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African Democracy and Development: Challenges for Post-Conflict African Nations


Veney, Cassandra Rachel, and Dick W. Simpson, ed. 2013. African Democracy and Development: Challenges for Post-Conflict African Nations. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Authors: Cassandra Veney, Dick Simpson


Various African nations have undergone conflict situations since they gained their independence. This book focuses on particular countries that have faced conflict (civil wars and genocide) and are now in the process of rebuilding their political, economic, social, and educational institutions. The countries that are addressed in the book include: Rwanda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, there is a chapter that addresses the role of the African Diaspora in conflict and post-conflict countries that include Eritrea, Liberia, and Somalia. The book includes an examination of the various actors who are involved in post-conflict rebuilding and reconstruction that involves internal and external participants. For example, it is clear that the internal actors involve Africans themselves as ordinary citizens, members of local and national governments, and members of non-governmental organizations. This allows the reader to understand the agency and empowerment of Africans in post-conflict reconstruction. Various institutions are addressed within the context of the roles they play in establishing governance organizations such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone, the African Union, chiefs in Liberia, and non-governmental organizations. Furthermore, the external actors who are involved in post-conflict reconstruction are examined such as international non-governmental organizations and the African Diaspora. They both have their own constituents and agendas and can and do play a positive and negative role in post-conflict reconstruction. It is obvious that countries that are addressed in the book are in dire need of financial assistant to rebuild much needed infrastructure that was destroyed during the conflict. All of the countries covered in the book need schools, medical facilities, roads, bridges, airports, ports, and the government does not have the money to provide these. This is where the international non-governmental organizations and the African Diaspora play an important role. The chapters that address these issues are cognizant of their importance and at the same time, the authors realize that sovereignty can be undermined if Africans are not in the forefront of policy and decision making that will determine their future. There are chapters that provide a gendered analysis of post-conflict when it is appropriate. For example, it is clear that women, men, boys, and girls experienced conflict in different ways because of their gender. They all participated in the conflict in various ways. Consequently, the efforts at peace building are given a gendered analysis in terms of what has happened to women and girls in the demobilization and rehabilitation period including an excellent analysis of land reform in Rwanda and how that affects women and members of a certain ethnic group that are often overlooked in the examination of the 1994 genocide. In sum, this book provides a very good contribution to the literature on conflict and post-conflict African countries because of its depth and the vast topics it embraces. It provides an analysis of the internal and external actors, the role of gender in post-conflict decision making, and it provides the voices of ordinary Africans who were affected by the conflict, and who are determined to live productive lives. (Summary from Google Books)
Table of Contents:
Introduction / Cassandra R. Veney --
No justice, no peace : the elusive search for justice and reconciliation in Sierra Leone / Sylvia Macauley --
The role of ex-combatants in Mozambique / Jessica Schafer --
Memory controversies in post-genocide Rwanda : implications for peacebuilding / Elisabeth King --
Land reform, social justice, and reconstruction : challenges for post-genocide Rwanda / Helen Hintjens --
Elections as a stress test of democratization in societies : a comparison of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo / John Yoder --
Partners or adversaries? : NGOs and the state in postwar Sierra Leone / Fredline A.O. M'Cormack-Hale --
Chieftancy and reconstruction in Sierra Leone / Arthur Abraham --
The role of African diasporas in reconstruction / Paul Tiyambe Zeleza --
The role of the African Union in reconstruction in Africa / Thomas Kwasi Tieku --
Governance challenges in Sierra Leone / Osman Gbla --
Challenges of governance reform in Liberia / Amos Sawyer --
Achieving development and democracy / Dick Simpson


Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Analysis, Genocide, Governance, Infrastructure, Transportation, International Organizations, Justice, NGOs, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia

Year: 2013

De Mujer Combatiente a Mujer Constructora de Paz. Inclusión de la Voz Feminina en el Escenario del Posacuerdo


Díaz, Omar Huertas, Angie Lorena Ruiz Herrera, y Nancy Judith Botía Hernández. 2018. “De Mujer Combatiente a Mujer Constructora de Paz. Inclusión de la Voz Feminina en el Escenario del Posacuerdo.” Revista Ratio Juris UNAULA 12 (25): 43-67.

