Reintegration processes of former gang members and former combatants

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för samhällsstudier (SS)

Abstract: In a world where conflict is common, effective programs for reintegration of the combatants must exist for the post conflict societies. There is also a growing presence not only of gangs, but also of reintegration programs for those that chose to leave said gangs. To find what parts of those processes are alike and what parts are different is the objective of this thesis. For the former combatants, the thesis focuses on those of the former rebel group, meaning the illegally armed group. The reasons for comparing the two processes are that they outwardly look quite similar in the sense that the both deal with reintegration of formerly armed groups. Both groups have also been involved in some sort of violent action, and they are both being reintegrated into a society that they are not actively full members of. The research is carried out through a desk study using the method of a qualitative research through and abductive approach. The theoretical framework that is used is the inclusion-exclusion framework from the security-development nexus. This is also combined with the use of an analytical framework which was created using three different parts of full reintegration, namely social, political and economical reintegration. Through the usage of the case study of El Salvador, the thesis found that there were both similarities and differences between the two types of reintegration, however, the differences far outweighed the similarities. The thesis also found that while the two processes may be alike from an outside perspective, they are dealing with people of quite different needs. However, some potential can be seen for changes in both processes in order to improve their efficiency, though more research is needed.

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