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This case study seeks to assess the contribution of Ghana’s emergent parliamentary oversight of the security sector in preventing insecurity and promoting stability. Ghana poses a genuine case of deepening democratic control over the security sector. But while Ghana’s experiences are positive, at least in the context of West Africa, Hutchful argues that “civil control of the military in independent Ghana has historically been a myth, and that the existence of a civilian regime does not necessarily suggest civil control of the military.”2 Thus, this study first explores why parliamentary oversight has not contributed to increased democratization and development as much as might be expected, focusing predominantly on defense and police. To appreciate the different developments that have contributed to the evolution of Ghana’s security sector, a historical context is provided. Next, the case examines what might be done in the future to strengthen the role of parliament within a democratic structure. To that end, the case study draws lessons and best practices applicable to more internationalized, post-conflict cases of security sector reform and recovery elsewhere in the region, if not elsewhere in Africa. In doing so, it analyzes the manner in which the complex amalgam of statutory and non-statutory institutions that form the security sector in Ghana is governed. Last, it considers the potential role of West Africa’s regional security architecture, particularly the ECOWAS Community Parliament, to security sector reform in Ghana and the region as a whole.

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