Special issue on Defense Institution Building

Deadline for submission of full text articles: 31 August 2018

Planned publication: Summer 2018 issue of Connections: The Quarterly Journal

Special issue editors: Dr. Judith Reid, DOD and Dr. Philipp Fluri, DCAF

Defense Institution Building – an essential part of defense management and reform – was made the subject of a Partnership Action Plan in 2004 by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council which thus reaffirmed their conviction that effective and efficient state defense institutions under civilian and democratic control are fundamental to stability in the Euro-Atlantic area and essential for international security co-operation. The Partnership Action Plan on Defense Institution Building (PAP-DIB) aims to reinforce efforts by EAPC Partners to initiate and carry forward reform and restructuring of defence institutions to meet their needs and the commitments undertaken in the context of the Partnership for Peace Framework Document and EAPC Basic Document, as well as the relevant OSCE documents including the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security.

Originally focused on the Caucasus and Central Asia and Moldova, the DIB concept, if not the Action Plan, soon gained in relevance also for Ukraine, and transition countries in the MENA region.

Enforced and complemented by such parallel efforts as the Building Integrity Initiative and Defence Capacity Building, and tried in reconstruction contexts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ‘ten commandments’ laid down in 2004 * remain relevant, but need to be re-interpreted for tomorrow.

The Connections special DIB issue seeks to establish the status of Defense Institution Building in a changed and changing world, while looking into future needs and opportunities. DIB has emerged as the strategic linchpin to collective defense for NATO and its Partners. Now codified in policy and staffing, what is the next step in the march toward coalition intellectual interoperability?

This is a call for articles that addresses the future of DIB in the Euro-Atlantic realm. Connections is interested in papers that address:

  • the evolution of DIB concepts that anticipate the institution development needs of the next decade;
  • lessons learned from past engagements that can point advisors, partner recipients and program managers toward more effective and efficient processes and engagements for the future;
  • insights from recipient host nations that can improve the process;
  • creative concepts from diverse disciplines that shed fresh insight onto DIB advice, processes and procedures;
  • DIB in an environment of increased political and military tension;
  • quantitative and qualitative measures of capacity building success;
  • the role of DIB in creating and sustaining intellectual interoperability in the NATO area of interest.

Interested authors are invited to submit their original texts through our Submissions Management System.

Articles should not exceed 5000 words. Please acquaint yourself with the journal guidelines and follow the Chicago Manual of Style, particularly in referencing your sources using footnotes.

We will inform you on the results of the peer review process as soon as they are available. Typically, the review takes four weeks.


* For a discussion of the early concept of DIB see Van Eekelen and Fluri, eds., Defence Institution Building: A Sourcebook in Support of the Partnership Action Plan; Young and Tagarev, Planning and Development of Defense Institutions in a Time of Transformation; Bucur-Marcu, Defence Institution Building - A Self-Assessment Kit; as well as the two special DIB issues of Connections: Spring-Summer 2006 and Summer 2008.

The Ten Commandments are:

  • Develop effective and transparent arrangements for the democratic control of defense activities, including appropriate legislation and co-ordination arrangements setting out the legal and operational role and responsibilities of key state institutions in the Legislative and Executive branches of Government.
  • Develop effective and transparent procedures to promote civilian participation in developing defense and security policy, including participation of civilians in governmental defence institutions, cooperation with non-governmental organizations and arrangements to ensure appropriate public access to information on defense and security issues.
  • Develop effective and transparent legislative and judicial oversight of the defense sector, including appropriate arrangements to conduct due legal process.
  • Develop effective and transparent arrangements and procedures to assess security risks and national defense requirements; develop and maintain affordable and inter-operable capabilities corresponding to these requirements and international commitments, including those in the framework of PfP.
  • Develop effective and transparent measures to optimize the management of defense ministries and agencies with responsibility for defense matters, and associated force structures, including procedures to promote inter-agency co-operation.
  • Develop effective and transparent arrangements and practices to ensure compliance with internationally accepted norms and practices established in the defense sector, including export controls on defense technology and military equipment.
  • Develop effective and transparent personnel structures and practices in the defence forces, including training and education, promotion of knowledge of international humanitarian law, arrangements for transparent promotion and career development, and for protection of the civil rights and freedoms of members of the armed forces.
  • Develop effective and transparent financial, planning, and resource allocation procedures in the defense area.
  • Develop effective, transparent and economically viable management of defense spending, taking into account macro-economic affordability and sustainability; develop methods and policies in order to cope with the socio-economic consequences of defense restructuring.
  • Develop effective and transparent arrangements to ensure effective international co-operation and good neighborly relations in defense and security matters.

For related NATO initiatives see the respective NATO webpage.