Table of Contents

Elgar Handbook of Civil War and Fragile States

Elgar Handbook of Civil War and Fragile States

Elgar original reference

Edited by Graham K. Brown and Arnim Langer

The Elgar Handbook of Civil War and Fragile States brings together contributions from a multidisciplinary group of internationally renowned scholars on such important issues as the causes of violent conflicts and state fragility, the challenges of conflict resolution and mediation, and the obstacles to post-conflict reconstruction and durable peace-building.

Chapter 19: Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration

Robert Muggah

Subjects: development studies, development studies, politics and public policy, international politics, international relations, terrorism and security


More than 60 disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) initiatives have taken place around the world since the early 1990s. Most of these were launched in the wake of violent international and civil conflicts and conceived following the defeat of one of the parties or as part of a peacesupport operation. Whether mandated by a peace agreement, a UN Security Council resolution, or unilaterally by a government, each DDR operation has featured unique characteristics and particularities. Notwithstanding their distinctive origins and bureaucratic manifestations, the shape and direction of DDR evolved in parallel with wider shifts in peacekeeping doctrine and the discourse on security and development. Specifically, peacesupport operations expanded from a comparatively limited (minimalist) focus on peacekeeping designed to maintain stability between demarcated parties and on the basis of a negotiated ceasefire to include more multidimensional (maximalist) mandates and integrated approaches, with explicit military, policing, rule of law and social welfare objectives. Since the early 1990s, DDR interventions have shifted from a relatively narrow preoccupation with ex-combatants (‘spoilers’) and reductions in national military expenditure (‘peace dividend’) to a concerted emphasis on consolidating peace and promoting reconstruction and development. Geographically, the vast majority of these have taken place in Africa, though many have also been administered in Latin America and the Caribbean, Southeastern Europe, Central and South Asia and the South Pacific. Temporally and institutionally, DDR programmes are getting longer, drawing on an ever larger caseload of combatants and (vulnerable) dependants and becoming more expensive.

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