Small arms and human insecurity: reviewing particpatory research in South Asia

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This is a report on research undertaken with the objective of gauging real and perceived human insecurity among civilians affected by social violence in South Asia. The project drew on qualitative methodologies to measure æriskÆ and ævulnerabilityÆ in four communities in South Asia affected by small arms-related violence. In determining whether participatory research had any added value to uncover qualitative dimensions of arms related insecurity, it became clear that there is a strong case for expanding participatory action research in the security and disarmament fields, especially in relation to the monitoring and evaluation of violence reduction programmes and security sector reform. The main finding was that most communities felt threatened by the excesses committed by security forces and were particularly worried about being caught in the crossfire between armed forces. Almost without exception, they believed that a political solution to armed violence is the only workable option for redressing insecurity and that preventative and reactive military responses would yield few positive results.

79 p.
Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), 2 Elibank Road, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka
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