Since the 1990s, donors and other actors have become increasingly engaged in the field of security building. At the EU level, policy frameworks such as the Agenda for Change and the EU’s Comprehensive Approach to External Conflict and Crises call for more strategic approaches to the challenges faced in either conflict-affected and fragile contexts, countries and societies in transition, or more generally affected by violence and insecurity. At the same time, gradual acceptance of the concept of ‘human security’ enabled the international community to look at these challenges and opportunities from different perspectives. However, while most security related policy frameworks, both within the EU and globally, stress the need to take into account and address people’s needs and concerns, and more broadly the governance aspects of security, this has proven difficult to translate into practice. As a result, a lot of security related interventions in the last decade have struggled to make a real difference to local people.