Jessica is an ESRC-funded PhD candidate in the War Studies department exploring the relationship between reintegration and reconciliation in post-conflict Cote d’Ivoire. She has an MSc from the London School of Economics in the theory and history of international relations and a BA in history from Nottingham University. Prior to beginning her PhD she worked as a political risk analyst for Protection Group International, covering Sub-Saharan Africa.
Alongside her PhD she works as a freelance political risk analyst and journalist focusing on West and Central Africa. She has written articles for Foreign Policy, the FT’s This is Africa publication, African Arguments, Africa is a Country, News Decoder, the Jamestown Foundation and the African News Agency, while also completing political risk projects for the Economist Intelligence Unit, IHS Markit, Jane’s Intelligence and Insurgency Centre, Eurasia Group, Herminius Intelligence and Eurasia Group.
Peacebuilding; West Africa; DDR; Transitional justice; reconciliation; reintegration; ex-combatants
Understanding the relationship between reintegration and reconciliation: The case of Cote d’Ivoire
The thesis examines the underexplored connections between reintegration and reconciliation in post-conflict contexts. It elucidates some of the most crucial linkages between these two processes in the aftermath of a nine-year conflict in Cote d’Ivoire which ended in 2011 and discusses the implications that these connections had for the wider peacebuilding project. In contrast to much literature on the subject which suggests that reintegration and reconciliation, or DDR and transitional justice, can be isolated and should be kept separate to avoid confusion and messy peacebuilding efforts, the thesis shows that even where these processes are implemented separately they almost invariably have impacts on the other domain. This finding suggests that the two mechanisms cannot be isolated, they can either be left to interact naturally or be forced to collaborate to make use of their inherent connections. Ultimately the thesis concludes that on a political level it is complex and challenging in many post-conflict contexts to modify the relationship between reintegration and reconciliation without destabilizing peacebuilding as a whole, whereas at a personal and local level these connections can, and should, be utilized to improve the overall peacebuilding process.
Primary supervisor: Kieran Mitton
Secondary supervisor: Mats Berdal