Lead Author: Daniel Reimers
Case Study Authors: Maxime Poulin, Hamza Mighri, Jean Conte, Teodora Fuior, Vlado Gjerdovski, Mónica Pachón Buitrago
Parliaments play an indispensable role in good security sector governance. As democratically elected representatives, parliamentarians ensure that individual and collective security is provided in accordance with the will of the people. This also requires that security sector institutions subject themselves to parliamentary oversight, which is one of the primary means of verifying that security actors respect the mandate they are given.
This comparative study gathers observations and lessons drawn from specific country cases, all of which have wider applicability in the field of SSG/R and can be used to inform future policy choices and SSR interventions.
The study maps out challenges, remedies, and opportunities for parliaments in exercising security sector oversight, through the analytical lens of the “triple A” framework – authority, ability, and attitude – all of which are necessary conditions for parliaments to play an effective role in SSG.
Case studies from Colombia, The Gambia, North Macedonia, and Tunisia form the basis of the comparative analysis in this text, which examines cross-national patterns of institutional variation and their efficacy in contributing towards good SSG.
Special attention was also given to the specific challenges and limitations experienced by parliaments in their oversight role during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the impact of international and domestic parliamentary assistance programmes on how parliaments fulfil this role. The resulting recommendations are clustered around three core themes, identified across all case studies: institutional and legislative architecture, technical expertise, and a culture of oversight.