The scope and scale of post-war violence is often more severe than anticipated. If left unchecked, many fear that complex forms of insecurity can potentially tip ‘fragile’ societies back into armed conflict. A host of conventional security promotion activities are routinely advanced to contend with such violence including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR). There are also many less widely recognised examples of security promoting activities that deviate from – but also potentially reinforce and enhance – DDR and SSR. Innovation and experimentation by mediators and practitioners has led to the emergence of alternative, and in certain cases complementary, approaches to addressing the risks and symptoms of post-war violence including interim stabilization measures and second generation security promotion interventions. Drawing on evidence from a wide variety of settings, the article sets out an array of contextual determinants shaping the character and effectiveness of security promotion on the ground. It then issues a typology of security promotion practices – some that occur before, during and after conventional interventions such as DDR and SSR – offering a sample of entry-points for erstwhile warring parties, mediators, donors and others involved in promoting stability and post-war violence reduction. This typology implies a challenging new research agenda for the growing field of security and development.