This project was initially funded by a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Bergen (2012-2015). It received further support from Bergen University Fund and the Meltzer Foundation. I also spent 6 months as a visiting scholar at the Centre for South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge.
The project is organised around two main goals:
- To trace and analyse the political transformation of rebel groups in the context of protracted peace processes and international peacebuilding;
- To analyse how rebel groups adapt to multi-party electoral competition and democracy after demobilising their armed wings.
My data collection focused on the internal dynamics of selected (former) rebel groups in Indonesia, East Timor, and Nepal as they engaged in peace negotiations and made the transition into electoral politics. I particularly focused on the interplay between leaders and combatants, and between the rebel organisation and international actors.
The project is thematically and empirically focused on comparative peacebuilding in Asia.
Despite the prevalence of secessionist conflicts and efforts at conflict resolution (both domestic and international) across Asia, there have been remarkably few comparative studies of the dynamics of conflict ending in the region. By focusing on Rebels in Power in a number of Asian cases, including Aceh, East Timor, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, the project sheds light on the dynamics of war-to-democracy transitions in the region.
Workshops & Panels
For the duration of the initial project period, I organised one project workshop and two conference panels:
- Dynamics of Party Politics after War, Bergen, 14-15, 2015. The workshop led to the publication of a special issue in Civil Wars, Former Armed Groups and Party Politics
- Rebels in Power panel. 1stNordic Conference of Development Studies, Helsinki, 2013.
- Rebels in Power Seminar. Christian Michelsen Institute (CMI) and the Department of Comparative Politics, Bergen, Feb 23 2012.
The main publication outputs of this project is a series of journal articles, to date published in Civil Wars, Party Politics, and Forum for Development Studies and the Special Issue in Civil Wars, co-edited with Johanna Söderström. Another forthcoming papers focuses on the ending secessionist conflicts in Asia.