Author Archives: uolscid

Programming Tools: Another Way of Keeping External Control of the SSR Process?

csg sept 15Dr Tony Welch OBE, member of the SCID Panel of Experts, has recently published an excellent paper for the SSR Resource Centre / Centre for Security Governance on Programming Tools: Another Way of Keeping External Control of the SSR Process? which he has very kindly agreed to be linked to on this Blog.

Where is the diplomacy?

An excellent piece by Roger Mac Ginty on the usual tokenistic knee-jerk response to perceived public opinion of politicians everywhere, rather than more strategic, comprehensive, long-term and, consequently, effective approaches to matters under their remit, which in this case does little to address drivers of insecurity and the needs of those fleeing conflict.

Source: Where is the diplomacy?

SCID Panel of Experts – Online Guest Lecture – Dr David Chuter – The Rule of Law: What’s it Good For?

This is the 9th Online Guest Lecture by members of the SCID Panel of Experts. Dr David Chuter presents a lecture entitled The Rule of Law: What’s it Good For?

DC Guest Lecture June 2015The complicated and frequently contradictory discourse surrounding what is often called the “Rule of Law” tends to conceal an issue of great political importance: the relationship between the state and the people, and how the state chooses to enforce (or not) the peoples’ norms and standards. This Lecture focuses on the rather different norms and traditions which are uneasily combined in the concept of the “Rule of Law”, and the practical difficulties involved in trying to apply that concept, in Western societies as much as elsewhere.

This Lecture will be an essential resource for SCID students in its discussion of the rule of law, how it is variously defined and understood and, essentially, the relationship between the state and its citizens. Moreover, its importance lies in encouraging a critical reflection upon the amorphous and often ambiguous terms frequently used with the field of post-conflict intervention (rule of law, governance, development and so on).

Click on the link below to access David’s Lecture (it is large so it will take a while to download). Please submit any questions or comments within the next two weeks for David’s attention and/or discussion by other SCID Panel members, students and staff.

David Chuter Guest Lecture RoL June 2015

Stabilisation and Governance, Corruption & State Fragility

I have the pleasure of informing you of two high-profile short courses that will be offered by the Department of Criminology from September 2015. The development of the Professional Development Programmes in Stabilisation and Governance, Corruption and State Fragility is being led by two members of the SCID Panel of Experts – Malcolm Russell and Keith Sargent, respectively – and will be delivered by them at a one-week residential course in Leicester alongside other leading international experts in their respective fields.

The courses are aligned to the SCID programme and will provide participants with the opportunity to secure credits to pursue the SCID programme should they wish. The Governance, Corruption and State Fragility course is also accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Further details can be found on the website (Stabilisation and Governance, Corruption and State Fragility) and the brochures (below).

We would be very grateful if you could tell any of your colleagues, friends and others who you think may be interested in these exciting, innovative and important courses, which aim to equip participants with enhanced understanding of and ability to address some of the key challenges posed by conflict-affected environments.

Thank you very much.

Best wishes, Eleanor

Brochure – Stabilisation Brochure – Anti-Corruption, Governance and State Fragility Stabilisation image Governance Image

2015 SCID Reader

2015 SCID Reader – Working and Researching in Conflict-Affected Environments

The 2015 SCID Reader: Researching and Working in Conflict-Affected Environments has just been published. The Reader includes papers presented at the second SCID Symposium, held on 12 March 2015 at the University of Leicester, as well as supplementary papers resonating with the theme of the Symposium. The video recordings of the presentations can be found on this Blog as well as the Departmental website.

SCID 2015 Reader cover picThe theme of the Symposium/Reader ties into one of the core aims of the SCID Course and one of the main reasons for establishing the SCID Panel of Experts: to help bridge the divide between the worlds of academia and practice in the field of peacebuilding and broader international development. This is particularly important given the Course aims to equip its students with the knowledge and skills to pursue or advance their careers in this field. Ultimately, it is hoped that by bridging this gap, efforts to understand and, thus, better respond to the challenges posed by conflict can be more successful.

Papers included in the Reader consider some of the skills, dynamics and challenges associated with researching in conflict-affected environments, as well as those (often similar) skills, dynamics and challenges associated with working as a practitioner in these environments. Part of the aim of the Symposium and subsequent Reader was to identify some of the common challenges and skills required for researching and working in the field, in an effort to identify lessons and enhance both research and practice.

