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From combatant to civilian : The social reintegration of ex-combatants in Rwanda and the implications for social capital and reconciliation

Bowd, Richard (2008) From combatant to civilian : The social reintegration of ex-combatants in Rwanda and the implications for social capital and reconciliation. PhD thesis, University of York.

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In the reconstruction of war-tom societies, the successful reintegration of combatants into the post-conflict environment is recognised to be a vital component in the peacebuilding effort. In order to achieve and sustain such reintegration Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programmes are implemented. DDR literature advocates the importance of economic reintegration due to the fact it provides a focus for ex-combatants and thus the possibility of a secure environment. However, as DDR is studied in greater detail, the limitations of such a narrow focus are becoming apparent. Moreover, the identified need for the effective social reintegration of excombatants is becoming an increasingly more salient issue; particularly when considering the reconciliation of war-affected communities. Nevertheless, whilst the importance of social reintegration may have been recognised, understanding as to the ways in which ex-combatants socially reintegrate, and the effects such reintegration may have on the reconciliation process and the general peacebuilding effort, is in its relevant infancy. This research, through fieldwork involving the life history analysis of 50 ex-combatants and 22 civilians, along with ethnographic studies of four rural communities and 26 elite interviews with policy makers/implementers, sought to investigate this hiatus within the context of Rwanda. Specifically, it examined the obstacles faced by ex-combatants in their social reintegration and the mechanisms through which ex-combatants are successful in their endeavours. It then progressed to an elaborate consideration of the effects of the successful social reintegration of ex-combatants on the reconciliation process within the peacebuilding environment. It does this by applying the c~ncept of social capital as a bridge between ex-combatant social reintegration and reconciliation. The findings from this research identify a number of significant elements that are crucial to the social reintegration of ex-combatants. Additionally, the thesis delineates the importance of such reintegration for the reconciliation and peacebuilding process and thus signifies the need for a significant reconsideration of the way in which DDR programmes are designed and implemented.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.516644
Depositing User: EThOS Import (York)
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2016 17:34
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2016 17:34
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14141

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