“From Terrorists to Peacekeepers”: The Disengagement of Combatants in Northern Ireland
You are invited to the POLIS seminar by Gordon Clubb. Please do come along to what promises to be a fascinating talk.
All welcome. PhD and MA researchers are encouraged to attend, and there will be the opportunity for networking after the talk.
The end of terrorism campaigns often involves the demobilisation of militant groups, but other forms of disengagement can utilise former militants to prevent terrorism and political violence. Disengagement into a community route has been underexplored and the article looks at how militants in Northern Ireland, particularly from the IRA, have helped to prevent terrorism and political violence by adopting roles in the community. A network of former combatants sprung up around interface areas to contain trigger causes of terrorism, providing a unique role that the state could not. The structure of the network encouraged militant groups to follow the IRA’s example to disengage – thus creating a domino effect – and the co-operation between senior militants has limited the opportunities for other groups to mobilise a campaign of terrorism. The success of the network suggests that counter-terrorism strategies could help to provide an active role for former combatants where the state cannot penetrate.
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