Mark Sedra
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo and
Senior Fellow, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)


Mark Sedra of the University of Waterloo discusses the challenge of security sector reform, in particular the transformation of state security architecture in failed and/or fragile post-conflict environments. As a ‘linchpin’ of the state-building process, security sector reform has come to privilege people-focused, human security considerations. Sedra suggests that this conceptual broadening has brought forth numerous questions of civilian engagement, structures of local ownership, processes of democratic development, and considerations of contextual politics. Yet, for Sedra, a number of obstacles remain. These include the challenges of fostering coordination amongst donors, developing coherent programming, and institutionalizing norms of accountability and transparency in mandate creation. Sedra observes that these obstacles are further compounded by the strategic imperative of political willpower, which may not be present at the international level in a given endeavor. Finally, for Sedra, one must be conscious of the creeping securitization of development – a phenomenon having complicated the relationship between state and non-state entities engaged in security sector reform.

Additional Resources

Recorded on November 2009