Implications for international actors’ grand strategies

The results of this book have implications for policy approaches and grand strategies based on comprehensive security governance and SSR such as the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, NATO’s Projecting Stability Initiative, or donor approaches of the United States or the UN, such as USIP, USAID or UNDP, aiming to democratise security governance in fragile and insecure states.

The implications of this research for policy can be summarised as follows. First, the international actors’ grand strategies should be more explicit about how to achieve democratic oversight in insecure states. Second, international actors should consider in their strategy of international engagement and political development in transitional states that the operational environment and dynamics in hybrid orders are different from those in advanced democracies with established political parties and institutions. Third, international actors must better monitor and follow up on the implementation of the arrangements with partner countries. This also pertains to the 27 international conventions that must be ratified as a part of EU GSP+ preferential tariff system offering access to the European trade market to vulnerable low- and middle-income countries. Failure to follow up on adequate implementation might bear the risk of lowering the international actors’ credibility and local support on the ground. Fourth, in transitional states, IOs and global governance actors need to re-think their strategies to ensure that they are efficiently ensuring a transfer of power from the old to new political orders and institutional structures. For example, in postmilitary regimes, while the military can be entrapped to allow some manifestations of democratic elements such as multi-party elections or greater freedom of expression, it can simultaneously continue to perpetuate its power and infrastructure in a system of co-evolution with civilian structures, which is manifested in both continuity and change and in a balance of power inclined towards the more powerful actor. Fifth, particularly in the case of Pakistan, while the strategic partnership with the EU intensified substantially, particularly after the break in relations with the United States, in the light of the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), special attention needs to be accorded. While China’s direct investment in Pakistan is significantly higher than that of the EU, China is not listed among the top ten donors of gross ODA for Pakistan (OECD 2019). In terms of trade relations, China and the EU28 were the top trading partners of Pakistan in 2018: while China accounted for 19.3%, the EU accounted for 16.1% of Pakistan’s total trade in that year. However, the EU28 accounted for 34.1% of Pakistan’s total exports in 2018, with the United States ranking second (16.1%) and China third (only 8%) (European Commission 2019: 8). The high amount of exports from Pakistan to EU28 is due to Pakistan’s membership in the GSP+ system of preferential tariffs with the EU. The EU engagement in hybrid orders is not only via GSP+ and trade relations but also via assistance and development aid guided by a long-term vision of empowerment having in centre social and political development, human rights, equality, social justice and democratic values - in contrast to dependence-generating financial loans by China.

Future research could examine the dynamics of possible proxy competitions in countries in which the EU or the United States but also China have an interest. Through its Belt and Road Initiative, China has made investments in infrastructure networks in over 150 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Latin America. How this will impact on the recipient countries and what implications this will have on the EU and US grand strategies and foreign policies deserve special academic attention. Such research would also be vital to be incorporated in Europe’s and the US Asia strategies and towards China and ensure that they do not cancel out each other. Future research could also study the options to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary and constitutional courts in insecure and fragile states. The implementation of constitutional provisions is key to progressing the rule of law, statehood and democratic civil-military relations in hybrid orders. As the case studied in this research uncovered, civilian oversight of the armed forces is stipulated in constitutional provisions, but the federal government lacks capacity to implement it and the military found ways to introduce exceptions that would allow to exceed constitutional powers. How could IOs, foreign governments and local actors have a positive impact on more sustainably enabling democratic civil-military relations also deserves further scholarly attention.

In conclusion, it is both continuity and change, co-existence, co-evolution and adaptation that characterise hybrid orders. The processes of change are neither linear nor progressive. International actors, geopolitics and grand strategies play an increasing role in domestic and international decisions. The security sector reform represents one major component of multi-agency approaches of peace, security and defence, which emerged to effectively counter conventional and more kinetic security threats through coherence and ‘strategic coordination’ between a multitude of actors. While integrated approaches of peace, security and defence are playing an increasing role, in EU, NATO, OSCE or US global strategies, hitherto, little research has analysed the impact of global governance mechanisms on civil-military relations. This book fills a crucial gap in the field of civil-military relations and global security governance by analysing the instances of civil-military interaction and military transition in hybrid orders, as well as the determinants and strategies that can influence them. The findings are relevant for international actors, such as UNDP, USAID or USIP, and can inform the EUGS as well as the NATO Projecting Stability Initiative about mechanisms promoting democratic security governance and societal resilience in fragile countries affected by complex insecurities. The results of this book advanced the theories of international security governance and civil-military relations.

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