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Title: The political economy of conflict and DDR in Meta, Colombia, and the employment life cycle of ex-combatants
Author: Petrini, Benjamin
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 9257
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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The research explores the transition from war to peace in the Colombian region of Meta, through the parallel analysis of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process, and of the individual combatants' path from recruitment to reintegration. The overall research goal is to account for the multifaceted nature of DDR within the transition from war to peace and to untangle DDR implications both in the short term for the life of excombatants and in the long term with regard to the implications for state formation and peacebuilding processes. The thesis is the product of complementing research components with intertwined levels of analysis. Conceptually, the research proposes a critical read of the DDR role in war to peace transition contexts. It advances an alternative understanding of war to peace transition and of DDR based on political economy factors to explain the complexity of war mobilization and demobilization. Secondly, through a case study, the research analyses the contemporary DDR processes in Meta in the 2000s, which include the collective demobilization of the paramilitary federation of the AUC and the individual DDR program that targeted the left-wing rebel groups of the FARC and of the ELN. The DDR analysis is complemented by an in-depth historical political economy analysis of the conflict in Meta, which traces the conflict factors that explain the rise of conflictive dynamics and ensuing formation of non-state armed groups in this region. Last, an empirical analysis addresses the relationship between employment and conflict through the analysis of life cycles of ex-combatants. The research approaches individuals' decisions to mobilize for war and demobilize from war, within a framework of employmentseeking behaviour. It posits that the search for employment and livelihoods needs are a crucial driver for joining a non-state armed group and that employment is a key feature of a reintegration path.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral