From Afghanistan and Sierra Leone to East Timor, the aftermath of any armed conflict presents a complex set of challenges. Whatever political agreements may have been reached, conflicts are often at risk of reigniting, and the fates of their former participants remain uncertain. Armed groups may not be easily dissuaded from pursuing belligerent activities which they see as both profitable and understandable behaviour. In the face of these difficulties, the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) attempts to convince combatants to relinquish their weapons and return to civilian life. It is a crucial first step towards lasting peace.
Demobilizing Militias is the first comprehensive introduction to DDR in the contemporary world. Examining regions as varied as Africa, Asia and Central America, it guides readers through the different stages of the DDR process as well as assessing competing perspectives surrounding its implementation. Attentive to the problems faced by practitioners, Eric Shibuya argues against a 'one size fits all' approach, emphasizing the importance of social and psychological contexts in fostering the trust that is necessary for DDR to succeed. Accessible and incisive, it will be an ideal resource for students of politics, security and conflict studies, as well as anyone interested in the dynamics of peacebuilding today.
Keywords: Disarmament, militias, security studies, peacekeeping, politics