Authors: Omar Huertas Díaz, Angie Lorena Ruiz Herrera, Nancy Judith Botía Hernández


Los acuerdos de paz alcanzados por el gobierno nacional y las FARC-EP demandan el apoyo de los diferentes sectores de la población colombiana, para la construcción de la tan anhelada paz estable y duradera. Por lo anterior, la presente investigación tiene como objetivo vislumbrar la participación de la mujer excombatiente en los escenarios de paz, así como la necesidad de su articulación luego de los acuerdos colombianos. Para esto, se realizará una aproximación a las voces de algunas mujeres excombatientes de diferentes grupos armados ilegales que se encuentran en los programas de Desarme, Desmovilización y Reintegración (DDR) de la anterior Agencia Colombiana para la Reintegración (ACR), ahora Agencia de Reincorporación y Normalización (ARN); igualmente, se conocerán algunos de los procesos de paz desarrollados en otras naciones, para entender cómo la mujer excombatiente ha participado en los procesos de construcción de paz, encontrando que a nivel internacional ha sido poca la articulación de las mujeres excombatientes y que en Colombia se hacen esfuerzos por la articulación de las mujeres en general, abriendo las puertas para la participación política de todas, independientemente de sus ideales políticos, pues son valiosos los aportes que pueden representar en el escenario del posacuerdo.” 
The peace agreements between national government and the farc-ep demanding the support of different sectors of Colombian people for the building of desired stable and lasting peace. Therefore, the recent research has us objective to show the participation of the former combatant woman on the peace fields and the need of her articulation after Colombian agreements. For this, we are going to realize one approximation to the voices of some of the former combatant women from different illegal armed groups, who are in the programs of the Colombian Agency for Reintegration (ACR), now Reorganization and Standardization Agency (ARN). We are going to know some the peace process development in other countries also, so we can know how the former combatant woman has participated in the processes of peace building. We found that in international level, their articulation has been little compared with Colombian case, where efforts are made for the articulation of the general women, opening doors for the political participation of all the women in independency of political ideas, well are found valuable the contributions that they can to represent on the stage of post agreement.

Keywords: acuerdos de paz, Mujeres, mujeres ex-combatientes, posacuerdo, posconflicto, paz, peace agreement, women, former combatant women, post agreement, postconflict, peace

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Non-state Armed Groups, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Peace Processes Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2018

Genderization and Links with Illegal Armed Groups in Colombia


Onofre, Darío Reynaldo Muñoz. 2014. "Genderization and Links with Illegal Armed Groups in Colombia." In Psychosocial Approaches to Peace-Building in Colombia, edited by Stella Sacipa-Rodriguez and Maritza Montero, 121-36. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Author: Darîo Reynaldo Muñoz


This chapter presents qualitative research results on the relationship between gender socialization (genderization) and the joining of illegal armed groups in Colombia, through narratives of 21 male and 13 female ex-combatant guerrillas and paramilitaries, obtained through focus groups, in-depth interviews, and field diaries. The analytical perspective includes: constructionist social psychology, the theory of gender performativity and perspectives from technologies of the self. The results show how certain gender patterns normalized during infancy socialization have a bearing on the future possibility of joining armed groups. They also show how participation in these groups strengthens belligerent subjectivities. The conclusions suggest psychosocial keys for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration processes, from an ethical–political perspective which combines gender and cultures of peace.

Keywords: gender patterns, gender socialization, guerrillas, para-military troops, demobilization, disarmament, reintegration, children, ethical-political perspective

Topics: Combatants, DDR, Gender, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Paramilitaries, Non-state Armed Groups, Peacebuilding Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2014

Leaving War and the Closet? Exploring the Varied Experiences of LGBT Ex-Combatants in Colombia


Thylin, Theresia. 2018. “Leaving War and the Closet? Exploring the Varied Experiences of LGBT Ex-Combatants in Colombia.” Kvinder, Køn & Forskning 27 (2-3): 97-109.

