Beyond Intractability
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend by emailSend by emailThis rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

Paramilitary Research
Mari Fitzduff
Professor and Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University
Interviewed by
Julian Portilla
2003
 

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

My own personal work showed that there was three reasons people became paramilitaries.

One was mother's milk stuff. It was in the family. That would be very much the Adams and McGuinness. They could not have been republicans, given the context and the people they were.

The second was very much an intervention with the local security forces or their folk being blown up by the IRA. All of these interventions often spawned a reaction, which actually of course increased the number of people who were prepared to use violence.

The third one was very much the male thing, particularly among the loyalists. Sort of the need for meaning, particularly for disenfranchised, unempowered young men.

One of the interesting pieces of research we're doing at the moment is showing that in Algeria the war was mostly the young men who leaned against the walls. The need to be heroic that is around for all young men can either go one way or another in a conflict, and often if they're dis-empowered, disenfranchised, the idea of the gun as power is something that is so attractive to them.

Post a comment or suggestion about this page or topic...
(If you have a comment or suggestion about the system in general, please post it on our Comments and Suggestions page instead.)

 

Beyond Intractability
Copyright © 2003-2012 The Beyond Intractability Project, The Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado;
All rights reserved. Content may not be reproduced without prior written permission.
Inquire about affordable reprint/republication rights.

Beyond Intractability is a Registered Trademark of the University of Colorado
Contact Beyond Intractability
Privacy Policy

The Beyond Intractability Knowledge Base Project
Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess, Co-Directors and Editors

c/o Conflict Information Consortium (Formerly Conflict Research Consortium), University of Colorado
580 UCB, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA -- Phone: (303) 492-1635 -- Contact
University of Colorado Boulder