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        • Security sector reform is one of the central preconditions for any democratic transition. It pertains above all to an institutional transformation towards democratic control, as well as security cooperation and harmonization of the national security policy with other democratic societies. However, both in theory and in practice the security sector reform has thus far largely ignored a very important issue of cultural heritage. Having in mind that culture, whether political, strategic, military, administrative or otherwise, undoubtedly shapes institutions and the behaviour of people, that oversight has often resulted in problems regarding the development and implementation of the security sector reform.

          With the very idea to get a clearer view of this problem, the Centre for Civil-Military Relations organized an international conference “Culture and Security Sector Reform: Political, Strategic and Military Culture in Transitional States”, which was held in Sremski Karlovci from May 7-10, 2009.

          The goal of this issue of Western Balkans Security Observer, where some of the papers are inspired by the discussion at the above-mentioned conference are published, is to open a discussion in a wider academic community about the relationship between culture and security sector reform.

          We begin this issue with the paper written by Asle Toje where he presents strategic culture as an analytical tool. Toje’s paper is particularly interesting because it represents a rare example of realistic analysis which successfully deals with the concept of strategic culture. He offers an explanation of origins and problems of the current strategic culture of the EU and points out the reasons why the EU «is not succeeding in realizing the system potential of a great power». Steven Ekovich focuses his attention on the relationship between democracy, culture and security policy. Although the military is a hierarchical organisation, Ekovich shows that it is not immune to democratic values of society such as «the belief in essential equality of all people, high level of trust in other people, respect of basic human rights, as well as observance of laws and the right to a fair trial». He ends his essay with courageous words, saying that “a certain amount of liberalization of defence is necessary for the defence of liberal democracy”.

          The following paper, written by Stojan Slaveski, deals to a lesser extent with the conceptual discussion, but it applies the concept of strategic culture to the concrete case of Macedonia. He shows the way in which the strategic culture of that country has experienced a transformation and from “the culture of dependence” from the early 1990s grew into “the culture of an active participant”.

          For its cultural specificities, Turkey has always represented an interesting case for the researchers of civil-military relations. In this issue of Western Balkans Security Observer Nilufer Narli confirms this statement once again by showing how, under the influence of Europeanization, “a new security culture is being born where the citizens do not see the military as a privileged and untouchable institution”.

          Dag Ole Huseby and Zvonimir Mahečić show how Europeanization influences another candidate for the EU membership - Croatia. Finally, we conclude this issue with the paper by Nebojša Nikolić who analyses the administrative culture of the military and its influence on the advancement of the officers of the Serbian Armed Forces. I hope that the presented papers will inspire the conquest of new meeting grounds for cultural and security studies.

          (Except from Editors Word) Filip Ejdus and Jelena Radoman

        • Tags: culture, security culture, strategic culture, strategy, strategic orientation, Europeanization, european security, European Union, Turkey, cmr, officer
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