Book review: Organized Violence After Civil War—The Geography of Recruitment in Latin America

Organized violence after civil war—the geography of recruitment in Latin America, by Sarah Zukerman Daly, Cambridge, University of Cambridge Press, 315 pp., £ 20.99 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-107-56683-5, (hardback) ISBN 978-1-107-12758-6

In her book, Organized Violence after Civil War, Sarah Zukerman Daly sheds light on the geographical aspects of postwar thinking in a way, previously neglected in the academic literature. During her long-term research, she focused on the five years following the peace accords in Colombia. This in-depth, both quantitative and qualitative research, results in a rich and informative book about the dynamics of remobilizations and demobilizations of armed groups. The central question of the book is not only why some armed groups return to violence after a war while others do not, but also incorporates the influence of where they do, or do not return to violence. As nearly half of all countries emerging from civil conflict return to war within a few years, Daly’s research adds incredible value to discussions about war to peace transitions. The author argues that the variations within these geographies are the causes for some armed groups to dissolve, and others to endure. Although individual paths are also important in this context, they cannot be understood without taking into account the networks and organizational outcomes. Daly suggests that social networks are among the most important determinants of whether individual ex-combatants successfully reintegrate into civilian life or instead return to violence.

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