The Nexus between Social Capital and Reintegration of Ex-combatants: A Case for Sierra Leone
Following the end of the cold war, the international community shifted its attention from duelling ideological warfare to the many intra-state, or internal armed conflicts occurring globally. In response, the United Nations, along with a wide array of aid agencies, have invested greater and greater time and resources in post-conflict environments. When peace is reached after conflict, economic and social conditions are not conducive for ex-combatants to reintegrate on their own. Programmes that address ex-combatants as well as broader post-conflict recovery are essential. Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration (DDR) is one such programme that has received widespread attention. Policy analysts have debated the factors that contribute to a successful DDR programme.This study examines reintegration, the final phase of DDR, arguing that in order to achieve successful reintegration of ex-combatants, a community-focused approach that generates social capital must be implemented. Using a comprehensive literature review of social capital and community-based reintegration and a thorough case study from Sierra Leone, this paper will demonstrate the relationship between social capital and reintegration.
African Journal on Conflict Resolution Vol. 8 (1) 2008: pp. 9-38