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Inhibiting integration? Tensions in the security development nexus in Sierra Leone and Bosnia Herzegovina

Jesperson, Sasha (2014) Inhibiting integration? Tensions in the security development nexus in Sierra Leone and Bosnia Herzegovina. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The security-development nexus has received significant attention from policymakers as a new trend in post-conflict reconstruction. Integrating the traditionally separate areas of security and development, the nexus has been touted as a new strategy to achieve a comprehensive approach to post-conflict reconstruction. Despite the enthusiasm behind the security-development nexus, it has received significant criticism. Critics argue that rather than an integrated approach, the nexus results in the securitisation of development, where development is employed to further desired security objectives. These critiques focus on the outcomes of the security-development nexus, with little understanding of what contributes to these outcomes. In my research, I address this gap by focusing on processes and investigating how security and development are integrated. The thesis asks what in practice inhibits the integration of security and development into a nexus. To do this, the thesis hypothesises and investigates four tensions that influence the integration of security and development. Conceptual tension arises from the different understandings of security and development. Causal tension arises from the different applications of security and development and the linkages between them. Institutional tension arises from the way actors and institutions inform the implementation of programmes. Motivational tension arises from the drivers behind international involvement. The research is informed by the Welsh School of Critical Security Studies. From this perspective, the security-development nexus is imbued with the potential of a positive result. This potential is operationalised through a human security approach, defined in terms of people-centredness, holism and emancipation. The tensions track the divergence of the security-development nexus from its potential, and show how the integration of security and development is inhibited. The thesis compares two case studies of internationally driven initiatives to address organised crime in Sierra Leone and Bosnia. Examination of the tensions reveals that actors addressing organised crime have attempted to move away from a security approach, resulting in incipient integration between security and development. In some areas the relationship is mutually constitutive, and sequential in others. However, barriers still remain. Integration is inhibited by the prioritisation of international security concerns and the dominance of security actors. While these factors appear to support the argument on securitisation of development, the continued prominence of security is not an explicit strategy that co-opts development, rather the process of integration is shaped by the tacit knowledge of security actors.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2014 Sasha Jesperson
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Kostovicova, Denisa and Martin, Mary

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