Female Young Veterans, Not Always Social Misfits: Liberian Experiences


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




Through a novel approach and with the aim of challenging conventional wisdom about the role of female young veterans (former girl-soldiers who have become young adults) in armed conflict situation, this research proves that there is a caveat to the scholarly apocalyptic description of former female child-soldiers. The available body of writing on child-soldiering tends to present them as social misfits, thus undermining their agency in the process of their reintegration. This study documents female young veterans' experiences and related meanings of the transition from military to civilian life; identifies the social ties they built and maintained in the post-conflict community, and the power dynamics embedded in these ties; unearths the nexus between young veterans' agency, coalitions, and identity shifts; and unpacks lessons learned by young veterans from their war and post-war experiences, and how these lessons orient their perspectives on the future and decision-making processes.