MIT Department: Political Science
Undergraduate Institution: Spelman College
Faculty Mentor: Lily Tsai
Research Supervisor: Alisa Zomer
My name is Kennedy Middleton, I am from Bermuda, a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. I am a rising senior, Political Science Major at Spelman College. I enjoy reading articles from the Monkey Cage and binge watching anything to do with politics! I am mainly interested in political conflict and cyber warfare in the Middle East, North Africa region. After graduation, I plan to pursue a PhD in Political Science and become a professor where I can encourage young women of color to pursue a career in academia.
2017 Research Abstract
Understanding Factors of Rebel to Military Integration: A Case Comparison of Cote d’Ivoire to Integration Efforts in Africa
Kennedy A. Middleton, Department of Political Science, Spelman College,
Phillip Martin, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Since the end of the Cold War, numerous armed conflicts around the world have seen rebel groups become integrated into national militaries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the outcomes of rebel-to-military integration have been mixed: in some cases rebel groups successfully transform their fighters into professional and cohesive military units, while other transitions are characterized by continued factionalism and fragility within newly integrated armed forces. This research seeks to understand what factors facilitate or hinder rebel group integration into national militaries by examining previous cases of integration and identifying the variables of the integration agreements. The research advances ideas on approaches and theories on the processes of rebel group integration into national militaries. The analysis consists of a literature review and compiled data of rebel to military integration in addition to qualitative reviews of the literature including but not limited to: South Africa, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The composition of the literature review and compiled data set use a specific search technique using phrases and terms such as: rebel to military integration, power sharing and peace agreements. The search focuses on the steps and pre-conditions of integration to understand why some processes are successful and others are not. In the context of Cote d’Ivoire, the case study comparison develops a set of hypotheses to explain how integration processes affect present conditions in the country and military. Initial findings from the literature review and case study comparison suggest that many approaches to rebel to military integration are not tailored to the circumstances of the country, instead they are one size fits all approaches which liken the possibility of relapse into conflict.