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Söderström, Johanna

Söderström, Johanna

EURIAS Fellow

Ex-Combatants and Veterans Coming Home

Research Question

How is the life of the returning former combatant infused with politics, as seen from a global perspective? This book provides a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities that arise as ex-combatants and veterans come home, and in particular it sheds light on how the former combatant identity shapes ongoing political involvement long after the war has ended.

Project Description

The returning veteran is often celebrated yet tragic life stories infuse our ideas of who the veteran is. In contrast, the idea of the ex-combatant as a threat and a-political, infuse our ideas of combatants returning home after war in the Global South. This project brings together so called veteran experiences (Global North) with ex-combatant experiences (Global South) in one single study. Based on life history interviews with former combatants from Colombia, the USA and Namibia it depicts the process of coming home after war. In particular, it focuses on the paths of long-term political mobilization after disarmament, in relation to various social movements, and brings out similarities in the challenges and opportunities for political mobilization for former combatants after disarmament as a global phenomenon.

Selected Publications

Söderström, Johanna. 2016. “The Resilient, the Remobilized and the Removed: Party Mobilization among Former M19 Combatants.” Civil Wars 18(2): 214-233.

Oppenheim, Ben, and Johanna Söderström. 2017. “Citizens by Design? Explaining Ex-Combatant Satisfaction with Reintegration Programming” Journal of Development Studies.

Söderström, Johanna. 2015. Peacebuilding and Ex-Combatants: Political Reintegration in Liberia. London & New York: Routledge.

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