Anti-Social Capital in Former Members of Non-State Armed Groups: A Case Study of Colombia
A new article by CIC’s Ben Oppenheim, along with Enzo Nussio, analyzes the challenges of reintegrating former members of insurgent and paramilitary groups after war. While disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programming (DDR) is a key component of many post-conflict reconstruction processes, there is relatively little evidence about the longer-term trajectories of former fighters. Using survey data from Colombian former combatants, Oppenheim and Nussio find evidence of a subset of “hard cases”: combatants who have gone through more intensive indoctrination and socializing experiences within armed groups have weaker trust in both government and society, even years after they have returned to civilian life. The findings suggest that wartime experiences should be assessed as part of DDR needs assessments and program design.
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