Book Launch on Reintegrating Ex-Combatants

The Irish Ambassador to to Sierra Leone and Liberia, Dr Sinead Walsh, has launched book on reintegrating ex-combatants by the the IICRR’s associate director, Dr Walt Kilroy, The volume is called Reintegration of Ex-Combatants After Conflict: Participatory Approaches in Sierra Leone and Liberia and is published by Palgrave (2015). The event took place in Books Upstairs in Dublin city centre on 26th May.

CoverClick on “browse inside” link to see more. It is available at a 30% discount on the retail price until the end of June – for details, email [email protected]

Abstract

Reintegration programmes for ex-combatants are supposed to support the wider peace process. This study looks at the way they were carried out in Sierra Leone and Liberia and assesses the degree to which they were conducted in a participatory way. To a large extent, ex-combatants felt that they had received unreliable information and had been afforded little input in the process. Others, whose experience had been more participatory, were faring better in terms of work, economic situation and community relations.

Reintegration of Ex-Combatants After Conflict is based on detailed interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, and on a survey and focus group discussions with ex-combatants. Their views are quoted extensively, along with quantitative data. Important implications for the effect of reintegration programmes on the wider peacebuilding project are explored. Social capital, which affects the peace process, is also highlighted, as the extent to which this can be created or undermined depends on the way the programmes were conducted.

Reviews

“Walt Kilroy has made an important contribution to our knowledge of how societies emerge from war and how international peace-support interventions often have unanticipated outcomes. By focusing on Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration in Sierra Leone and Liberia he is able to show the everyday dilemmas faced by people on the ground. Based on very extensive fieldwork, this is an especially humane piece of work: accessible, empathetic and full of insights that only a deep immersion in context can bring.”

– Prof Roger Mac Ginty, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester

“This book should become the standard text on DDR in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Its approach to ideas around local ownership also has wider repercussions and is of relevance to all DDR programmes. It should be read by academics researching DDR and combatants, and by donors involved in demobilising armed groups, who frequently do not consider the ways in which combatants could take ownership of their own pathways from combatants to peaceful citizens.”

– Prof Paul Jackson, University of Birmingham

“A superb and clear-eyed view of a huge task: how to rehabilitate both people and the land after debilitating conflict. Peacebuilding is hard, and Walt Kilroy shows what can be achieved with participatory approaches that respect and involve people in creating new futures.”

– Prof Jules Pretty, University of Essex

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