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About us

Plural Security Insights is a policy research network and platform for collaboration between interested scholars and practitioners. Its main purpose is to contribute to strengthening access to security for citizens in fragile and conflict-affected contexts by informing policy and practice on plural security provision.Plural security provision describes situations in which an array of coercive actors, with varying relationships to the state and degrees of local legitimacy, deliver security to citizens.

The network was founded following a March 2014 roundtable, convened by the Clingendael Institute’s Conflict Research Unit (CRU) and UN-Habitat. The roundtable included researchers from various institutes and disciplines, whose work has touched upon various aspects of plural security provision; discussions underscored a lack of empiricism in current international responses to plural security providers, and directed focus toward the ways and means of understanding effective engagement with these actors that promotes positive security outcomes for citizens. Participants committed to constitute an informal network to explore issues related to plural security provision.

Subsequently, network members undertook an initial research visit to Beirut, Lebanon, with the support of the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law. The purpose of this visit was to validate the framework for analysis developed at the 2014 roundtable, refine the research agenda and test a methodological approach. Results of this research were presented at a November 2015 knowledge event, co-hosted by the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law and the University of Amsterdam, at which Plural Security Insights was formally launched.

Our principals are a multi-national, multi-disciplinary team based in academic institutions, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations. Our ambition is to expand the scope of our partnerships and research activities in the coming years, and offer expert advisory services to relevant international, national and local stakeholders.