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Actions typically taken by countries to influence the behavior of other parties.


Traditionally, security has meant freedom from military attack and has been synonymous with national security. In addition, a state could enter into alliances that provided collective security.

Security Sector

The security sector is defined as those who are, or should be, responsible for protecting the state and communities within the state.

Security Sector Reform (SSR)

The set of policies, plans, programs, and activities that a government undertakes to improve the way it provides safety, security, and justice.

Sexual Violence

A form of gender-based violence, sexual violence refers to any act, attempt, or threat of a sexual nature that results, or is likely to result in, physical or psychological harm.

Side Payment

A payment made to a party or parties to induce them to join an agreement. Such inducements frequently take the form of aid or trade preferences.

Social Contract

An implicit agreement among individuals or between them and their government in which they give up part of their freedom in exchange for such benefits as social order and security.

Social Media

Internet-based applications that allow users with little technical knowledge to create and share content.

Social Well-being

A situation in which basic human needs are met and people are able to coexist peacefully in communities with opportunities for advancement.


The principle that states have primacy over their internal affairs. It is the basis for the international norm of noninterference in the affairs of independent and self-governing states.


Anyone who seeks to block or sabotage a peace process or the implementation of an agreement, usually because it threatens their power and interests. See also Conflict Entrepreneur.


The ability of a state to recover from disturbances and resist sudden change or deterioration.

State versus Nation

A state, or country, is a sovereign, self-governing political entity, for example any state in the United Nations.

Strategy versus Tactics

Strategy is the activity, process, or plan to attain desired objectives as efficiently as possible, usually in competition with others who are developing similar activities.

Summit Meeting

A gathering of heads of government. At most summit meetings, the principals’ main role is to put the finishing touches on agreements that have already been negotiated at a lower level.


In general, the ability to maintain something indefinitely.