Contributors to this Reader include film directors, retired senior police chiefs and military officers, government advisers, international human rights and humanitarian law barristers, senior officials in the UN system and other leading international experts in the field of conflict resolution and recovery.

It is hoped that the Symposium presentations and this Reader will be of significant value to the SCID student and others associated with the SCID programme, as well as other practitioners and scholars engaged in conflict-affected environments. It is also hoped that the publication of this Reader will provoke further discussion of some of the challenges associated with conducting research and working in conflict-affected environments and ways in which they can be overcome. Thank you very much to everyone who contributed to the Symposium and the Reader.

Please post any comments or questions that you may have here, or in reply to any of the individual Symposium presentations on the Blog.

Peace is what we make of it? Peace-shaping events and ‘non-events’

Dr Gëzim Visoka, Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies, Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction (IICRR), School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, Ireland has written an excellent article on peace-shaping events and “non-events” which has just been posted to PAX In Nuce: Peace is what we make of it? Peace-shaping events and ‘non-events’. In this article, Visoka argues that policy makers tend to ignore or class as ‘non-events’ those events or phenomena which make them/the wider international community look less successful (such as parallel structures in Kosovo post-’99, the control of police structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina by nationalist parties and their involvement in organised crime, and dissatisfaction in Timor-Leste with recruitment policy for the police and defence forces). As Visoko argues, ‘reducing inconvenient events to “non-events”‘, of course, limits the extent to which conflict-affected environments can be understood and the extent to which positive and sustainable peace can be built.

The Art of Academic Writing (for Policy Makers & Everyone Else)

Christine Cheng (Lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London) has written a very useful blog post on how practitioners-turned-students, in particular, can learn to write academically by:

1. Building comprehension (read deeply and understand how the literature fits together)

2. Mimicing the academic form of your discipline (in terms of tone, style, presentation, use of language etc.)

3. Engaging with the literature and find your academic voice (critique existing literature and use it to build your own arguments)

4. Experimenting with new forms of expressing your ideas (optional)

The full article is here: The Art of Academic Writing (for Policy Makers & Everyone Else).

2015 SCID Symposium – Researching and Working in Conflict-Affected Environments


On 12 March 2015, the Department of Criminology hosted the second annual Security, Conflict and International Development (SCID) Symposium – Researching and Working in Conflict-Affected Environments.

Presenters included 11 members of the SCID Panel of Experts, including professors, retired senior police chiefs and military officers, government advisers, international human rights and humanitarian law barristers, senior officials in the UN system and other leading international experts in the field of conflict resolution and recovery. A film director and current SCID student, as well as the SCID developer and lecturer, also presented. 

Recordings of each presentation are below with links from the Course platforms (iPad and Blackboard). This will enable those who were unable to attend to watch the presentations and allow all of us to continue the discussions on how best to respond to the challenges of conducting research and working in conflict affected environments and, ultimately, how best to understand and respond to the challenges of conflict and peacebuilding.

Papers from the Symposium will be shortly published in the Annual SCID Reader, which will be provided to all SCID students and uploaded to this Blog. A more detailed overview of the day can be found in a previous post (uploaded on 30 March 2015) and, together with all videos, on the 2015 Symposium page.

2015 SCID Symposium – Matthew Waterfield – Challenges of Monitoring and Evaluation of Programmes in Conflict Affected Countries

PowerPoint presentation: Matthew Waterfield SCID Symposium presentation 2015

In this presentation, Matthew Waterfield discusses the use of evidence in the monitoring and evaluation of programmes in fragile and conflict-affected countries. This presentation underlines the importance, and challenges in the way, of gathering and using evidence in these environments and, in this context, suggests many innovative methods for the collection and use of evidence.

Matthew Waterfield is a Senior Conflict and Security Expert with over twenty years of experience in conflict-affected countries. He is founding Director of niche consultancy firm Aktis Strategy, which provides strategic analysis and programmes in some of the most challenging conflict affected countries. Previous experience includes serving as a senior DPKO official and work as an independent consultant. He has specialist expertise in conflict analysis, stabilisation, security and justice sector reform, conflict transitions and governance. He has also played a lead role in the definition and development of UK government approach to cross-departmental conflict and stabilisation analysis and planning.

