent case of Abu Qatada illustrate. This bias produces counter-productive effects.

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