IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Reintegrating Rebels into Civilian Life


  • Michael J. Gilligan

    () (Department of Politics, New York University, New York, NY, USA)

  • Eric N. Mvukiyehe

    (Department of Political Science, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA)

  • Cyrus Samii

    (Department of Politics, New York University, New York, NY, USA)


Considerable resources are devoted to ex-combatant reintegration programs in current peace processes, but evidence on their effectiveness remains thin. We use original survey data to study an ex-combatant reintegration program implemented after Burundi's 1993-2004 civil war. Previous quantitative studies have found reintegration programs to be ineffective, but only ex-combatants who self-selected into programs were studied. We avoid such selection problems with a quasi-experimental design exploiting an exogenous bureaucratic failure. We find the program resulted in a 20 to 35 percentage point reduction in poverty incidence among ex-combatants and moderate improvement in livelihoods. But this economic boost does not seem to have caused political reintegration: while we find a modest increase in propensities to report civilian life as preferable to combatant life, we find no evidence that the program contributed to either more satisfaction with the peace process or a more positive disposition toward current government institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Gilligan & Eric N. Mvukiyehe & Cyrus Samii, 2013. "Reintegrating Rebels into Civilian Life," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 57(4), pages 598-626, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:57:y:2013:i:4:p:598-626

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Koenig, Christoph, 2015. "Loose Cannons – War Veterans and the Erosion of Democracy in Weimar Germany," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1079, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. Andrea Colombo & Olivia D'Aoust & Olivier C. Sterck, 2014. "From Rebellion to Electoral Violence: Evidence from Burundi," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-20-2, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Sarah Zukerman Daly, 2016. "Determinants of former combatants’ attitudes toward transitional justice," HiCN Working Papers 235, Households in Conflict Network.
    4. Olivia D’Aoust & Olivier Sterck & Philip Verwimp, 2013. "Buying Peace: The Mirage of Demobilizing Rebels," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    5. Michael J. Gilligan, 2016. "Employment and rebellion in conflicted and fragile states," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 271-271, June.
    6. Christopher Blattman & Jeannie Annan, 2015. "Can Employment Reduce Lawlessness and Rebellion? A Field Experiment with High-Risk Men in a Fragile State," NBER Working Papers 21289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:57:y:2013:i:4:p:598-626. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.