Author: Theresia Thylin


Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programmes have been acknowledged as a crucial part of peacebuilding initiatives and the importance of ensuring that they are gender responsive has been increasingly recognized by the international community. However, policy guidance has failed to include ex-combatants who do not conform to a narrow, binary understanding of gender and make no reference to sexual and gender minorities. Similarly, LGBT excombatants have been overlooked by scholars and very little is known of their experiences as they transition to civilian life. This article explores the varied experiences of LGBT ex-combatants who have been part of three different armed groups in Colombia. Using semi-structured interviews with ex-combatants from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the 19th of April Movement (M-19) and the United Self-Defenders of Colombia (AUC), this article shows how DDR processes may generate significant and rapid transformations for sexual and gender minorities. The article also outlines particular challenges faced by LGBT ex-combatants. In conclusion, I argue that policy makers and researchers should incorporate a gender perspective in DDR that moves beyond a narrow, binary understanding of gender in order to respond to the needs, ensure the participation, and protect the rights of LGBT ex-combatants.

Keywords: LGBT, ex-combatants, Colombia, DDR, reintegration

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, DDR, Gender, LGBTQ, Peacebuilding Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2018

Women and Peace-Building in Iraq


Khodary, Yasmin M. 2016. "Women and Peace-Building in Iraq." Peace Review 28, (4): 499-507.

Author: Yasmin M. Khodary


This article reviews the literature on women and peace-building, at large, which then moves to illustrating women's roles and initiatives in peace-building in Iraq in particular. In doing so, the author employs a qualitative methodology that combines review of literature and documents with in-depth interviews with four activists and members of Iraqi women civil-society organizations. Based on the literature review and the interviews, the essay draws on a set of lessons learned to strengthen peace-building knowledge and actions.

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict, Gender, Women, International Organizations, Peacebuilding Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2016

Legacies of Violence and the Unfinished Past: Women in Post-Demobilization Colombia and Guatemala


Tarnaala, Elisa. 2019. “Legacies of Violence and the Unfinished Past: Women in Post-Demobilization Colombia and Guatemala.” Peacebuilding 7 (1): 103–17.

Author: Elisa Tarnaala


This article examines the historically grounded social acceptance of impunity and the role of unwanted actors in peace and transitional processes. The article argues from a post-demobilization violence perspective that counter-democratic developments, which have historical and global roots, condition peacebuilding and impose important limits on the deepening of inclusion. In Colombia and Guatemala, internationally backed peacebuilding activities occurred in the same regions where the local authorities continued their partnership with criminal and authoritarian actors. Thus, parallel to the shift towards greater political and economic stability at the national level, attacks against human rights activists and environmental activists, intra-community violence, violence against women, prostitution and the trafficking of girls continued at the local level and in some areas increased.

Keywords: Colombia, Guatemala, demobilization, women, violence, historical legacies

Topics: DDR, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Justice, Impunity, Transitional Justice, Peacebuilding, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Colombia, Guatemala

Year: 2019

Withdrawing from Politics? Gender, Agency and Women Ex-Fighters in Nepal


Ketola, Hanna. 2020. “Withdrawing from Politics? Gender, Agency and Women Ex-Fighters in Nepal.” Security Dialogue, doi: 10.1177:0967010620906322.

Author: Hanna Ketola


Conceptualizations of post-conflict agency have been widely debated in feminist security studies and critical international relations studies. This article distinguishes between three feminist approaches to post-conflict agency: narrative of return, representations of agency and local agency. It argues that all these approaches in distinct ways emphasize a modality of agency as resistance. To offer a more encompassing account of post-conflict agency the article engages Saba Mahmood’s (2012) critique of the modality of agency in feminist theory and her decoupling of agency from resistance. The article explores experiences of women who fought in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Nepal. It focuses on ‘withdrawing from politics’, a dynamic whereby women ex-fighters move away from party activities and the public sphere, and rearticulates this withdrawing as a location of political agency. The article argues that being an ‘ex-PLA’ emerges as a form of subjectivity that is crafted through experiencing war and encountering peacebuilding, enabling a production of heterogeneous modalities of agency in the post-conflict context. By examining these modalities, the article challenges us to rethink post-conflict agency beyond the capacity to subvert regulatory gender norms and/or discourses of liberal peace.

