Security Sector Development in the
“Rising Asia-Pacific”
Dr. Rouben Azizian, APCSS
[email protected]
Geneva Centre for the Democratic
Control of Armed Forces,
June 2012
Presentation Outline
• Realism and triumphalism about the rise
of Asia
• Implications for the security sector
management and development
• Key regional features and debates on
security sector development
• SSD in security studies: APCSS
experience and perspective
• Recommendations
Realism or Triumphalism?
• Kishore Mahbubani:
“ Asia returns to the center stage in global
politics and economics… Western
domination of world history has been a
major historical aberration. “
The New Asian Hemisphere, 2011
A Map of Asia-Pacific
Characteristics of the Rise of
• Asia-wide rise (China but also India, Indonesia,
Vietnam and others)
• Comprehensive rise (economic, military, diplomatic)
• Demands of enhanced world economic and political
• Increased role in shaping international and regional
institutions (BRICS, EAS)
• US and Russia’s reorientation to Asia
• Central Asia’s asianization
• Alternative model of development (Europe’s crisis
and US politics)
Asia’s Challenges and Problems
2/3 of world’s poor are in Asia
Extremism, terrorism and separatism
Handling transition from extensive to intensive growth
Major energy, ecological and demographic insecurity
Asia’s “Great Game” and rivalry
Territorial disputes (South China Sea, etc.)
Questions about US commitment
Competing regionalism (ASEAN and major powers)
Vulnerability of authoritarian models (Myanmar, Fiji)
Implications for security sector
• Diversity of the region leads to diverse SSD perspectives and
• Economic growth reduces reliance on external donors
• Economic success promotes Asian models of governance
• Military modernization enhances role of the military
• Increased political maturity leads to a more strategic
perspective on SSD
• Enhanced regionalism opens new opportunities for sharing
SSD experiences
Asia-Pacific: Security Sector
• No overarching security policies
• Weak or outdated legal framework
Policies &
Framework • Weak & overlapping mandates
• Executive dominance
• Limited capacity among parliamentarians
• Underrepresented or dysfunctional coordination mechanisms
• Internal capacity constraints within line ministries responsible for
formulation & management of security policy
SSD Debates in the Asia-Pacific
• Definition of security sector given the comprehensive
nature of security
• Typology of security and assignment of
responsibilities (external/internal/transnational)
• Type of democratic governance most conducive for
SSD (presidential, parliamentary)
• Sequencing security strategy, policy and legislation
• Ambiguity of the “civil-military relations” concept
• Democratization vs. politicization of security forces
• Pragmatist views and cultural norms in SSD
Regional Cooperation on SSD
Positive Trends
• Diversity of national
contexts and security sector
• Lack of regional information
and best practices sharing
on SSD
• Constraints of regional
- Security Sector Governance
project in the Pacific, Pacific
Islands Forum, 2009
- UN’s contribution to SSD in
the region
APCSS Mission
Fellows and alumni
Evolution of courses and programs
“Rise” of SSD in APCSS priorities
APCSS activities on SSD: workshops, electives,
• Opportunities ahead
• Refine SSD goals and objectives for the AsiaPacific
• Promote and support SSD studies in the
• Establish regular dialogue and cooperation
between DCAF and APCSS
- invite to workshops and conferences
- joint research and publications

Dr Azizian SSD ASIA DCAF2012