Author: Stabilisation Unit
Institution: Stabilisation Unit
Publication Date: May, 2014
A new definition of stabilisation
Stabilisation is one of the approaches used in situations of violent conflict which is designed to protect and promote legitimate political authority, using a combination of integrated civilian and military actions to reduce violence, re-establish security and prepare for longer-term recovery by building an enabling environment for structural stability.
Stability is the goal – stabilisation is one approach to address violent conflict
The previous guidance for stabilisation stated that it was both a goal and an approach. It is not. The UK’s new strategic framework under the Building Stability Overseas Strategy (BSOS) means that structural stability is the goal, and stabilisation is one approach that can contribute to that wider goal.
Stabilisation is increasingly applied to address violent conflict
The revision of the SU’s guidance was tasked to prepare SU and its parent departments for the increasing range and diversity of stabilisation activities that are being undertaken by HMG and our partners. The UK has directly supported several of the UN-mandated stabilisation missions; in Afghanistan, DRC, Haiti, Liberia, Mali, Somalia and South Sudan amongst others. The UK also uses stabilisation approaches in a number of countries bi-laterally.
Whatever is implemented through a stabilisation approach it is clear that stabilisation is a politically driven activity intended to have political effects. This affects the type of activities used and how and when they are implemented. Where appropriate the stabilisation approach can shape the application of HMG activities across the fields of diplomacy, defence and development.
The core components of stabilisation
There are a lot of activities that can be applied in stabilisation, but the three core components of stabilisation include;
• Protect political actors, the political system and the population
• Promote, consolidate and strengthen political processes
• Prepare for longer-term recovery