SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Mr Benjamin Petrini

BA MA (Rome, Italy), MA (SAIS Johns Hopkins)
  • Research


Benjamin Petrini
Centre for Iranian Studies

PhD Student Associate Member

Mr Benjamin Petrini
Email address:
Thesis title:
The Political Economy of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) in Colombia: A Micro-Level Analysis of War-to-Peace Transition
Year of Study:
1 (2012 entry)
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

This research proposal concerns the challenge of understanding the dynamics of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process in Colombia, in particular the reintegration phase in the region of Meta. Through a political economy analysis and a micro-level case-study approach, the research focuses on the social and economic reintegration of ex-combatants (former paramilitaries and guerrilla members) and the determinants of recidivism at the local level. A political economy analysis serves the purpose of unveiling the complexity of the conflict in Colombia and of the war-to-peace transition: this approach acts as an overarching framework for the analysis of DDR and peacebuilding processes. The aim is to account for the role and the impact (if any) of DDR (and peacebuilding) policies in a conflict-affected region, by combining the analysis of historical structural factors of conflict with fine-grained details of how DDR takes place in practice. The research examines how local-level conflict dynamics (drugs, land ownership, power relations, and armed groups governance) are in relationship with policies of reintegration and peacebuilding, and in turn the social, economic and institutional transformation that is generated by these interactions. The research is concerned with explaining:

  1. How reintegration unfolds at the local level
  2. What the outcome of reintegration policies is, and why some former combatants who are part of the DDR program decide or are forced to re-join non-state armed groups
  3. How DDR relates to local-level peacebuilding, and to what extent and under what conditions the DDR process contributes to strengthening peace gains at the local level


World Bank consultant


Peacebuilding; Conflict and fragility analysis; Post-conflict security and social development; Forced displacement; Iran and the Anglo-Iranian oil crisis (1951-53); Suicide terrorism; Post-WWII history and rise of Cold War.

Country experience: Iran, Colombia, Egypt, Turkey, Italy, US, Middle East and Central Asia