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Special Collection

Non-State Security Providers and Political Formation in Conflict-Affected States

Collection launched: 31 Jul 2017
This special collection presents findings from a variety of research projects exploring non-state security provision, and aims to generate new insights on how donors can better engage non-state security structures in the context of state building and security sector reform programs.

The contributions to the collection explore non-state security provision from a number of different angles, including the dynamics of political formation in environments featuring non-state security provision; plural security provision in urban settings; and multi-layered and hybrid security governance frameworks. The collection draws on a wide range of case studies and considers new aspects of the relationship between security and development by examining how the presence of non-state security providers affects political development in conflict-affected societies. The established “security-development nexus” maintains that security and development are mutually reinforcing, and conversely that insecurity and underdevelopment are mutually reinforcing. While these links are of obvious importance, more recent work suggests two other relationships of equal significance: between insecurity and development insofar as violent conflict may fuel political formation; and between underdevelopment and security insofar as supposedly “underdeveloped” and conflict-affected areas may feature unique and unconventional security structures.

This special collection explores these largely uncharted relationships by examining processes of political formation in societies that host a diverse array of non-state security providers and assessing the effects of the latter on processes of state formation, deliberate state-building interventions and the emergence of unconventional governance structures.