2015 SCID Symposium – Dr Richard Byrne – Food Security and Conflict: Stabilisation Forces and Agricultural Awareness

PowerPoint presentation: Richard Byrne SCID Symposium presentation 2015

In this presentation, Richard Byrne describes how food security issues in the field can be assessed as part of a security strategy. In this context, he considers the relationship between food security and conflict, before explaining the importance of military actors being aware of this relationship if stabilisation efforts are to be successful. This presentation then details ways in which to build this awareness and gather and share the requisite data.

Dr Richard Byrne has over 15 years’ experience of agricultural and rural development work in various global environments. He currently focusses on stabilisation and food defence issues, and his most recent work has involved developing licit livelihood strategies within a counter-narcotic environment. He also has recent active military experience within a civil-military operations environment and a background in operating in hostile and challenging environments. His current research is centred on post-conflict agricultural development as well as the development of agricultural extension and development strategies and programmes within counter-insurgency (COIN) strategies.

2015 SCID Symposium – Dr Eleanor Gordon – Bridging the Gap: Conducting Research and Working in Conflict-Affected Environments

PowerPoint presentation: Eleanor Gordon SCID Symposium presentation 2015

In this presentation, Eleanor Gordon provides an overview of some of the requisite skills and guiding principles that those conducting research and working in conflict-affected environments might share. The presentation also details some of the lessons learned that can be shared between academic researchers and practitioners. By sharing these lessons and otherwise bridging the gap between the worlds of academia and practice, it is argued that efforts to better understand and, thus, respond to the challenges of conflict and peacebuilding can be found.

Dr Eleanor Gordon is a Lecturer in Conflict and Security Studies. She developed and delivers the distance-learning MSc in Security, Conflict and International Development (SCID) offered by the Department of Criminology at the University of Leicester. She has worked for over 15 years in the field of international security, justice and human rights, including 10 years in post-conflict environments with the UN and other organisations.

2015 SCID Symposium – Chris Sharwood-Smith – Preparing Police Peacekeepers

PowerPoint presentation: Chris Sharwood-Smith SCID Symposium presentation 2015

In this presentation, Chris Sharwood-Smith provides an overview of the history of training within police peacekeeping and the rationale behind the introduction of pre-deployment training for both individual UN police officers and Formed Police Units. The main drivers for the introduction of this training are examined, before looking at the two specific routes the UN has taken towards initiating member state involvement in this training. In so doing, the presentation analyses the concept of police peacekeeping training from the inception of the UN and provides a clear picture of pressures that have been exerted to achieve the current state of play. The presentation concludes with a brief look at other on-going and prospective future projects in the police peacekeeping training arena.

Chris Sharwood-Smith spent 31 years in the Police Service and has been deployed overseas on stabilisation activities and seconded to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to work at the UK Mission to the UN on peacekeeping training. Subsequently, Chris became involved in developing Police Peacekeeping training for the UN and represented the UK Government on the Doctrine Development Group as Chair of the Training sub-committee. Since retiring in 2010 Chris has worked with the US State Department and the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) on police peacekeeping training and development.

2015 SCID Symposium – Maureen Poole – Working in Conflict-Affected Environments: Lessons from Ukraine

PowerPoint presentation: Mo Poole SCID Symposium presentation 2015

In this presentation, Maureen Poole, provides an overview her work on the elections in Ukraine in 2014, focussing on the political issues that impacted her work. This presentation highlighted some of the policing challenges faced in this environment, with the compressed election preparation timeframe, unresolved conflict, large numbers of internationally displaced persons (IDPs), and high levels of crime and disorder.

Maureen Poole has 34 years’ policing experience, retiring in December 2000 to commence a second career within international development focusing on Gender, Policy and Investigations within a Police Reform environment. With extensive experience in West Africa, SE Europe and the Middle East, Maureen has expertise in different policing styles, different national and traditional law systems, international criminal law, and conflict-related sexual violence.

2015 SCID Symposium – Anna Shevchenko – Managing Multi-Cultural Teams in Conflict Environments (Experience from Ukraine)

PowerPoint presentation: Anna Shevchenko SCID Symposium presentation 2015

In this presentation, Anna Shevchenko talks about managing multi-cultural teams in conflict-affected environments, with specific regard to her experience as Deputy Head of the Kiev office of the OSCE Special Monitoring mission to Ukraine in 2014. Providing examples of ways in which an understanding of cultural differences, which is often overlooked, can facilitate improved practice and results.

