Community Counts: The Social Reintegration of Ex-Combatants in Colombia
University of Denver - Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich
June 21, 2013
What are the determinants of the social reintegration of ex-combatants from armed conflicts? In post-conflict settings around the world there has been growing interest in and reliance upon community-based programs and activities to bring ex-combatants back into society. Implicit in these programs is the theory that the social participation of ex-combatants in the communities where they settle and their acceptance by these communities are helpful for minimizing recidivism to illegal activities and increasing perceptions of security. Participation can help ex-combatants feel socially fulfilled and acceptance by their communities can reduce their needs to maintain social connections to their former armed group networks and bosses. We evaluate individual-level, community-level, and broader security environment predictors of social reintegration using data from a survey of ex-combatants from Colombia. The results suggest that more socially and politically aware ex-combatants in more participatory communities are likely to have an easier time with social reintegration. An implication of this finding is that, to help ex-combatants, reintegration processes should also work to improve the lot of receptor communities.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: community, reintegration, DDR, social capital, Colombia, civil war
Date posted: August 30, 2012 ; Last revised: June 27, 2013
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