Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law

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23 Jan

A Critical Juncture: South Sudan's security amidst a tenuous peace deal

Organized by:Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law
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A South Sudanese perspective

Three professors from South Sudan will provide their reflections on the current intricacies of South Sudan’s security sector in the context of an unpredictable peace agreement.

After six years of conflict, the young nation is poised at a critical juncture, mid-way through the 100-day extension of a ceasefire agreement that hopes to lead to naming a unity government. While the internal borders and national identity of this nascent state are still being (violently) contested, processes of statebuilding, comprehensive security and nationbuilding are not simply abstract challenges. They are actual lived experiences for these visiting scholars, who are eager to share their research on: building an inclusive security sector; military economy of SSR in South Sudan; and the current peace process.

This public event, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Dutch Embassy in Juba, and the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law, will provide an unparalleled view into how South Sudanese experts themselves are analyzing the current situation.

15:30 -  Opening remarks

  • Janet Alberda – The Dutch Ambassador to Juba

15:45 -  Addresses by three South Sudanese scholars

  • Dr James Solomon Padiet – Scene setting: implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan 
  • Dr Abraham Kuol Nyuon – Reflecting on the specific context of the military economy of Security Sector Reform in South Sudan
  • Prof. Dr Samson Samuel Wassara – The complexities and domestic efforts of establishing an inclusive security sector in the context of polarized identities

16:45 – Moderated Q&A with the audience
17:30 – Borrel


Registration is mandatory to attend this event, and spaces are limited. Please register by contacting or clicking the button below.

Date & Location

The Panel will be held Thursday 23 January, in The Hague.

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More information on the location will be provided upon registration.
19 Jun

Polarization in the Eastern European Neighbourhood – Georgia Case

Organized by:Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law
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On Monday, 19 June 2023, the ‘Polarization in the Eastern European Neighbourhood’ trajectory will kick off with its first (online) country case session on Georgia.

In established democracies, extreme ideological differences in a left to right scale between political actors is considered the definition of polarization. However, in the Eastern European region while left to right differences are generally not that pronounced, strong societal divides exist that are based on geo-political orientation (Russia or the West) embedded in the value dimensions of social conservatism and social liberalism.

The war in Ukraine has put further pressure on these divides and increased the levels of polarization in the region. These strong emotions and more extreme political discourse can lead to increasing isolation of various political actors from one another, making interactions more and more destructive and less conducive to democracy. This therefore enhances the possibility of political crisis and destabilization in countries in the region and makes overcoming these divides more and more difficult. Thereby threatening both security (foreign interference, violence) and rule of law (politicization, securitization).

Amy Eaglestone (researcher at the University of Birmingham) and KPSRL have initiated an event series under the Thematic Headline’s subtheme ‘Resilience to Polarization’, interrogating the specific mechanisms behind polarization in this region and discussing possible responses from the perspective of the social contract. Georgia will be the first of two country cases (the second one being Moldova), after which a roundtable will follow to inform EU-level policy and programming related to support for rule of law and democracy in the Eastern European region. 





12:00 – 12:03


Amy Eaglestone

12:03 – 12:10

Round of introductions


12:10 – 12:20

Understanding the concept

Marco Mezzera

12:20 – 12:30

Setting the scene

Kornely Kakachia

12:30 – 12:35

Setting the scene

Levan Tsutskiridze

12:35 - 12:45

Understanding the situation


12:45 – 12:50

Provide a framework for discussion

Marco Mezzera

12:50 – 13:45

Main discussion

Amy Eaglestone

13:45 – 13:50

Round up

Amy Eaglestone

13:50 – 14:00


 Christian Kuitert




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13 Apr

KPSRL Thematic Headline Discussion 2023

Organized by:Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law
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We invite you to join our discussion on Thursday, 13 April from 13:00-14:30 (CEST) to unpack the Analytical Paper written from last year's findings regarding the KPSRL Thematic Headline 'Reimagining Social Contracts'. The goal of this conversation is to kick off the thematic focus of 2023: Toward Just Social Contracts, whereby we aim to transition from conceptual thinking to operationalization.

Joined by researchers, Brenton Peterson & Manar Zaki from Consilient Research and the Sababi Institute in Somaliland, we will hear about a project funded by the Knowledge Management Fund that showcases an example of how to operationalize the concept of a social contract. This case study looks at customary justice systems led by clan elders in Somaliland, and questions the feasibility of its long-term value and legitimacy in the (inter-)national arena.



  • Unpack the analytical paper on last year’s findings regarding the Thematic Headline ‘Reimagine Social Contracts’
  • Presentation of the ’23 subthemes, operationalizing last year’s theme of social contracts
    • (1) Participatory and inclusive social contracts, (2) Authoritarian social contracts and the security sector and (3) Resilience to polarization
    • Announce already planned KPSRL events
  • Show an example of what ‘operationalizing’ our thematic headline of strengthening social contracts looks like
  • Map interest of the KPSRL network to contribute to this Thematic Headline throughout 2023


In 2022, the network of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law (KPSRL) unpacked its Thematic Headline ‘Reimagine Social Contracts’. This theme a.o. guided a kick-off webinar, a window of the Knowledge Management Fund (KMF) and the Annual Conference (KPAC22).

