Dyck

Chris Dyck is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts, department of Political Science.

Rearmament, Remobilization and Disintegration? Assessing Belonging and Reintegration in Post-Conflict Studies: The Case of Sierra Leone (2001-) and Liberia (2003-)

My doctoral project, Rearmament, Remobilization and Disintegration? Assessing Belonging and Reintegration in Post-Conflict Studies: The Case of Sierra Leone (2001-) and Liberia (2003-), increases our understanding of the approaches and impacts of international peacebuilding in post-war societies. The objectives of the project is to evaluate the effects of liberal peace during reintegration efforts in Sierra LEone and Liberia by assessing how former youth combatants negotiate their place and belonging in a transitioning post-war society. The questions I examined are: What kinds of opportunities were available to ex-combatants and what were the multidimensional challenges they faced in gaining acceptance to belong in a new societal context? My study contributes to a greater understanding of what 'belonging' and 'place' means in a transitioning post-war society from the point of view of ex-combatants. The study draws on interdisciplinary approaches in social sciences, eight months of fieldwork in Liberia and Sierra Leone, which included semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with youth ex-combatants, rebel commanders, local leaders, and military and political experts.

keywords: post-conflict peacebuilding, youth, negotiating belonging and reintegration in post-war societies, war-to-peace transitions, youth ex-combatants, security sector reform, demilitarization, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), post-war military and civilian reintegration