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  • Author: Dirk Peters, Wolfgang Wagner, Cosima Glahn
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: War powers have been contested between governments and parliaments throughout the history of democratic politics and political theory. On the one hand, the authorisation of standing armies, of conscription and of taxes for the purpose of waging war has been the raison d'être of early modern parliamentarianism ever since the English nobility reached a constitutional settlement in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Moreover, as few decisions potentially have a more severe impact on the lives of citizens than decisions regarding military missions, one can argue that no meaningful notion of democracy could possibly exempt them from parliamentary control (see Lord, 2008). On the other hand, theorists of democratic politics have been concerned that parliamentary influence over military deployments would threaten to undermine executive flexibility and thus hamper the effectiveness of military operations. Machiavelli, Locke, Montesquieu and de Tocqueville all argued that the executive should be able to decide autonomously over the deployment of armed forces (see Damrosch, 2002: 43; Owens and Pelizzo, 2009). Both arguments have survived significant changes in the nature of armed conflict, with self-defence and peace-support missions replacing war as legal and legitimate forms of military force (Neff, 2005).
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Theory, History, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sandra Dieterich, Hartwig Hummel, Stefan Marschall
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: This paper presents a survey of parliamentary 'war powers' based on a comprehensive and detailed review of the degrees and institutional forms of parliamentary involvement in military security policy-making. As our original research project focused on the involvement of European Union (EU) states in the recent Iraq war, we present data for the then 25 member and accession states of the EU as of early 2003. This survey of parliamentary war powers covers the legislative, budgetary, control, communicationrelated and dismissal powers of the respective parliaments relating to the use of military force. Referring to this data, we distinguish five classes of democratic nation-states, ranging from those with 'very strong' to those with only 'very weak' war powers of the respective national parliament.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Democratization, Governance, Law
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe
  • Author: Otwin Marenin
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: The goal of reconstructing policing systems which embody and embrace democratic norms has achieved an honoured place on the global security agenda. The need to secure minimal levels of security in transitional, developing, war-torn and post-conflict societies, and to keep local violence and conflicts from spilling over into regional arenas, has led to numerous efforts by international actors and donors to help local states and societies construct effective and fair public security systems. The paper examines efforts by the UN but also be regional organizations, NGOs, bilateral donors and domestic political and police actors to promote and structure reforms. Sufficient examples now exist to extract and suggest lessons on the process required to establish functioning and democratic policing systems. The paper will draw on existing academic literatures, reports by governments, international organizations and NGOs, and personal interactions with actors in this field to summarize what we know, and what we still lack information on, about how to plan for and implement the restoration of policing systems.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Felipe Agüero
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Military or security forces today are more likely to endanger democracy by lessening its quality and depth than by threatening its outright and swift overthrow. While the stability of new democracies is certainly not assured, the strongest concern lies with their ability to advance the rule of law and guarantee the basic liberties and needs of their citizens. In regard to the armed forces, the police, and intelligence agencies, new democracies are often poorly prepared to face up to a double challenge: developing firm institutions for the democratic control of those services, and turning them into effective tools for the protection and security of their citizens. The source of these difficulties is to be found not only in those services but also, and often primarily, in the inaction, complicit stance or active encouragement of non-democratic behavior by civilian actors in government or political society.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Democratization, Government, Intelligence
  • Author: Mindia Vashakmadze
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Periodic and genuine elections based on universal and equal suffrage are a fundamental component of democratic society. It is recognised by the international community that all human beings should have the right to vote and to stand for election. Moreover, everyone has the right of equal access to public service. The inequality or discrimination based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status should be prohibited.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Democratization, Politics
  • Author: Leonid Polyakov
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Since independence, the Ukraine has made progress in establishing a system of democratic civilian control over the Armed Forces. The regulatory-legal basis which governs the activity of security structures and which defines the different aspects of civil-military relations has basically been established. These regulatory-legal structures co-ordinate and oversee the activity of these security structures. Co-operation between different authorities in matter pertaining to the formation of the defence budget and the development of state programmes in the military sector is gradually improving. Ideological indoctrination has loosened its hold on Ukraine's security structures and democratic values are formally now the foundation of their activity.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Herbert Wulf
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, numerous developments have significantly changed the position of the armed forces. Firstly among these developments is the fact that the vast majority of wars are no longer fought between states. Rather, today's wars and violent conflicts tend to have mostly inner societal causes (Kaldor 2001). Additionally, the observation of present day realities, especially in big urban centres of the world, shows that more people die from the day-to-day exertion of criminal violence than from warrelated causes. Inner-societal insecurity and violent conflict sometimes leads to the international community turning to military means to control and pacify the areas concerned.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • 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: Dušan Reljic
