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Militarized Youth

The Children of the FARC

Authors: Higgs, Johanna

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  • Provides insight into the child soldiering with a specific focus on children in Colombia, an under-studied group of militarized children
  • Brings together in-depth interviews with ethnographic fieldwork in an active conflict zone, demobilization centre, and throughout Colombia
  • Presents the case for more nuanced and culturally embedded research in anthropology, sociology, psychology, politics, and beyond
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eBook $19.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-23686-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $29.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-23685-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews from across Colombia—including former child guerillas, former hostages of the guerilla organization, mothers of child soldiers, and humanitarian aid workers— this volume explores the experiences of children involved with the Colombian guerilla group the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc). Going beyond the predominant humanitarian perspectives on child soldiers, Johanna Higgs delves into the specific social and cultural aspects of the Colombian conflict to give a contextualized, culturally relevant understanding of the processes of both militarization and demobilization of children, deploying the theoretical lens of “lifeworlds.” In so doing, Higgs not only provides insight into children’s involvement in conflict in Colombia, but presents a clear case for a move away from homogenized understandings of “child soldiers,” thus far dominated by viewpoints from industrialized Western nations. Tying together perspectives from anthropology, sociology, psychology, politics, and international development, Higgs provides not only a much-needed examination of how children are militarized, soldiering in the Farc context, and demilitarization, but also a blueprint for how research can be tied to specific cultural contexts.

About the authors

Johanna Higgs, Ph.D., is an anthropologist studying childhood, children in conflict, and women’s rights around the world. She is the founder of Project Monma, an organization that which advocates for women’s rights, and she has published numerous articles related to women’s rights worldwide in such venues as Pass Blue, Independent Australia, the Huffington Post and Morocco World News.

Reviews

“This riveting book unpacks and unwraps the experiences of children in Colombia who had fought for the rebel FARC... As Colombia embarks on a fragile path towards peace, this book’s recommendations and insights can help render that process more empathetic as well as more durable.” (Mark A. Drumbl, Class of 1975 Alumni Professor and Director of the Transnational Law Institute, Washington and Lee University, USA)

“A very fine account of the complex forces underpinning the recruitment and militarisation of children. Higgs makes a convincing case for the role of ethnography in gaining a deep understanding of children’s lifeworlds and perspectives, arguing that this lens is also essential for developing appropriate policy responses. This book will appeal widely to researchers, students and policy-makers alike.” (Jo Boyden, Professor of International Development and Director of Young Lives study, University of Oxford, UK)

“Using children as soldiers continues to be a global trauma. In this book, Johanna Higgs takes the reader far beyond popular hackneyed ideas of the child soldier as simply forcefully recruited and in a powerful way shows how in zones of conflict children’s lives become militarised and how their lifeworlds instrumentalize them for violent purposes. It is a strong and important contribution to the field of conflict studies.” (Mats Utas, Department Chair and Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University, Sweden)

“Based on extensive fieldwork in Colombia, Johanna Higgs provides a detailed account of the lives and experiences of young and under-age combatants caught up in Colombia's civil war. Collecting their stories at the moment of transition from guerrilla to civilian life, allows Higgs to understand the lifeworlds of the child soldiers and gain new insights in the infamous FARC guerrilla movement, before narratives start to align themselves with post-war norms and political expectations.” (Krijin Peters, Associate Professor of Political and Cultural Studies, Swansea University, UK)

“In this timely book, Johanna Higgs sheds new light on the importance of identity dynamics in child soldiers, who enter spaces where violence is normalized. Using the analytic framework of lifeworlds, she shows how children who were recruited into the FARC in Colombia underwent profound internal and social transformations that militarized them. She shows how greater attention must be given to the identity challenges that former child soldiers face if they are to reintegrate successfully into civilian life.” (Mike Wessells, Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health, Columbia University, USA)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)
  • Introduction: The Children of the Las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)

    Pages 1-9

    Higgs, Johanna

  • Children and War: A Global Perspective

    Pages 11-44

    Higgs, Johanna

  • Entering the Field

    Pages 45-71

    Higgs, Johanna

  • The Lifeworld

    Pages 73-104

    Higgs, Johanna

  • The Militarised Lifeworlds of Children in Colombia

    Pages 105-135

    Higgs, Johanna

Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-23686-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $29.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-23685-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Militarized Youth
Book Subtitle
The Children of the FARC
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-23686-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-23686-1
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-23685-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 233
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
Topics