Transitional Subjects: The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia

  • Citation: Theidon, Kimberly. “Transitional Subjects: The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 1, no. 1 (2007): 66–90.
    • Topics:
    • Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding
    • Keywords:
    • South America
    • Colombia
    • DDR
    • ex-combatants
    • civil war

A key component of peace processes and postconflict reconstruction is the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants. DDR programs imply multiple transitions: from the combatants who lay down their weapons, to the governments that seek an end to armed conflict, to the communities that receive – or reject – these demobilized fighters. At each level, these transitions imply a complex and dynamic equation between the demands of peace and the clamor for justice. And yet, traditional approaches to DDR have focused almost exclusively on military and security objectives, which in turn has resulted in these programs being developed in relative isolation from the growing field of transitional justice and its concerns with historical clarification, justice, reparations and reconciliation. The author draws upon research in Colombia, a case of great interest because the government is attempting to implement mechanisms of reparations and reconciliation in a ‘pre-postconflict’ context, and to implement DDR on the terrain of transitional justice.

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