International Research Group on Reintegration (IRGR)
20/6/12 - The IRGR and the CPS are proud to announce the launch of a new study series on reintegration lending voice to revolutionary combatants in Nepal, disillusioned ex-Talibans in Afghanistan and notorious ex-pirates in Somalia. Find the full reports here.
For more information on the individual members of the IRGR, click here.
Efforts to ensure social, political, and economic reintegration of former combatants are persistently neglected in peacebuilding interventions. This is so, even as reintegration of former fighters is a central prerequisite for durable peace to take hold and for post-war economic reconstruction to be kick-started.
The Centre for Peace Studies’ (CPS) International Research Group on Reintegration (IRGR) is currently in cooperation with other applied academic institutions and international agencies, including the United Nations Interagency Working Group in DDR (IAWG-DDR), undertaking interdisciplinary and comparative studies of reintegration. Current initiatives build on a four-year in-depth project with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) on the contexts of DDR. Ongoing applied research will enable the group to assess strengths and weaknesses in the political economy of DDR policy formulation and programming and contribute to a bolstering of reintegration efforts in key conflict zones.
The research initiative will solidify the standing of the Centre for Peace Studies at the University of Tromsø and associated partners as an international hub for expertise on reintegration and critical peacebuilding theory. Complementary to the ongoing IAWG-CPS collaboration, which also has a focus on customization of DDR knowledge products, CPS is in collaboration with UNDIR (Geneva) and Livework (a leading innovator of service design), developing prototypes which may enable the CPS gradually to take on global service functions on reintegration.
Disarmament and demobilization, the shorter and technical sides of DDR, usually receive considerable focus and resources. Reintegration, however, is understudied and critically underfinanced aspects of peacebuilding efforts. The work of the IRGR may help rectify this by maintaining a deliberate focus on reintegration and substantiate why long-term funding will enhance cost-effectiveness of peacebuilding. An underlying premise of current initiatives is that if reintegration, in all its facets, is systematically studied, we can generate new important evidence based knowledge that will help future reintegration programming. Too little is known about the mechanisms that facilitate and play into reintegration processes. These need to be recorded, distilled, and analyzed in order for researchers to practitioners to see common patterns and processes, which in turn can shed new light on why and how reintegration processes unfold in the way they do. Reintegration is an issue gaining importance in inter-agency- efforts – helping to develop UN-wide tools and approaches will therefore provide important support to the Integrated Missions concept.
The IRGR comprises both faculty staff and affiliated leading scholars on DDR, development, post-war reconstruction, and global security. Furthermore, CPS currently supports young researchers to develop expert knowledge on DDR and Reintegration in particular. CPS’s own PhD and MA students in Peace and Conflict Transformation are affiliated with the expert group and receive guidance from a group who combine academic excellence with dedicated work as practitioners. Several of the group’s members are current or former UN staff, including from agencies such as DPKO, UNDP, UNIFEM, and UNESCAP. The DDR team will offer advice on design, implantation, and evaluation of DDR, as well as on institutional capacity building and on mainstreaming gender-aware reintegration concerns into large-scale reconstruction and recovery efforts.