Chapter

Former prisoners in a global context

Peter Shirlow, Jonathan Tonge, James McAuley and Catherine McGlynn

in Abandoning Historical Conflict?

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780719080111
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703038 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719080111.003.0003
Former prisoners in a global context

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter highlights the importance of prisoner releases in peace processes beyond Northern Ireland. Where the terms of such releases are ambiguous, or freedom is used overtly as a bargaining chip, the beneficial effects are often only brief. The chapter offers a set of ‘ideal-type’ conditions for prisoner releases, to maximise the chances of such measures making a positive contribution to sustainable peace. It also highlights how the literature on demilitarisation, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) has tended to overlook the centrality of prisoner releases to a successful peace process. Moreover, the focus has often been upon the mechanics of demobilisation of ‘armies’ at the expense of a serious consideration of whether those former combatants have adapted their political views. Disarmament as part of the overall DDR process represents a dilemma for governments. Former prisoners and other combatants often form part of the newly reconstituted armed forces, as has happened in Namibia, Tajikistan and Cambodia, among other countries.

Keywords: prisoner releases; peace process; Northern Ireland; demilitarisation; demobilisation; reintegration; combatants; former prisoners; disarmament; armed forces

Chapter.  10079 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.