Anna Shevchenko is the CEO of 3CN, a UK-based consultancy, specialising in cross-cultural risk management and conflict resolution. Anna speaks seven languages and has lived and worked extensively in 32 countries, including as Deputy Head of the Kiev office of the OSCE Special Monitoring mission to Ukraine (2014). She has worked on a number of international crisis projects during the last 15 years. She is also a visiting lecturer at a number of institutions and has published widely, including on the culture, business attitudes and mentality within Ukraine and Russia.

2015 SCID Symposium – Professor Alice Hills – Personal Reflections on Police Research in a Conflict-Affected Environment

PowerPoint presentation: Alice Hills SCID Symposium presentation 2015

In this presentation, Alice Hills talks about the challenges of doing academic research in conflict-affected environments, focussing upon her research in Kano, northern Nigeria. These challenges are particularly pronounced without the support of an organisation that provides security, transport, interpreters and so on – as might be expected if doing research for an International Organisation or NGO, for instance. These challenges include deciding where to live while in a conflict-affected environment; how to get around; where to find an interpreter; how to stay safe and healthy; where to keep petty cash; and what to do in the event of a security incident or unforeseen development. Such practical challenges also often constitute the most instrumental challenges to a research project, often more so than the academic challenges – such as deciding what the research question is and which analytical tools and theoretical framework will be  used  –  which can be more straight forward.

Professor Alice Hills is Professor of Conflict Studies at the University of Durham where her research focuses on why police evolve as they do, and what explains their interaction with governments, militaries and societies in sub-Saharan Africa. Before joining Durham she was professor of conflict and security at the University of Leeds where her research and teaching focused on security governance in fragile states, counter-insurgency in cities, and the relationship between security and development.

2015 SCID Symposium – Dr Anthony Welch OBE – The Pitfalls and Academic Requirements of Research in Conflict Zones

In this presentation, Anthony Welch examines the complexity and challenges of conducting research in conflict, post-conflict and transitional environments. The presentation also provides an overview of some of the key considerations when researching in these environments, as well as some of the methods and approaches that can be successfully used.

Dr Anthony Welch OBE has over twenty years’ field and academic experience in international development and the security sector. A former military officer and with a doctorate, he has worked around the world with the UN, EU, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He taught Security Sector Management and Reform at Cranfield University, both in the UK and abroad, and is currently engaged in security and development matters on behalf the UK and Swedish Governments, including acting as an advisor on international development and security in Parliament.

2015 SCID Symposium – Dr Alex Finnen MBE – The Use of Biometrics and Population Registration as a Control Mechanism in the International Community’s Political, Social and Welfare Development Programmes

In this presentation Alex Finnen addresses the challenges of working as well as researching in conflict-affected environments, the former with particular regard to technological and legislative developments in population control, such as free movement across boundaries. The second half of the presentation looks at research methodologies, with particular regard to the role of the observer.

Dr Alex Finnen MBE is a retired member of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) who, since retiring, has served on a variety of contracts with the EU and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). He has 15 years of service in the Balkans, including as Deputy Head of Mission for the OSCE in Albania and Director General for Elections in Bosnia. He has provided electoral advice to FCO, DFID and the UK Ministry of Defence for a range of countries from 1996 to date.  Alex is an Honorary Associate Fellow of the Centre for Global Politics, Economy and Society at Oxford Brookes University and a Fellow of the Cranfield Forensics Institute.

2015 SCID Symposium – Alex Batesmith – Rule of Law in Conflict-Affected Environments: How ‘International’ Lawyers can Work More Effectively with their National Counterparts

In this presentation, Alex Batesmith discusses how international lawyers in overseas rule of law and transitional justice projects can become more interculturally effective when working with their national counterparts. Alex Batesmith describes the environmental, organisational and individual barriers to international lawyers working effectively, and identifies how improving and further refining specific knowledge, skills and attitudes can help any lawyer become better able to meet the considerable challenges of working in conflict-affected and other difficult environments. In conclusion, Alex Batesmith offers some practical suggestions for organisations and employers as they seek to make structural changes to enable their consultants and employees – and also the projects on which they work – more effective.

Alex Batesmith is a Manchester-based barrister and mediator with twenty years’ practical legal experience in national and international human rights, humanitarian and criminal law, transitional justice, conflict resolution and rule of law issues. Alex spent five years as an international prosecutor for the United Nations in Kosovo and Cambodia and has worked in more than a dozen countries around the world on rule of law and transitional justice issues.