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  • Author: Alain Faupin
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: This topic is quite uneasy as the security tasks of all three organizations, namely armed forces, police and gendarmerie, are either very different, or very intermingled. The only common point is the primacy of the civilian authority, a rule of good governance and of democracy scrupulously applied and overseen.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: James Green
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: For over a thousand years, Ukraine\'s national strength and independence has been linked to democratic self-governance. In the Kyiv Rus, popular assemblies called \'vetches\' elected representatives and provided popular input into governmental policy. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Cossack hetman and foremen were elected by the Cossack Radas, which also debated and approved government policies. Beginning in the 14th century and lasting until the early 19th century, many Ukrainian towns and cities – Lviv, Kyiv, Vinnitsa, Zhytomyr, Chernigiv, Glukhov, Lubny, Poltava – flourished under the political and economic self-government provided by Magdeburg Law, which offered liberation from feudal duties, the election of city authorities, and rule of law. This link continues to the present; the modern Ukrainian state was born out of the convergence of movements for national independence and democracy that brought down the Soviet Union. Although neither of these attributes is yet fully consolidated in the young Ukrainian state, the country\'s best hope for success lies in its democratic elements: a system, albeit imperfect, of electing government officials and legislators, elements within the judiciary willing to uphold human rights and the rule of law, journalists and editors willing to take risks to report the truth, non-governmental organizations that provide a means for citizens to mobilize in order to advance their common interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Soviet Union
  • Author: Ian Leigh
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: This paper first discusses the meaning of civil society and, in particular, its strengths and limitations. The second section considers what civil society can add to the representative democratic process. In the remaining sections, I discuss how civil society interacts with the law in a democratic state. There are two distinct aspects to this. Firstly, there are the legal and constitutional pre-conditions that allow civil society to flourish. These include issues about group autonomy, freedom of the press and of protest, including the place of civil disobedience. Secondly, there are the specific ways in which civil society can use the legal process to further its ends.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Mircea Plangu
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Bitter impressions can be presumed if we are to acknowledge that society is somehow divided into two categories: military and civilians, or vice-versa. Or if we understand that the civilians involved in security policy are a scarce resource. Reading about the concept, we can perceive hints about some obstacles existent in the activity of civilians at the interface with their military colleagues.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Leif Mevik
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: In Norway, monitoring of the secret services (EOS services) is carried out by a parliamentary monitoring body, the Committee for Monitoring of Intelligence, Surveillance and Security Services. The Committee conducts continuous monitoring of the Norwegian Police Security Service, the Norwegian Intelligence Service and the Norwegian National Security Authority (NoNSA). The monitoring arrangement is independent of the EOS services and the remainder of the administration. The Committee's members are elected by the Storting (the Norwegian parliament), and the Committee reports to the Storting annually. The arrangement was established in 1996. The continuous monitoring takes the form of regular inspections of the secret services. The Committee also deals with complaints from private individuals and organizations that believe the secret services have committed injustices against them.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Hans Born, Philip Fluri
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: There is a widespread belief that security policy is a 'natural' task for the executive as they have the requisite knowledge and ability to act quickly. The decision to go to war, to contribute troops to multinational peace support operations, to conclude international treaties or to raise defence spending, to mention just some of the most important governmental security responsibilities, are regarded to be executive decisions. The stubborn perception exists that parliaments should be kept out of these decisions. Parliament tends to be regarded as a less suitable institution for dealing with security issues, especially given its often time-consuming procedures and lack of full access to the necessary expertise and information. Additionally, parliaments are regarded as ill-suited institutions for keeping classified information secret. However, this is a misperception. The past teaches us that parliaments do play a major role in matters of security in democratic states, both in times of war and peace. In the times of the Roman Republic, the Dutch Republic in the sixteenth century, Great Britain in the Second World War, or, more recently at the outbreak of the Second Gulf War, Parliaments across the globe have debated, influenced and exercised oversight over security policy and security sector reform, even in the middle of war.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Romania, Dutch
  • Author: Heiner Hänggi
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Good governance of the security sector, when considered from a disarmament perspective, indicates linkages between two principal issue-areas in contemporary international politics, i.e. those of 'security' and 'governance'. These two issue-areas are closely intertwined, contributing to evolving definitions of the terms themselves. During the bipolar period, security was generally defined in 'hard' military terms. Following the end of the Cold War, the concept was broadened to include 'soft' and human security concerns. This was paralleled by a broadening of the concept of confidence-building measures to include, inter alia, the role of security forces in the society. The fundamental principles of good governance include transparency and accountability of the exercise of state power. The implementation of good governance of the security sector (including military, paramilitary, internal security forces, police, border guards, and intelligence services) is a long and often difficult process, and whether this can be achieved is dependent on the capability and willingness of the individual countries.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Velizar Shalamanov
