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Civil Society: Roles and responsibilities in good security sector governance

1 May, 2019



About this SSR Backgrounder

Civil society engagement is part of a culture of participation that enhances the democratic nature of decision-making about security. The expertise and independent interests of civil society provide a counter-balance to government policy by providing policymakers with a wider range of perspectives, information and alternative ideas. However, civil society activism is not always democratic or representative of the population’s needs or interests and does not automatically lead to effective oversight. This SSR Backgrounder explains how civil society can improve the accountability and effectiveness of the security sector.

This SSR Backgrounder answers the following questions:

  • What is civil society?
  • How can civil society improve SSG?
  • How can working with civil society help state security and justice institutions?
  • When does civil society make insecurity worse?
  • What challenges does civil society face?