DescriptionFrom Afghanistan and Sierra Leone to East Timor, the aftermath of any armed conflict presents a complex set of challenges. Whatever political agreements may have been reached, conflicts are often at risk of reigniting, and the fates of their former participants remain uncertain. Armed groups may not be easily dissuaded from pursuing belligerent activities which they see as both profitable and understandable behaviour. In the face of these difficulties, the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) attempts to convince combatants to relinquish their weapons and return to civilian life. It is a crucial first step towards lasting peace.
Demobilizing Militias is the first comprehensive introduction to DDR in the contemporary world. Examining regions as varied as Africa, Asia and Central America, it guides readers through the different stages of the DDR process as well as assessing competing perspectives surrounding its implementation. Attentive to the problems faced by practitioners, Eric Shibuya argues against a 'one size fits all' approach, emphasizing the importance of social and psychological contexts in fostering the trust that is necessary for DDR to succeed. Accessible and incisive, it will be an ideal resource for students of politics, security and conflict studies, as well as anyone interested in the dynamics of peacebuilding today.
Acknowledgements page vii
1 Introduction 1
2 The History and Evolution of DDR 11
3 Disarmament: The Ephemeral Beginning 24
4 Demobilization: The Real Heart of the Matter 54
5 Reintegration: The End of the Beginning 85
6 Challenges and Conclusions 117
"An excellent primer to DDR, perhaps even the best available."
LSE Review of Books
"This book examines in fascinating detail a neglected aspect of post-conflict peacebuilding: how to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate armed groups back into civil society. Eric Shibuya makes a valuable contribution to the literature of unconventional conflict that should be the subject of discussion for years to come."
Tom Mockaitis, DePaul University
"Written in a concise, easy-to-understand manner, and illustrated with several disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) case studies that highlight the importance of social/cultural contexts and flexibility at the psychological and operational levels, Demobilizing Irregular Forces will be essential reading for students in graduate and undergraduate courses as well as in professional military schools."
Mohan Malik, Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies
"In this excellent study Eric Shibuya reminds us that for effective disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration, and for successful peacekeeping in post-conflict situations, the strategies and processes adopted by interveners must be both active and mutually reinforcing. DDR cannot be successfully undertaken without appreciation of political culture, local fighting traditions, or the identity of militants. Shibuya's findings resonate across the broad Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa, and also in the little-comprehended conflicts of the Pacific Islands; for example, in the Solomon Islands and Bougainville."
David Hegarty, Australian National University
Michael Evans, Australian Defence College
"Shibuya provides a fresh look at the DDR process; emphasising psychological and cultural underpinnings of successful DDR programmes."
Central European Journal of International and Security Studies
- This is a new edition to Polity's bestselling ‘War and Conflict in the Modern World' series, which aims to give students accessible overviews of some of the key themes and topics in peace and security studies
- DDR, the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants -is a crucial and topical issue in today's political landscape.
- The book draws on a wide range of case studies to guide readers through the stages of the DDR process.
- Will be of relevance to students taking broad courses in peacebuilding or focusing on more specific conflicts such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq