The case of youth mobilization and reintegration into the Mindanao conflict offers the opportunity to present empirical findings about a different type of mobilization, reintegration and reconciliation scenario than is observed in the majority of cases that have dominated the literature on youth’s involvement in conflict and peacebuilding. In selecting an outlier case, we aim to advance core arguments about youth mobilization, reintegration and reconciliation in the following ways. First, within the context of jihadist, Islamist and terrorist movements, the issue of youth radicalization and recruitment of foreign fighters as evidenced in the case of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan provide strong justification for examining the specific motivations and trajectories of mobilization across a range of similar contexts. In our empirical studies of the conflict in Mindanao, Philippines, we find it to be an important case for understanding the role of identity, ideology and community in encouraging youth participation in conflict because of the important role played by the family and the community in youth mobilization, recruitment and reintegration. Second, this case also helps us to demonstrate the differences between recruitment and mobilization processes involving youth, by offering strong evidence of the role of ideology and community in youth mobilization.
KeywordsArmed Group Transitional Justice Child Soldier Peace Process Framework Agreement
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