The Children of War: Child Soldiers as Victims and Participants in the Sudan Civil War (International Library of African Studies)

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9781780760179: The Children of War: Child Soldiers as Victims and Participants in the Sudan Civil War (International Library of African Studies)
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The use of child soldiers in the Sudan Civil War has shattered the accepted understanding of why children join armies. Thousands of children signed up to participate in Africa's longest running civil war, yet so far the international community and the academic world have viewed them as victims rather than participants. In this groundbreaking new study, Christine Emily Ryan challenges preconceptions which have held back aid work and reconstruction in the Sudan region. Using face-to-face testimonies of former child soldiers, she illuminates the multi-dimensional motivations which children have for joining the Sudan Liberation Army, and unravels the complexity of their political participation. At the same time, interviews with NGO personnel illustrate the gap that exists between the West and the reality of conflict in Africa. Children of War provides a powerful critique of the position taken by the international community, NGOs and academia to the phenomenon of child soldiers, and calls for a new approach to conflict resolution in Africa.

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About the Author:

Christine Emily Ryan gained her PhD in Politics at SOAS, University of London. She is currently Lecturer in Politics and Global Studies at the University of Winchester.

Review:

'In the conclusion to this book Dr Ryan states: "The goal of my research has been to provide the former child soldiers of Southern Sudan with a voice to articulate their experiences to the international community, which the existing literature has denied them." She has certainly achieved it. Based on almost eighty personal accounts and interviews and meticulous research, this book highlights the problems inherent in an area of war-child history that has remained outside of the public domain for too long. Harrowing at times and pulling no punches, this treatise is a significant addition to the academic study of war-children and should be on all relevant reading lists.' Martin Parsons PhD. FRHistS, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Research Centre for Evacuee and War Child Studies, University of Reading 'This volume is notable for letting us hear the voice of child soldiers and it is not the voice of across- the- board victimhood ,although victimhood there is in abundance. As so often in conflict, matters are not so simple as they seem to outsiders. This is the insiders view and we should be grateful to Christine Ryan for letting us hear it.' A.J.R. Groom, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, University of Kent and Visiting Professor of Politics, Canterbury Christ Church University 'This is a wonderfully valuable book. In the impassioned writings on child soldiers, almost no one has bothered to ask those who were child soldiers for their own stories, their own reasons for fighting, the range of choice they had, and their joys and tragedies. Christine Ryan's book is a testament to the fact that even children can choose to fight tyranny. The book adds a major new perspective to the debate on child soldiers which, hitherto, has treated children only as victims, as having no agency or free-will. The debate has rendered children as powerless as war was meant to have done. In the appalling situation of great youth and vicious war, Christine Ryan at least restores voice to the young.' Stephen Chan, Professor of International Relations, SOAS

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Book Description I.B.Tauris Co. Ltd., United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The use of child soldiers in the Sudan Civil War has shattered the accepted understanding of why children join armies. Thousands of children signed up to participate in Africa s longest running civil war, yet so far the international community and the academic world have viewed them as victims rather than participants. In this groundbreaking new study, Christine Emily Ryan challenges preconceptions which have held back aid work and reconstruction in the Sudan region. Using face-to-face testimonies of former child soldiers, she illuminates the multi-dimensional motivations which children have for joining the Sudan Liberation Army, and unravels the complexity of their political participation. At the same time, interviews with NGO personnel illustrate the gap that exists between the West and the reality of conflict in Africa. Children of War provides a powerful critique of the position taken by the international community, NGOs and academia to the phenomenon of child soldiers, and calls for a new approach to conflict resolution in Africa. Seller Inventory # AA79781780760179

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