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A Leap of Faith: When and How Ex-Combatants Resort to Violence
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2013 (English)In: Security Studies, ISSN 0963-6412, E-ISSN 1556-1852, Vol. 22, no 2, 295-329 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research has given scant attention to the issue of how and when ex-combatants resort to organized violence. This article fills this research gap by comparing ex-fighters in the Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone. It holds that ex-combatant violence is the result of interaction between entrepreneurs of violence, military affinities, intermediaries, and selective incentives. Ex-combatants take to arms when they have access to entrepreneurs of violence. By offering selective incentives and utilizing existing military affinities, entrepreneurs can generate the enticements and trust needed to convince ex-combatants to resort to arms. However, as entrepreneurs have limited contact with ex-fighters, they are dependent on intermediaries to do the actual recruiting for them. Contrary to previous assumptions, this article finds that ex-fighters are largely risk-averse individuals and that ex-combatant violence is seldom triggered by the mere presence of small arms, lack of economic opportunities, or experiences of insecurity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 22, no 2, 295-329 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-202458DOI: 10.1080/09636412.2013.786917ISI: 000318730400005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-202458DiVA: diva2:634858
Available from: 2013-07-01 Created: 2013-06-24 Last updated: 2015-12-21

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