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Re-Conceptualisations Should Be Uncomfortable: Comments on ‘The Justice-Security-Development Nexus: Theory and Practice in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States’ by Doug Porter, Deborah Isser and Louis-Alexandre Berg

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 October 2013

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One of the chief contributions of this article (and there are many) is the way in which Porter, Isser and Berg situate current thinking and practice to peoples' grievances in fragile and conflict affected states (FCS) within a broader analytical framework. The authors describe how the current paradigm on justice, security, and development is based on a sector understanding of problems and potential solutions. This thinking is referred to as the ‘silo approach’: rule of law problems find their solution in ‘rule of law institutions’; security problems in security institutions (often as an overlapping or flanking initiative to rule of law), while development problems are solved through development institutions — that is, sometimes by rule of law and security agencies, but in most cases by public administrative agencies.

The authors argue thoughtfully that this silo approach does not match reality. In other words, and what it comes down to in FCS, is that justice, security, and development challenges do not seem to care much for the organograms of the UN, the World Bank, the EU or that of bilateral donors. Not do they follow neatly the budget cycles and staffing requirements of donors. Matters of justice, security, and development are instead cross-cutting, shifting quickly, and at the core functions of all public authorities.

Copyright © T.M.C. Asser Press and the Authors 2013 

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