Date of Award

Fall 12-2-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Deirdre Oakley

Second Advisor

Adia Harvey Wingfield

Third Advisor

Meredith Greif

Abstract

This mixed-method analysis of three Nigerian states explores the ways in which a major policy shift has produced short-term peace outcomes in a vastly contested terrain entailing conflicting interests. The central argument of "Paths to Peacebuilding," is that disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration can create peace in resource-conflicted societies when there is governmental will and community and citizen involvement in both the design and implementation of the program. The overriding concern was whether the DDR process was capable of contributing to tangible improvements in real and perceived safety on the ground as well as destroying the structures that both contributed to and sustained insurgency for over two decades. The disarmament process yielded over 3,000 semi- and fully automatic weapons and other military style hardware. It also resulted in the demobilization of over 26,000 former fighters. The DDR program generated important but geographically differentiated reductions in militant violence across the three states studied.

The study analyzes survey and interview data from a random sample of 346 combatants and ex-combatants and other knowledgeable informants in three Niger Delta states - Rivers, Delta, and Bayelsa. The dissertation compared DDR success rates between individuals who entered the DDR program and those who did not. An examination of the programming determinants, controlling for non-programmatic factors including community exposure to pollution reveals some evidence of macro success and micro failure. While the program has created a new sense of peace that allows oil corporations to continue oil production unhindered leading to increased oil earnings for the Nigerian state, there is lack of local level support for the program or its participants. For example, findings of significant association between participation in the program and the successful disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of ex-combatants are moderated by participation effects. While evidence of some level of macro success is clearly indicated in addition to some level of impact on the lives of program participants, the failure to adequately link DDR to broad economic and social development programs may obviate the tentative gains made and plunge the region into potentially more devastating rounds of violent insurgency and counter-insurgency.

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