Ex-Combatants and the Post-Conflict State: Challenges of Reintegration

Hardcover | August 20, 2013

byJaremey Mcmullin

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The reintegration of ex-combatants after conflict is a crucial peacebuilding task, but several challenges stand in the way of efforts to successfully assist ex-combatants after war. Drawing on extensive field research including nearly 200 interviews with policy practitioners, government officials, and ex-combatants themselves, this book critically examines these challenges by analyzing reintegration policy and outcomes in Namibia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

McMullin presents a troubling contradiction in the conventional wisdom about peacebuilding as it relates to ex-combatants: limited economic opportunities and short term assistance programs mean that 'reintegration' tends to be back into the poverty and marginalization that contributed to war in the first place. Can reintegration back into poverty be called successful?

This book will appeal to scholars of political violence, security studies, peacekeeping and peace building, transitional justice, social policy after war, and peace and conflict studies.




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The reintegration of ex-combatants after conflict is a crucial peacebuilding task, but several challenges stand in the way of efforts to successfully assist ex-combatants after war. Drawing on extensive field research including nearly 200 interviews with policy practitioners, government officials, and ex-combatants themselves, this boo...

Jaremey R. McMullin is a Lecturer in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews, UK. He has published research on post-conflict transition and ex-combatant reintegration in International Peacekeeping, Review of International Studies, Third World Quarterly, and Civil Wars. He has also written reports on ex-c...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.68 × 5.76 × 1.23 inPublished:August 20, 2013Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023029099X

ISBN - 13:9780230290990

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Reintegration into What?
1. Conceptualizing Reintegration Challenges
2. The Advent of the Ex-Combatant: A Critical History of Reintegration
3. Namibia: Jobs for Some
4. Mozambique: Cash for All
5. Sierra Leone: Trained for Jobs that Weren't There
6. Liberia: Reintegration 2.0?
Conclusion: 'Like Everyone Else'

Editorial Reviews

"This is a deeply compelling and richly researched account of the 'big business' of post-conflict reintegration programs for ex-combatants. International efforts in these programs have a taken-for-granted set of assumptions – both tacit and acknowledged – and contradictions that McMullin identifies with rigorous ethnographic and historical analysis. A must-read for anyoneworking on or with the world's many post-war recovery and development efforts. Lucidly written and focused on solutions for the future." - Catherine Lutz, Brown University, USA"When re-entering civilian life I wish that the ex-combatants I have been researching would have benefitted from some of the insights this book gives. Generally humanitarian aid-workers know little of the local context and therefore do so many things wrong during Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) exercises. If you read this book and take some of the important findings back into the field it will greatly help not just ex-combatant reintegration efforts but entire societies struggling to get back on their feet after civil wars – If you don't it is just business as usual." - Mats Utas, The Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden  "This is a well-researched book that makes an important contribution to the debate about disarmament, demobilization and reintegration. Built on a combination of theoretical insights and detailed empirical work in a number of countries the author argues convincingly for an approach beyond the narrow focus of security concerns. The result is a fine piece of work that contributes to the new critical literature about the many aspects of peacekeeping and peace-building that situates itself in the realm of political ethnography."  - Morten Bøås, Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies, Norway