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Child soldiers as time bombs? Adolescents’ participation in rebel groups and the recurrence of armed conflict

Haer, R and Böhmelt, T (2015) 'Child soldiers as time bombs? Adolescents’ participation in rebel groups and the recurrence of armed conflict.' European Journal of International Relations, 22 (2). 408 - 436. ISSN 1354-0661

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Abstract

© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015. The existent work on child soldiering began only recently to systematically study its consequences, both theoretically and empirically. The following article seeks to contribute to this by examining the impact of rebels’ child soldier recruitment practices during war on the risk of armed conflict recurrence in post-conflict societies. We argue that child soldiering in a previous dispute may increase both the willingness and opportunity to resume fighting in the post-conflict period, while disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes could decrease these aspects of conflict recurrence. Empirically, we analyse time-series cross-section data on post-conflict country-years between 1989 and 2005. The findings highlight that the risk of conflict recurrence does, indeed, increase with child soldiers who fought in an earlier dispute, but — counter-intuitively — is unlikely to be affected by the presence of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes in post-conflict societies. This research has important implications for the study of armed conflicts, child soldiering and research on post-conflict stability.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 11:01
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 17:30
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15570

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