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Reintegration of ex-combatants: democratic citizenship after war
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2007 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper relates to the discussion of the potential impact of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration programs on the overall peacebuilding process, and in particular in relation to the democratization process. Thus, it deals with the interface between conflict termination exercises and democratization. If we want to deal with the big questions, we are better off if we focus on one particular aspect of this larger question (Geddes 2003). Narrowing down the scope, thus leads to the question of whether reintegration could play an important part in integrating former fighters in the new political system. Political reintegration could be supported by the actual results of the programs, i.e. improved socioeconomic status, but also in terms of their interpretive effects, i.e. the transferal of democratic norms/attitudes through the work methods applied in each particular program.

Transforming the nature of politics after a civil war involves the individual. Research on reintegration programs have often been conducted at the macro-level and rarely with methodologically clear designs (Nilsson 2005; Weinstein and Humphreys 2005). This is insufficient if we are to understand the transition from a fighter to a citizen, to capture the underlying social mechanism at work. Addressing the micro-level process involves considering such problematic concepts such as norms, attitudes and identity and changes therein. How can such changes be measured and captured appropriately? This paper will focus on a discussion of different research designs as well as different data collection methods (e.g. surveys vs. in-depth interviews) that attempt to capture this. In addition, the benefits and problems of combining quantitative and qualitative methods in the study of political reintegration will be considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
reintegration, ex-combatants, citizenship, democracy, DDR
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-26693OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-26693DiVA: diva2:54567
Symposium on Peace and Conflict Studies, Umeå, 14-15 May 2007 Available from: 2008-10-17 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2009-09-29Bibliographically approved

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Söderström, Johanna
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