This book is about understanding how former combatants come home after war, and how their political lives are refracted by the war and the experience of coming home itself. In particular, it captures the political mobilization among former combatants as they come home from three very different types of war: civil war (Colombia), war of independence (Namibia), and interstate war (United States involvement in the Vietnam War). The book provides a much-needed long-term perspective on peace. It also demonstrates the artificial division between literatures across the Global North and Global South, and demonstrates how these literatures speak to each other just as the three cases speak to each other. The novel use of interviews to document life histories and the inside perspective they provide also give a unique insight into the former combatants’ own perspectives on the process of coming home and their sense of political voice. This book is not about peacebuilding in the sense of interventions. Rather, it examines peace as a process through studying the lived experiences of individuals, displaying the dynamics of political mobilization after disarmament across time in the lives of fifty former combatants. The book demonstrates how the process of coming home shapes their political commitment and identity, and how the legacy of war is a powerful reminder in the lives of these former combatants long after the end of the war.
; Resch 1999 ; Schafer 2007 ; Sprenkels 2018 ; Wiegink 2015 ). Material benefits, either in the form of pensions or reintegrationprograms, also form part of larger questions of recognition. And thus, the value of such policies is not only material, but most often also symbolic. As a result, debates over these policies shape the meaning of the state as well as the peace.
The role played by the state for returning combatants has historically been caught up in issues surrounding recognition and sacrifice. The idea of sacrifice
support in substantial ways to other parts of the network.
These informal networks play an important role in the lives of the former combatants across all three groups; they provide friendship, social support, financial support, work opportunities, and navigation of veteran benefits and reintegrationprograms, as well as engendering a form of dependency through the patronage offered. The type of support and patronage offered by the network touches a number of different areas of their lives, and ultimately results in the individual former combatant
Others initially believed the reintegrationprograms offered to them would help them in making a living for themselves. Estella started a small business in Bogotá as part of the reintegrationprogram, but it failed and she put herself, her family, and others in debt, and had trouble supporting herself and her daughter:
In a personal sense, it was the toughest financial moment for me … I felt that the charge was on us, being responsible … It was a really critical situation in my personal life, and with
, or hide them. Indeed, such differences and cleavages within the group of former combatants also need scholarly attention, and have in fact been given a lot; for instance, several studies have shown the differentiated effects on trust and satisfaction with reintegrationprograms (see e.g. Nussio and Oppenheim 2014 ; Oppenheim and Söderström 2018 ; see also Kriger 2003 , p. 32).
Life after war clearly entails a diversity of experiences. The task at hand in this book, however, is to bring out the shared experiences across these divides when they
This book explores the evolving African security paradigm in light of the multitude of diverse threats facing the continent and the international community today and in the decades ahead. It challenges current thinking and traditional security constructs as woefully inadequate to meet the real security concerns and needs of African governments in a globalized world. The continent has becoming increasingly integrated into an international security architecture, whereby Africans are just as vulnerable to threats emanating from outside the continent as they are from home-grown ones. Thus, Africa and what happens there, matters more than ever. Through an in-depth examination and analysis of the continent’s most pressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges—from failing states and identity and resource conflict to terrorism, health, and the environment—it provides a solid intellectual foundation, as well as practical examples of the complexities of the modern African security environment. Not only does it assess current progress at the local, regional, and international level in meeting these challenges, it also explores new strategies and tools for more effectively engaging Africans and the global community through the human security approach.
of youth combatants in Liberia’, (Sussex: Sussex Center
for Migration Studies Working Paper 29, 2006).
9 Independent Monitoring Commission, Twenty-Sixth and Final Report, p. 13.
10 C. Buchanan and J. Chavez, Negotiating Disarmament: Guns and Violence in the El
Salvador Peace Negotiations (Geneva: Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, 2008).
11 J. Morgenstein, Consolidating Disarmament Lessons from Colombia’s ReintegrationProgram for Demobilized Paramilitaries (Washington, DC: United States Institute of
12 The Agreement Reached in the Multi
Overview of conflict and assistance from 2001 to 2014
Eric James and Tim Jacoby
ReintegrationProgram was introduced in the hope of reducing
insecurity ( Zyck 2012 , FCO 2010 ). It aimed to
reintegrate “former” Taliban fighters, increase the
local rule of law and strengthen Afghan security forces ( UN 2013 ). By 2011, 1,948
fighters had received assistance for their
“reintegration” but 90 per cent of these
were in the north and west rather than in more insecure
these former soldiers create an agricultural co-op in a region once dominated
by the illicit diamond trade (USAID Sierra Leone, 2004b).
Of course, all of the above security reforms are dependent on a functioning judiciary. A legal system which can effectively investigate and prosecute
those believed to be involved in illicit activity, smuggling, tax evasion, money
laundering or peace spoiling, is required for any such reforms to be effective.
Transformation of war economies also requires effective security and judicial
institutions at the
For others, it was more the sense of a broken pact – broken by the state, by their leaders, by society when the war was over – which caused disappointment and subsequent disillusionment with politics. This broken pact was related to the feeling of being abandoned when they came home, for instance due to insufficient attention in reintegrationprograms, or a sense that they had failed to achieve the aims set out during the war. The blame for this