My post-doctoral research proposal, entitled The International Rebel Integration Toolkit Revisited: What Approaches Work for the Successful and Sustainable Incorporation of Former Rebel Groups after Civil War?, aims to compare the contents and combinations of three different – though not mutually exclusive – approaches to the integration of rebel groups in societies emerging from conflict: civilian (through Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration), military (as reflected in the incorporation of former combatants into the national army through the broader objective of Security Sector Reform) as well as political integration (as illustrated in the inclusion of rebel groups in interim governments, political power-sharing agreements or rebel-to-party transformations). Civilian, military and political integration provisions have become an integral part of what has commonly become referred to as the liberal peacebuilding paradigm, an approach rooted in the conviction that the promotion of specific peace accord measures coupled with democratization provides the most effective way to pacify conflict-torn societies. And while many UN peacekeeping missions are mandated to assist countries emerging from conflict in the implementation of these provisions, which provide strategic incentives to former armed groups against returning to armed struggle, the overall evidence is mixed when it comes to evaluating their success. What shapes the content and combination of civilian, military and political integration provisions in peace accords? What combinations have resulted in lasting peace and why? How do local and international actors view these various measures? How do they attempt to strategically use them to seek leverage? What are the consequences of these strategies for sustainable peace? The project will adopt a mixed-method approach combining quantitative and qualitative research methods to address these questions.
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