Civilian Control and the Security Sector
The democratic transition and consolidation that Ghana has gone through, reflects in several ways the struggles for democratic accountability, transparency and sustainability, with broad support from different sections of the community. These conform to the general developments in the 1980s and 1990s which seem to indicate that the role of the military in politics is becoming less prominent. Yet, it cannot be taken for granted that, even with the change in regimes, the military will automatically obey civilian leaders. As a result, there is the need to think through the important issue of how democratic governance and civilian control of the military can be encouraged as a means of embedding the gains of democratic governance. Not only that; as Ghana has also become one of the most aid-dependent and aid-recipient states in the world, civilian control of the military (tied in to security sector reform in the broad sense) has taken on special significance as one of the measures of progress towards democracy employed by the industrialised world. In both post-conflict situations and transition democracies, civilian control of the military and the subordination of the military to political authority can be problematic. Given that the military enjoys an overwhelming advantage in coercive power, the critical question that underlies this position paper's argument is how can civilian institutions impose their will on their more powerful military agents? In emerging democracies and post-conflict societies, this can be a more complicated process than in other places.