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Media are often acclaimed as the "fourth power" in a democracy. They are hailed as the "watch-dogs" of democracy. As an integral force of civil society, the mass media is expected to play a prominent role in controlling the parliament, the government and the judiciary, in investigating whether private industrial and financial interests respect the law, sounding the alarm if the environment is polluted, and engaging in conflict prevention and resolution. Mass media are omnipresent in modern times. Perhaps, therefore, people expect omnipotence from the media.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Communism, Democratization
  • Author: Marina Caparini
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Civil society has become a popular term in academic, policy and foreign assistance circles. A significant body of literature and research has developed around the concept, and its key role in consolidating and sustaining democracy is now widely recognised by academics and policy-makers alike. Successive waves of democratisation in Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe have led experts to view civil society as a crucial agent for limiting authoritarian government, strengthening the empowerment of the people, and enforcing political accountability. It is considered a crucial factor in improving the quality and inclusiveness of governance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Civil Society, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Democracy is founded on every citizen's right to take part in the management of public affairs. This requires the existence of representative institutions at all levels and, as a cornerstone, a parliament in which all components of society are represented and which has the requisite powers and means to express the will of the people by legislating and overseeing government action.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Government, Politics
  • Author: Jack Petri
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: I have been asked to present brief comments on the subject of officer career management in a peacetime democracy. As I have spent much of my 30-year military career involved either directly or indirectly in the management of officers in a democracy (mostly in peace, but also in war), I am very happy to be able to share my thoughts and experience with you today.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Government, Peace Studies
  • Author: Peter Gill
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: In the past thirty years throughout Europe, the Americas and more sporadically elsewhere the issue of how to institute some democratic control over security intelligence agencies has steadily permeated the political agenda. There have been two main reasons for this change. In what might be described as the 'old' democracies (North America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand) the main impetus for change was scandal involving abuses of power and rights by the agencies. Typically, these gave rise to legislative or judicial enquiries that resulted in new legal and oversight structures for the agencies, some of these achieved by statutes, others by executive orders. The best known examples of these are the U.S. congressional enquiries during 1975-76 (chaired by Senator Church and Representative Pike), Justice McDonald's enquiry into the RCMP Security Service in Canada (1977-81) and Justice Hope's into the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Australia, North America, New Zealand, Western 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: 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: Theodor H. Winkler
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: When the Berlin Wall came crashing down and the Cold War reluctantly proved, to everybody's surprise, to be truly over, there was an apparent, almost embarrassing inability to define the key parameters that would mark the new era that had obviously dawned. Even to give it a name proved difficult. The best attempt still remains “Post Cold War World”, i.e. a negative description (the absence of the Cold War) and not a positive analysis of what truly marks the emerging new international system.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Civil Society, Cold War, Democratization, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sander Huisman
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: There is no such thing as the model for democratic control of the armed forces. Perhaps more influential than constitutional arrangements; historical legacies and political cultures are setting conditions. However, a few essentials or principles of democratic oversight can be discerned. This paper aims to provide an overview of the efforts of different post-communist states in establishing democratic oversight over their armed forces. The comparative analysis is based on a study that the staff of the Centre for European Security Studies has conducted last year (Organising National Defences for NATO Membership - The Unexamined Dimension of Aspirants' Readiness for Entry) and the experiences gained from a three-year multi-national programme that CESS has started in 2001 (Democratic Control South East Europe: Parliaments and Parliamentary Staff Education Programme - DEMCON-SEE). This programme is running in seven countries: Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia-Montenegro.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro
  • Author: Wilhelm Germann
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: This paper intends to contribute to a systematic consideration of what constitutes success (or failure) in the conduct of Security Sector Reform (SSR). It deliberately refrains from commenting on the substance of the latter. Starting from the premise that realizing the principle of democratic control of armed forces in democratizing and developing countries represents the Archimedean Point and driving element within the overall reform of their respective security sectors the purpose of this paper is to review the need for a normative and methodological framework for evaluation of progress and assessment of success or failure. consider the problems involved in determining, assessing, evaluating and verifying criteria, conditions and factors that are supposed to be instrumental for the achievement of related results.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democratization, Development
  • Author: Timothy Edmunds
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces
  • Abstract: Security Sector Reform (SSR) has emerged as a key concept in policy and academic circles in recent years. Its origins stem from two main areas. First, from the development community, who have increasingly acknowledged the important role that the 'security sector' plays in issues of economic development and democratisation. Second from the field of civil-military relations (CMR), particularly in relation to developments in central and eastern Europe, where post communist circumstances have led many analysts to think more holistically about key aspects of the CMR debate. SSR takes a holistic approach to the security sector that manifests itself in two ways. First, by recognising the importance of militarised formations other than the regular armed forces in (civil-military) reform efforts. Second by recognising that the role of security and security sector actors in political and economic reform is important and complex, and not simply limited to questions of military praetorianism and civilian control over the armed forces.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe