The politics of practice: security and justice programming in FCAS

Research reports and studies
November 2012
This report summarises the discussion of an expert meeting the Politics of Practice: Security and Justice Programming in Fragile and Conflict-affected States (FCAS). The meeting drew together approximately 70 researchers, policymakers and practitioners from Europe, North America, Asia and the Pacific and Africa to discuss challenges and lessons learnt in translating improved policy thinking into practice.

The idea for this meeting emerged from a concern that, despite some more nuanced thinking apparent in recent policy documents, such as the 2011 World Development Report: Conflict, Security and Development and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Statebuilding Guidance, security and justice programming associated with international efforts to support statebuilding in FCAS on the ground often remains technocratic and siloed, and insufficiently attuned to contextual realities. Although there is increasing consensus on the need to work differently in order to improve programming, in practice this remains difficult.

This report draws out key themes and challenges in justice and security programming that featured in discussions. It also summarises emerging recommendations and lessons learnt, and signals areas where changes are important in order to improve results. Therefore, the objective of the report, as it was of the meeting, is to begin to set out avenues for operational and organisational changes and action-oriented research, and for revisiting some of the policy content in ways that can help relevant communities of practice grapple with the challenges of translating policy into practice.