The PRSG offers think tanks, government entities, regional organizations, bi-laterals and universities an opportunity to engage in the most cutting edge policy research, programmatic repossess and operational imperatives associated with Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration globally.

Course Overview:

Reintegrating former fighters in the aftermath of conflict is as old as war itself. Tens of thousands of soldiers were voluntarily DDR(ed) during the Roman-Etruscan wars in the 3rd century BC and virtually every conflict since. In fact, no fewer than 60 DDR initiatives have taken place globally since the UN and major bi-lateral engagement the late 1980s. While most were launched in the wake of international or civil wars as part of an internationally mandated peace support operation, shifting conflict dynamics and emergent caseloads over the last decade continue to alter the landscape in which DDR operations are implemented. Whether occurring in a humanitarian crisis, as an outcome of a peace accord or during active conflict, DDR and countering violent extremism (CVE) represents a voluntary civilian led non-violent policy option for peacebuilding and human security for the international community.

Often applied in a post conflict environment, the global caseload in 2013 for peacekeeping contexts alone was estimated at approximately 400,000 DDR-CVE candidates with peacekeeping and non-peacekeeping settings approximating more than 20 planned or ongoing operations. Presently, DDR-CVE targets persons in combatant and non-combatant roles from statutory armies and non-state armed groups. It is not uncommon fro address security sector reform (SSR) and transformation efforts aimed at downsizing and legitimizing armed forces under civilian control. In doing so DDR-CVE is a unique policy tool that enhances the resilience of local, national and regional actors, by addressing various peace consolidation issues spanning the civilian and security sectors.

The course offerings utilize illustrative global case studies to examine 3 distinct and clearly identifiable ‘generations’ of DDR since the late 1980s. Tracking the evolution of DDR in contemporary peace operations, the course will demonstrate the critical role DDR continues to play in peacebuilding and recovery settings as diverse as the Balkans and Philippines where DDR is used to facilitate the ‘normalization of relations’, to the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, South America and the Middle East where DDR addresses mercenaries and terrorism in CVE initiatives. DDR’s role in stabilization efforts in the Ukraine, Afghanistan and the Sudan will be juxtaposed with political stability and development issues in Central America and Southern Africa where gang violence and veteran’s concerns are related to reintegration outcomes.

The first generation of DDR occurred in the wake of the Cold War.   Typified by verifiable caseloads under unified command and control, these occurred regionally in Latin America and Southern Africa. In the mid-2000s a 2nd Generation policy approach emerged in response to the perception by the international community that DDR, and reintegration specifically, was not achieving intended development aims. This led to a broad range of initiatives targeting communities as a means to facilitate enabling conditions for DDR. Presently, DDR is undergoing a 3rd shift. The monetization of DDR is creating a cottage industry for former fighters traveling across international borders rejoining armed groups as mercenaries. At the same time peace operations are receiving DDR mandates in areas where conflict is ongoing and insurgent groups slated for DDR-CVE are associated with ‘terrorist’ organizations complicating the legal and political environment. This is facilitating conditions for “Political Reintegration” to take renewed salience as armed groups increasingly transform into political parties.

Analytically, the course will examine the utility of DDR, its limitations and expectations as a panacea in post-conflict settings. Using the ‘3 Generations’ framework, each generation will be examined distinctly. In doing so, students will critically examine concepts and definitional issues enshrined in DDR and its global policy guidance. An interrogation of crosscutting issues, and detailed accounting of ‘reintegration’ with and without DDR will help students unpack, and reshape, the DDR ‘toolkit’.

Course Scope & Objectives:

The field of study comprising human security and peacebuilding holds considerable breadth and scope for academics, practitioners and policy makers. While DDR-CVE can be viewed as an area of practice, a policy option and growing area of scholarship, DDR is often misinterpreted as a military focused “operation” targeting a narrow sub-set of stakeholders, namely ex-combatants. Expanding upon the narrow parameters for understanding CVE, this course explores the DDR- CVE Nexus as a mechanism to achieve non-violent peacebuilding aims and enhance post conflict recovery within the context of peace operations. In an era where conflict dynamics are rapidly shifting, and emerging caseloads of persons slated to undergo DDR-CVE do not fit traditional policy paradigms, DDR efficacy is increasingly called into question.

The course content on DDR-CVE in Contemporary Peace Operations will unpack global policy trends and debates in the context of contemporary conflict dynamics utilizing illustrative cases examining the effectiveness and approaches in conflict and post conflict settings. Specific attention will be given to reintegration as a contributor to individual and community agency, peacebuilding and stabilization.

The course has three (3) principal learning outcomes and three (3) targeted objectives related to these outcomes. Specifically:

  • Identify DDR and CVE as a crucial policy and programmatic instrument, and articulate how reintegration affect long-term development needs of a war torn society.
  • Analyze the constituent components of a DDR-CVE program, knowing when these are appropriate political, policy or programmatic tool in post conflict peacebuilding and stabilization and why.
  • Determine whether peacebuilding expectations of a DDR mandate or program can be met within a given post conflict settings in past and present cases, as well as those being formulated.
  • Students will understand the role of DDR-CVE in modern peace operations with an emphasis on UN and major bi-lateral engagement since the late 1980s. In doing so, students will clearly know, and be able to distinguish the ‘3 Generations of DDR’.
  • Students will be acquainted with the terms, concepts and definitions of ‘DDR’, as well as have an understanding of its key operational and programmatic elements, tools and ancillary programs facilitating DDR-CVE. In doing so, students will understand the complexities of CVE.
  • Students will be familiar with the various crosscutting issues addressed in a DDR-CVE program with a particular emphasis on the role of reintegration in CVE and peacebuilding. In doing so students will have contemporary knowledge of global DDR-CVE policy and approaches.

For further information on offerings in this area please directly contact PRSG’s Directing Manager

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