The Political Economy of DDR in Liberia: A Gendered Critique


Jennings, Kathleen M. 2009. “The Political Economy of DDR in Liberia: A Gendered Critique.” Conflict, Security & Development 9 (4): 475-94. 

Author: Kathleen M. Jennings


This paper examines the reintegration component of the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme in Liberia from a critical gendered perspective. Building on previous arguments pertaining to the securitisation of reintegration in Liberia, the paper considers the highly gendered impetus and impact of both the reintegration project and the securitising act. I argue that Liberian DDR was devised and justified according to assumptions that are default male, thus causing the programme to overlook women except as passive victims of conflict, or as add-ons secondary to the ‘real’ purpose of reintegration. Accordingly, the programme both naturalised specific gendered binaries and favoured moves that would buttress and extend them, for example, by problematizing male unemployment and privileging male entry into the formal economy. The paper first explains the securitisation of reintegration in Liberia, before turning to a gendered critique focusing on the political symbolic and political economic impacts of said reintegration.


Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Security Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2009

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