New IRGR Publication – Towards a theory of ex-combatant reintegration

The IRGR is proud to announce the publication of a new paper on conceptual development towards a theory of ex-combatant reintegration by member Stina Torjesen-

This paper encourages the development of a theoretical framework for the study of the reintegration of ex-combatants after war. It takes the first steps towards this by proposing a new definition of reintegration, where the processes ex-combatants experience, rather than the programmatic support offered by international and national agencies, take centre stage. The article links the study of reintegration to two broader disciplines; political economy and sociology, and in particular to the two disciplines’ account of power and group belonging. It argues that a political economy approach is particularly useful for making sense of the context in which reintegration processes unfold. The article also suggests some relevant research questions and highlights methodological concerns related to research on reintegration.

The full article can be found here.

New IRGR Publication – Ex-Pirates in Somalia: Processes of Engagement, Disengagement, and Reintegration

The IRGR is proud to announce the publication of a new study on the reintegration of ex-pirates in Somalia by IRGR member Ingvild Gjelsvik and colleague Tore Bjørgo.

This study addresses how and why individuals in Somalia get involved in piracy activities, and how and why some of these individuals eventually disengage from such criminal groups. Based on qualitative interviews with 16 ex-pirates and pirate associates and a number of other locals and experts, the study provides first-hand insights into some of the conditions, circumstances, and processes which may serve to discourage involvement and continued engagement in piracy. Furthermore, it analyses factors and circumstances which may encourage and facilitate disengagement from these criminal activities and reintegration into non-criminal economic activities and social relationships. The lack of employment and livelihood motivated individuals to engage in piracy. However, disappointment about the lack of expected profit, coupled with the prospect of a licit income, influenced some to end their piracy involvement. Another important factor was the strong statements by local Muslim leaders that piracy was haram (forbidden). This was often reinforced by family and community objections to their involvement in piracy. Family members also played important roles in facilitating their disengagement. The ‘Alternative Livelihood to Piracy’ project played a positive role in facilitating disengagement from piracy, working closely with local religious leaders and the communities.

The full article can be found here.