The general consensus on the security-development nexus is that both are key to achieving sustainable peace in war-torn societies. However, this debate has largely taken place among international actors, with little empirical evidence about how security and development relate to each other or are even considered by local actors. The current paper applies the security-development nexus to the case of land restitution in Colombia. Following decades of internal armed conflict, in 2012 the national government passed sweeping land restitution legislation amid ongoing violence. Through in-depth interviews and focus groups with multiple actors involved in this process, ranging from international organisations to national government units, from regional institutions to local communities, the paper analyses the objectives, impact, challenges and opportunities for land restitution related to security and development. Undermining peace-building, a lack of coherence in the integration of security and development priorities limits the extent to which either supports, or is promoted by, land restitution efforts in Colombia. The paper concludes with reflections on how the security-development nexus may promote peace-building amid ongoing conflict.


Security, development, Colombia, land restitution, reparations, peace-building

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