Keywords: agency, conflict, gender, peacebuilding

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2020

The Masculine Logic of DDR and SSR in the Rwanda Defence Force


Duriesmith, David, and Georgina Holmes. 2019. “The Masculine Logic of DDR and SSR in the Rwanda Defence Force.” Security Dialogue 50 (4): 361–79.

Authors: David Duriesmith, Georgina Holmes


Since the 1994 genocide and civil war, the Rwandan government has implemented an externally funded disarmament, demobilization and reintegration/security sector reform (DDR/SSR) programme culminating in the consolidation of armed groups into a new, professionalized Rwanda Defence Force. Feminists argue that DDR/SSR initiatives that exclude combatant women and girls or ignore gendered security needs fail to transform the political conditions that led to conflict. Less attention has been paid to how gendered relations of power play out through gender-sensitive DDR and SSR initiatives that seek to integrate women and transform hyper-masculine militarized masculinities. This article investigates how Rwanda’s DDR/SSR programme is governed by an oppressive masculine logic. Drawing on critical studies on men and masculinities and feminist work on peacebuilding, myths and the politics of belonging, it argues that Rwanda’s locally owned DDR/SSR programme places the military and militarization at the centre of the country’s nation-building programme. Through various ‘boundary-construction’ practices, the Rwandan government attempts to stabilize the post-1994 gender order and entrench the hegemony of a new militarized masculinity in Rwandan society. The case study draws on field research conducted in 2014 and 2015 and a discourse analysis of historical accounts, policy documents and training materials of the Rwanda Defence Force.

Keywords: DDR, gender, militarization, peacebuilding, Rwanda, SSR

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Genocide, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Security Sector Reform Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2019

'What Is Wrong with Men?’: Revisiting Violence against Women in Conflict and Peacebuilding


Pankhurst, Donna. 2016. “‘What Is Wrong with Men?’: Revisiting Violence against Women in Conflict and Peacebuilding.” Peacebuilding 4 (2): 180–93.

Author: Donna Pankhurst


Much has been written about the high rates of rape and other forms of violence against ‘enemy’ women in wartime and sustained violence against women in post-war contexts. Research on violence against women, recognised as a problem for peace and development and even a threat to international security, has begun to identify and explain contrasts between different locations. The explanations focus on men, their behaviour and ‘masculinities’, some of which, and even some military codes, may even proscribe such violence. By contrast, research on the mental health of male former combatants, and possibly other male survivors of war trauma, suggests that there is a strong risk of them perpetrating violence specifically against women, even in cases where the highest standard of veteran care is expected, but without much explanation. This article considers what potential there is in this topic for lessons in peacebuilding policy and identifies areas for future research.

Keywords: sexual violence, gender, war, peacebuilding, masculinity, men, ex-combatants, veterans, soldiers

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Mental Health, Peacebuilding, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women

Year: 2016

Light, Heat and Shadows: Women’s Reflections on Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Bougainville


George, Nicole. 2016. “Light, Heat and Shadows: Women’s Reflections on Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Bougainville.” Peacebuilding 4 (2): 166–79.

Author: Nicole George


In this paper, I examine women’s reflections on their experiences as peacebuilders during Bougainville’s long years of conflict and the later period of conflict transition. I discuss the varying ways in which women, in this predominantly matrilineal society, recounted their contributions to conflict resolution as part of broader efforts to build peace. My interlocutors told stories of the distinctiveness of women’s peace leadership, interwoven with references to global policy frameworks such as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. This appears, at first glance, to evidence a positive story of global and local influences coming together to produce positive peacebuilding outcomes charged by ‘light and heat’, as theorised by Annika Björkdahl and Kristine Höglund. I show this story to also be one of shadows, however, arguing that deeper scrutiny of these perspectives on women’s peace leadership suggest they also mask difficult and more complex local realities.

Keywords: gender, peacebuilding, hybridity, friction, Bougainville, UNSCR 1325

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Oceania Countries: Papua New Guinea

Year: 2016


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