On December 4th the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law organized a one-day expert discussion in The Hague on how elite interests and coalitions shape the priorities, culture, structure and accountability of security and justice organizations in fragile environments. By starting from the main assumption that security and justice in fragile states are organized and delivered largely to protect elite interests, the following key questions emerged:
- What are typical interests that elites seek to protect through security and justice organizations?
- How do these interests influence the organization and provision of private and public security and justice in fragile environments? What are relevant mechanisms?
- Under what conditions do elites decide / can elites be incentivized to organize and provide security and justice in a manner more akin to a public good?
The meeting did not intend to generate definitive answers to these issues. Instead, speakers and participants were invited to contribute their experiences and views in an exploratory but focused conversation, in order to help develop feasible strategies for change agents that seek to navigate the tension between challenging and cooperating with elite interests.
Partly on the basis of this event a report was written on elite interest in the provision of security in Lebanon.