The findings throughout the year have been bundled in an analytical paper. Through an online survey, the KPSRL network expressed an eagerness to unpack this complex theme further, moving from concepts to operationalization. To do so, during this event we jointly unpack the analytical paper and the more specific subthemes to dive into in 2023.


  • Giorgio Ferrari, Learning Officer for KPSRL
  • Consilient Research, Manar Zaki & Brenton Peterson


  • We will first set the scene by discussing the analytical paper about 2022 and the subsequent sub-themes for 2023: (1) Participatory and inclusive social contracts, (2) Authoritarian social contracts and the security sector and (3) Resilience to polarization.
  • Afterwards, Consilient Research shares their case, showing an example of how to operationalize the concept of a social contract.
  • After a Q@A on these presentations, the participants are split into break-out groups per sub-theme. There, they (1) share examples of important research, conferences, projects, policy trends etc. on that subtheme and (2) indicate how KPSRL and its network can contribute in the coming year.





13:00 – 13:05

Welcome & background

Christian Kuitert

13:05 – 13:20

The analytical paper & sub-themes

Giorgio Ferrari

13:20 – 13:35

Operationalizing the social contract

Consilient Research

13:30 – 13:45

Plenary questions


13:45 – 14:10

Group discussions per subtheme


14:10 – 14:25

Feedback plenary


14:25 – 14:30

Next steps

Sever Dzigurski




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Read Analytical Paper here
20 Mar

Unboxing Localisation IV: Measuring Localisation

Organized by:Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law

How do we capture progress on our ambitions to work more localized and do we indeed see that such ways of working lead to better results? NEAR will share its Localisation Performance Measurement Framework, after which an in-country partner (NAHAB), an INGO (consultant Patrick Crump) and a donor (NL MFA) reflect on its applicability. Of course, there will also be plenty of room for you to share your views and initiatives on this theme with the other participants.

Click here to download the agenda in English and click here to download the agenda in French.

This is an invitation-only event. If you would like to participate, please email


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12 Jul

Kick-Off Webinar: Reimagining Social Contracts

Organized by:Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law
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Context: Unpacking KPSRL Thematic Headline Towards KPAC22

In the run-up to our KPSRL Annual Conference (‘KPAC22’) in October, KPSRL wants to start unpacking this year’s thematic headline of ‘Reimagining Social Contracts’. The idea for such an ‘unpacking trajectory’ is firstly exploring the concept itself in this kick-off webinar, after which we further apply it to more specific subthemes in subsequent events or deliverables.

The Kick-Off Webinar

On Tuesday 12 July (14:30 – 16:00 CEST), we will host our kick-off webinar in order to:

(1) unpack the uses of the concept of a ‘social contract’ for the Security & Rule of Law sector.

(2) gather input from our community on possible contributions to the other ‘unpacking activities’.

In the webinar, we suggest to explore the usefulness (and redundancy) of the lens of social contracts for SRoL: how is such a concept useful in contexts with limited state capacity and/or intra-elite competition? What can or should Western SRoL actors learn from ‘non-Western’ ideas of social contracts? And how can this lens help us to reimagine security and rule of law arrangements, or SRoL interventions? Do we see recent (regional) trends of how (re)negotiations of social contracts take form?

We do that by looking at the Middle East and North Africa region, with the help of these two discussants:

  • Amal Bourhrous works for SIPRI, where she worked on several reports on social contracts in the MENA region (namely Libya, Iraq and Lebanon) from several angles. A.o., this entails a paper on protests across the region, the (ethno)sectarian political systems in Iraq and Lebanon, and an exploration of how Iraqis envision a reimagined social contract.
  • Laila Al-Zwaini will bring in her experience as an Arabist and legal expert, researching ‘non-Western’ concepts of citizenship, civil, civility and civilization (madaniya) and non-western forms of key services for a social contract (shari’a law) – concepts that can provoke the SRoL community to think beyond its western-oriented state principles.


It will be a 90 minutes session where two discussants kick off the conversation in a moderated, 35 minute conversation during which there will already be moments where the KPSRL community can join in. However, the remaining time is specifically dedicated for discussion amongst the audience.


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01 Apr

Webinar: 'Applying SRoL lessons from Afghanistan to the Sahel'

Organized by:Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law
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Although the situation in Afghanistan is not dominating the headlines as it did by the end of last year, the effects on both security and especially the humanitarian situation are still ongoing. KPSRL previously held a closed roundtable whereby SRoL experts gave input to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs on how to keep supporting the SRoL situation in Afghanistan. Now, it’s important to involve the whole KPSRL community to broaden that discussion in an open webinar, by linking it to SRoL (development cooperation) challenges in other contexts - with the Sahel as an urgent focus.

Dutch researcher Dr. Willemijn Verkoren will first share her perspective, given her research experiences on conflict, security and preventing violent extremism - culminating into her recent book ‘Out Of The Spiral Of Violence’ and her recent position paper to Dutch Parliament on the situation in Afghanistan. Afterward, Dr. Niagalé Bagayoko will complement those reflections from an African Security Sector perspective, given her role as chair of the African Security Sector Network. As always with KPSRL, there will be plenty of time for the audience to step into the discussion, share their experiences and ask questions to our two guests.

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