Could rebel child soldiers prolong civil wars?
2017-09, Haer, Roos, Böhmelt, Tobias
While we know why rebels may recruit children for their cause, our understanding of the consequences of child soldiering by non-state armed groups remains limited. The following research contributes to addressing this by examining how rebels’ child recruitment practice affects the duration of internal armed conflicts. We advance the argument that child soldiering increases the strength of rebel organizations vis-a-vis the government. This, in turn, lowers the capability asymmetry between these non-state actors and the incumbent, allowing the former to sustain dispute. Ultimately, the duration of armed conflicts is likely to be prolonged. We analyse this relationship with quantitative data on child soldier recruitment by rebel groups in the post-1989 period. The results confirm our main hypothesis: disputes are substantially longer when rebels recruit children. This work has important implications for the study of armed conflicts, conflict duration and our understanding of child soldiering.
Child soldiers as time bombs? : Adolescents' participation in rebel groups and the recurrence of armed conflict
2016-06-01, Haer, Roos, Böhmelt, Tobias
The existent work on child soldiering began only recently to systematically study its consequences, both theoretically and empirically. The following article seeks to contribute to this by examining the impact of rebels’ child soldier recruitment practices during war on the risk of armed conflict recurrence in post-conflict societies. We argue that child soldiering in a previous dispute may increase both the willingness and opportunity to resume fighting in the post-conflict period, while disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes could decrease these aspects of conflict recurrence. Empirically, we analyse time-series cross-section data on post-conflict country-years between 1989 and 2005. The findings highlight that the risk of conflict recurrence does, indeed, increase with child soldiers who fought in an earlier dispute, but — counter-intuitively — is unlikely to be affected by the presence of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes in post-conflict societies. This research has important implications for the study of armed conflicts, child soldiering and research on post-conflict stability.
The Constitutionalization of Indigenous Group Rights, Traditional Political Institutions, and Customary Law
2019-10, Holzinger, Katharina, Haer, Roos, Bayer, Axel, Behr, Daniela M., Neupert-Wentz, Clara
Many constitutions of the world contain special provisions for indigenous communities, granting them particular rights and regulating their traditional political institutions and customary law. Building on rational theories of constitution-making, we employ a demand and supply framework to explain the constitutionalization of such provisions. To test our hypotheses, we code the presence of indigenous provisions in the current constitutions of 193 United Nations member states. We find full democracy and previous conflict to stimulate the inclusion of indigenous group rights but not of customary law and traditional institutions. Customary law and traditional institutions are more likely constitutionalized in countries with high ethnic fractionalization. Low levels of modernity affect particularly the constitutionalization of traditional political institutions, while low levels of development correlate with provisions on customary law. Former British colonies are more likely to constitutionalize customary law.
The role of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards in committing violence during combat : A cross-sectional study with former combatants in the DR Congo
2017-05, Haer, Roos, Hermenau, Katharin, Elbert, Thomas, Moran, James, Hecker, Tobias
It has been postulated that the violent behavior that characterizes armed conflict is reinforced by the possibility of receiving rewards. The present study examined the potential influence of two types of rewards in an ongoing setting of conflict: extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. Former combatants active in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (N = 198) were interviewed and questioned about the way they were recruited, the offenses they committed during combat, their level of perceived intrinsic rewards (i.e., appetitive perception of violence), and the number of received extrinsic rewards during their time in the armed group (e.g., money, extra food, alcohol, or drugs). A moderated multiple regression analysis showed that the number of received extrinsic rewards and the level of intrinsic rewards were significantly positively related to the number of different types of offenses committed. In contrast to our expectations and previous findings, the recruitment type (forced conscription vs. voluntary enlistment) did not moderate this relation. Our findings suggest that both types of rewards play a role in committing violence during combat. We suggest, therefore, that reintegration programs should not only consider the influence of extrinsic rewards, but also need to address the influence of intrinsic rewards to counter violent behavior among former combatants.
Research report : a software solution for rapid policy assessment with reimbursed SMS and mobile cash
2018-11-02, Schutte, Sebastian, Haer, Roos
In this report, we introduce a system for running reimbursed surveys via text messages and mobile cash. The key advantage of this approach is the ability to conduct rapid surveys at an extremely low cost. After reviewing existing literature, we describe an automated system for conducting such surveys and demonstrate its merits in a proof-of-principle application in India. We obtain substantive insights on the effectiveness of a policy trial that are in line with expert assessments. This application suggests that our approach can be applied to a wide range of problems including impact assessment for policy or developmental aid, and monitoring of public sentiment, and possibly monitoring of conflict dynamics.
The study of child soldiering : issues and consequences for DDR implementation
2017-02, Haer, Roos
An increasing number of children are actively participating in armed groups, drawing attention to the issue of child soldiering from both international humanitarian organisations and the academic community. Despite this interest, there is a lack of explicit attempts to bring the insights of these two arenas together. More specifically the theoretical issues raised by the scholarly community have not been incorporated into disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) practices. This article combines these two arenas to show that questions related to age, gender, agency and the recruitment of child soldiers in particular have not yet been resolved, leading to problems in the implementation of child-centred DDR programmes.