Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law’s Security Governance projects provide governments, NGOs, policymakers, and security professionals the guidance needed to reform or reconstruct security institutions in postconflict states such as Afghanistan and Iraq.
Drawing on interdisciplinary, multi-institutional analysis, projects cover security sector reform, political transition, capacity building, reconciliation, force assistance, demobilization and reintegration of combatants, and complex contracting.
SPL has partnered with the US Institute of Peace and the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC) to examine postconflict challenges in the Middle East and the role of international norms and mechanisms to meet those challenges, including the conformity of Shari’a law to internationally recognized forms of postconflict justice, such as prosecutions, truth commissions, lustration, memorialization, and legal reform.
In early 2014, the Brookings’ Project on US Relations with the Islamic World, housed within the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, selected SPL’s white paper “Justice in Postconflict Settings: Islamic Law and Muslim Communities as Stakeholders in Successful Transition” as a working group topic at its prestigious US-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar, June 9 to 11, 2014.
In order to support policymakers and practitioners engaged in security governance and human security efforts in conflict and postconflict nations, SPL is examining the status of Rule of Law initiatives and asking how and why certain methods, approaches, and means succeed or fail; what outcomes (positive, negative, or neutral) have been achieved; and whether best practices and policy prescriptions can be identified and communicated.
As part of this project, SPL is developing an After-Action Report on the US government’s Rule of Law programs in Iraq and Afghanistan during operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (OIF and OEF). Its purpose is to recount what was suppose to happen, what actually happened, and what observations, insights, and lessons there are for future Rule of Law initiatives.
The project also will provide a repository of after-action reviews from armed forces, other government entities, and NGOs. It will serve as a hub for research and collaboration on a methodology for future Rule of Law initiatives, which have become an indispensable part of governments’ foreign policy and development strategies.
Building Community Resilience is an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional effort to foster resilience in communities and organizations overcome by human security and homeland security challenges, such as terrorism and catastrophic disasters.
SPL’s contributions to the discussion of community resilience address how resilient systems are defined and understood across multiple disciplines (such as social sciences, engineering, and biology) and how weaving these perspectives into a society’s “blanket of protection” affects what Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) calls the “Whole of Community” approach to resilience (one that incorporates law enforcement, public health officials, emergency management, the public at large, and more).
US military and stabilization operations force mergers of more than security policies. Government contractors who carry out these operations must also merge US business practices with local laws and customs, a convergence regulated by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The FCPA—enacted in 1977—made it unlawful for persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. More than 35 years later, FCPA enforcement is contentious.