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Security Sector Reform (SSR) is an essential part of transformation of the totalitarian states to democratic ones. Security was motive, tool and excuse for the Communist Parties to control totally the state, economy and society at all. As a result security sector - named Armed Forces was extremely large, powerful, secret (un-transparent), under communist party control and separated from society even using all the resources of the society, including young men for 2-3 years.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bulgaria
  • Author: Marie Vlachová, Ladislav Halberštát
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: There is no doubt that the security situation in Europe changed dramatically during the last decade. Whilst total war has disappeared from the inventory of security threats, regional wars with devastating consequences for affected countries, are still topical. With ethnic hostility, organised crime and the world-wide terrorism list of non-military threats has become much wider. A widening gap between rich Western countries and their poor neighbours in Eastern and South Eastern Europe represents another serious danger, as well as do uncontrollable corruption in politically and economically weak regimes, the inability of states to protect their borders efficiently against trafficking, smuggling, illegal immigration and weapons proliferation, including weapons of mass destruction. Information warfare which results in serious damage being caused by attacks on the information systems of developed countries represents another relatively new security threat. Expertise in security political decision-making has become very important, and thus in the future, a shortage of competent specialists in governmental and parliamentary structures could affect states' ability to anticipate threats and make an adequate decision.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Europe, Czech Republic
  • Author: Hans Born
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: During situations of national emergencies, natural disasters, conflict and war, state institutions have to act quickly and decisively in order to divert dangers. Every state and its society need to have a competent political leadership and government agencies that are able to act efficiently. From a democratic governance point of view, however, it is equally important that the decision-making process and the resulting outcome is both accepted and valued by the people. In other words, it is essential that the processes and outcomes of the state institutions are legitimate within a democracy.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Wim F. van Eekelen
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Democracy takes many forms. The basic notion that governments derive their legitimacy from the freely expressed votes of their citizens is translated in many different parliamentary practices. Even the conceptual distinction of the three main functions of government – legislative, executive and judicial – as defined in Montesquieu's Trias Politica, seldom resulted in a complete separation of powers. In many countries the members of the executive also sit in parliament. In the US the separation between legislature and executive is the most complete. The President has wide-ranging authority; his ministers are not responsible to Congress. Nevertheless it works, because of a complicated system of checks and balances affecting both legislationand budget appropriations. In France the President of the Republic regards foreign affairs and defence as his special domain in which the cabinet, let alone parliament, has little influence. A common characteristic of Western democracy, however, is its pluralistic character in which the people elect their representatives and have a choice between different political parties. In some cases the decisions reached in parliamentary assemblies are subject to a referendum as a form of direct democracy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: Hans Born
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Intelligence services are an instrument in the hands of the state institutions, which can be used both for the better and the worse. If the intelligence services are in the hands of responsible democratic leaders, then intelligence contributes to the democracy's ability to function well. This is can be learnt from the history of the 20th Century: intelligence played a crucial role in helping to defeat Hitler, it played a significant role in preventing the Cold War from turning into a nuclear war and intelligence kept the super power arms race from getting totally out of hand2. On the other hand, if intelligence services are in the hands of those who are interested in conflict and coercion, intelligence can be used for the worse. Therefore, it is essential to secure democratic and parliamentary oversight of the intelligence services.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, National Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Zoran Pajic
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: The broadening and deepening of the concept of security has focused renewed attention on the appropriate role of the security sector in the political and economic systems of the states. Bloated and poorly regulated militaries are seen as a primary cause of severe distortion in the allocation of national resources between the security and non-security sectors. The negative development impact of a dysfunctional security sector is magnified in countries that have experienced a significant deterioration in their capacity to deliver services and in war-torn societies. In such cases, there is an urgent need to restore physical security, to optimise the use of scarce public resources, and to attract sustained external support for the recovery process.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Yugoslavia
  • Author: Vladimir Mochalov
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Following the disintegration of the USSR, there was no decrease in the total length of the Russian border in comparison with that of the Soviet Union (more than 60'000 km²). The number of bordering countries rose from fifteen to sixteen. Furthermore, 13'500 km² of new boundaries were created. This figure represented a fifth overall length of the border). Yet, the new boundaries were not formalised in legal terms, they were not appropriately equipped and, in fact, lacked border guard control.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union