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Trust after Betrayal Research Brief Series

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Research Brief: Challenging the “Re” in Formerly Armed Actor Reintegration

Author(s): Dr Erin McFee; Jonathan Röders

Published: March 2023

This research brief challenges the assumption that formerly armed actors (FAA) “re”integrate into civilian life by highlighting that experiences following membership in armed groups can lack a sense of familiarity, reversion, or return to something that once was. Leaving armed groups often involves physical displacement from an FAA’s place of origin and, even if they can return home, the individuals themselves, their families, and their communities may have undergone substantial changes during their absence because of time passing and exposure to conflict violence. Additionally, some FAAs may have never been fully integrated into their communities to begin with, such as those who were recruited as vulnerable populations or children born into rebel captivity. In light of these considerations, the brief proposes a shift from "reintegration" to "integration" in policy initiatives while emphasising the need for whole-of-society approaches with participatory programme design and implementation and psychosocial support to all conflict-affected individuals.

To cite this research brief:
McFee, Erin, and Röders, Jonathan. 2023. “Research Brief: Challenging the “Re” in Formerly Armed Actor Reintegration”. Trust After Betrayal. 

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