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Encouraging participatory post-war transitions

June 21, 2016

For peacebuilding processes to be sustainable, post-war security transitions must be carefully planned and participatory. These transitions often involve a reconfiguration of the entire security architecture, and include reintegrating former combatants and restructuring the military and police.

In Post-War Security Transitions: Participatory peacebuilding after asymmetric conflicts, the authors draw on the experiences of central participants in nine conflicts. Case studies developed during IDRC-supported research explore the role of non-state armed groups in security transitions in Colombia, South Africa, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Burundi, Southern Sudan, Aceh, and Nepal.

The researchers analyzed the successes and limits of peace negotiations, demobilization, and socio-economic reintegration. Ex-combatants were found not to be “spoilers” of peace or mere “passive recipients of aid,” but often peacebuilding agents and critical players in the emergent governments. And an inclusive approach — engaging all players who could either help or impede the peace process — was seen to work best.

For more information on the book, visit Routledge’s website

For a policy paper by the same authors, see From Combatants to Peacebuilders: a case for inclusive, participatory and holistic security transitions