Global security governance, multi-track diplomacy and democratic change

Multi-agency peace and security approaches of the EU, NATO, OSCE and the United States

A new political and security order dominated by permanently evolving security risks and system instability emerged post-Cold War and particularly after 2000. This stimulated international organisations (10s) (EU, UN, OSCE, NATO) and global powers, such as the United States, to adopt pluralistic policy models, based on institutional cooperation, multilateral decision-making, inclusiveness, interdependence and power-sharing mechanisms (Linklater 2016: 77). A multipolar architecture of the international system complemented by multilateralism was believed to ensure greater stability and system resilience, after the ‘failure’ of the bipolar balance of power in 1989, which constituted a key momentum for democratic change across the world. In an increasingly globalised, interdependent and pluralistic world order, authority was distributed among multiple actors such as IOs - e.g. European Union, United Nations, OSCE, NATO - civil society groups such as NGOs and think tanks, private actors and other stakeholders. With the hope of working on changing state preferences of going to war (Mearsheimer 1994/5: 7) and bringing democracy from below (Schirch 2010), i.e. bottom-up, non-state actors gained a prominent role in the creation of normative spaces and assistance to nation-states in key areas such as development, democratisation and security. Responsibilities and functions performed traditionally by the state in sectors such as development, security, education and poverty reduction have started to be taken, though in a temporally uneven process1, by non-state actors (Mathews 1997). Mostly with funding from IOs, notably the EU, UN or the World Bank’s International Development Association, and foreign governments, e.g. the United States, Germany, Japan or Norway, NGOs specialised in specific thematic areas started to capacitate states in hybrid orders. In this context, models of hybrid (pluralistic) security envisaging objectives of strategic integration and inclusion began to be promoted. Aimed at overcoming shortcomings of zero-sum, bipolar conceptions of reality, these models promote the simultaneous existence of a plurality of identities, processes and actors with diverse ideological and organisational structures. Such multi-agency systems allow a plurality of centres of power and a subsequent concept of sovereignty shared between several authorities or alternating between different actors to exist.

Some of the most prominent policy instruments encompassing multiagency models of security are: security sector reform (SSR) (Brzoska 2003; Edmunds 2004, 2008; Fluri and Hadzic 2004); the counterinsurgency (COIN) model (Kilcullen 2006,2010), comprehensive security (Schmid 2007; Drent 2011; Ehrhart 2011; Wittkowsky 2012; Council of the European Union 2013; NATO 2018) and whole-of-government approaches (OECD 2006; Christensen and Laegreid 2007). The main attributes of multi-agency security approaches are “integration, cooperation, inclusivity, and cohesion” as well as hybrid processes aimed at “dissolving] boundaries” and stimulating the emergence of “shared interests and values” (Duffield 2001; Goodhand 2013: 287). ‘Friction’ “between the exporters and importers” of these approaches (Goodhand 2013: 288; Millar et al. 2013) is anticipated to occur, particularly between actors with different ideological and organisational structures, such as military and civilian actors, including NGOs. Processes of friction, often in the form of resistance, disagreement and sometimes conflict, emphasise the normative imperative for strategic integration of the plurality of aims and organisational structures as well as the challenges thereafter.

The SSR (Brzoska 2003; Brzoska and Heinemann-Griider 2004; Edmunds 2004, 2008; United Nations 2008, 2012, 2014; Schnabel and Born 2011; European Commission, High Representative of the Union for the Foreign Affairs and Security Policy 2016) was designed by the international community to reflect the changes in the understanding of security post-Cold War. SSR and the enhancement of “partners’ capacities to deliver security within the rule of law” are clear objectives of the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) on security and foreign policy of 2016 (European Union 2016: 26). With a focus on “democratisation, human-rights promotion, conflict prevention, and post-conflict reconstruction” (Bruneau 2011: 42), SSR refers to “the process through which security sector actors adapt to the political and organizational demands of transformation” (Edmunds 2007: 25), in other words, the reform of security governance in hybrid orders. Reforms and sustainable processes of transformation in the SSR framework aim at advancing good governance, the rule of law, civilian oversight of the security and defence sector, the justice sector as well as the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants (Cottey et al 2002; Ball 2005; Ghebalia and Lambert 2007; US Agency for International Development et al. 2009: 2; Bleiker and Krupanski 2012; UN 2012). SSR’s structural focus is centred on two axes: (1) building power (instruments) and (2) checking power (accountability) (van Veen and van den Boogaard 2016: 307). The reinforcing objectives of ensuring both democratic civilian control and effectiveness of the security sector (OECD 2000) might overcome the classic dilemma of democratic civilian control, i.e. how much control should be exerted over the armed forces in order to maintain both democratic institutions and military effectiveness.

Thus, SSR marks a sustainable transition from a Clausewitzian understanding of war and peace, in which the means of security and defence resided exclusively with the state, towards a more inclusive and less lethal model. Sustainable security and peace are exogenous to the success of cooperation “among a wider array of military and civilian institutions” (Fluri and Hadzic 2004; Bruneau and Matei 2008: 913; Council of the European Union 2016), inter alia, armed forces, intelligence agencies, political institutions, civilian defence institutions (e.g. police) and civil society (NGO, mass media, academia, think tanks). This interdependent model prevents the accumulation of power by distributing it among several actors and fostering checks-and- balances among them. Multiple links and interdependence increase system stability, resilience and efficiency by decreasing transaction costs as well as the risk of defection or non-compliance and by enhancing innovation.

COIN represents another major policy instrument - developed by the United States as part of its foreign security policy, most particularly in Afghanistan, Iraq and parts of Pakistan (particularly in the FATA region) (Khan 2012). COIN should not be confused with SSR, as the two approaches are very different. Goodhand (2013: 291) argues that COIN “can be understood as competition for governance, with the ultimate goal being less about killing the enemy than about ‘out-governing’ them”, while Kilcullen (2006: 4) claims that COIN aims simultaneously at promoting both ‘effectiveness’ and ‘legitimacy’. Nonetheless, COIN, and here is a major distinction from SSR, has been designed for post-intervention environments in order to more effectively defeat insurgency rather than build sustainable long-term security. It has also been highly militarised in its practical application in Afghanistan and Iraq, with the military taking over development functions rather than building civil-military relations. Given COIN’S less efficient performance on the ground, especially in the context of Afghanistan, this book embraces a more SSR-focused approach.

The comprehensive security and whole-of-government approach adopted by the European Union and NATO (Drent 2011; Council of the European Union 2016; NATO 2016) represents a further policy instrument epitomising pluralistic designs of peace and security and hybrid interactions. The comprehensive model is based on concepts of shared responsibility and networked security (Jaberg 2009; Gareis 2010; Borchert and Thiele 2012; Wittkowsky 2012) and entails a mix of civilian and military actors and instruments (Ehrhart 2011: 66). Depending on the conflict potential and stage, networked security can take the form of information exchange, coordination, cooperation and integrated action (‘integriertes Handeln’) (Wittkowsky 2012: 1). The EUGS on Foreign and Security Policy 2016 reiterated the principle of “practical and principled way in peacebuilding” and comprehensive security involving the whole society and state institutions, as well the synergy between “soft and hard power” (European Union 2016: 4, 9).

The novelty of these hybrid policy models, despite their different emphases, lies in their inclusive character, advocating the involvement of a plurality of actors, and ontological foundation on the development- democracy-security nexus. SSR and comprehensive security aim, at least theoretically, at fostering system resilience and effectiveness by promoting human development and inclusive security ‘from the ground up’ (Leder- ach 1997; Paris et al. 2009; Schirch 2010; Schroeder et al. 2014) and preventive approaches to eliminate terrorism, militancy and insurgency such as countering violent extremism (CVE) by preventing radicalisation. Human development through combating poverty and education as well as good governance represent necessary conditions of sustainable peace models (Lipset 1959; Inglehart and Welzel 2005; Wucherpfennig and Deutsch 2009). Thus, integrated security paradigms encompass “aid, political, military, security, rule of law and governance interventions under one overarching political objective” (Metcalfe et al. 2012; 6). Eliminating threats to internal security (US Department of Defense 2010; 75) or international security (OECD 2008: 185, 199), promoting universally recognised values such as human rights, sustainable peace, rule of law, good governance and democratic principles (NATO 2018) and supplying political coherence to social, economic and political spheres (OECD 2005/2008; OECD 2011) constitute overarching objectives of integrated security approaches. Particularly in hybrid orders affected by armed conflict, insurgency and terrorism, which lack political and institutional capacity to deal with these security risks in a sustainable and democratic manner, multi-agency security models can provide a normative framework for democratising security.

Most of the global security approaches are conceptually underpinned by theories of multi-agency peace and security, which replaced IR approaches of liberal peace. The following sub-section critically highlights these key conceptual assumptions.

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