DDR as a Political Process
In countries where conflict has raged, but where the political will has developed to work towards a non-violent state of being, DDR has been a policy to aid the sustainable development of peace. Ana Cutter Patel writes that DDR is an integral part of peace building; it tries to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate former combatants in order to establish security which is one of the key components of peace. According to Sandra Pogodda et al. DDR is also part of a state building practice, for demobilization and disarmament of ex-combatants ensures the state's monopoly on the use of force. The intervening organizations that practice DDR, often but not exclusively the UN, are assisting the government to ensure security in the country. Should these interventions be considered political? This essay will argue that because DDR processes take on an important role in the political sphere of a country and influence the distribution of power by taking away the physical power of rebel groups, the DDR process should be considered political. Organizations conducting DDR will have their own interests, and directly influence political will in a country. Furthermore, lasting demobilization will likely depend on the distribution of political and socio-economic power, which will be assessed by DDR, being closely linked development processes.
Since there is no consensus on what is political, it is important to establish the definition of political processes, so that DDR as a practice can be measured as being political or not. Amitai Etzioni has successfully developed a workable definition of political processes, stating that political processes are "processes [that] concern bridging power differences with society wi...
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...ocratic Republic of Congo 12-14 June 2007. http://www.un.org/africa/osaa/speeches/overview.pdf (accessed May 19, 2014).
Patel, Ana Cutter. "Transitional Justice, DDR, and Security Sector Reform." ICTJ. http://ictj.org/sites/default/files/ICTJ-DDR-SSR-ResearchBrief-2010-English.pdf (accessed May 18, 2014).
Pogodda, Sandra, Oliver Richmond, Nathalie Tocci, Roger Mac Ginty, and Birte Vogel. "Assessing the impact of EU governmentality in post-conflict countries: pacification or reconciliation?." European Security (2014): 1-23.
"Second Generation Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Practices in Peace Operations: A Contribution to the New Horizon Discussion on Challenges and Opportunities for UN Peacekeeping." United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/documents/2GDDR_ENG_WITH_COVER.pdf (accessed May 19, 2014).
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