Title: Conflict Security and Development Series: The Causes of Child Soldiering and Forced Recruitment
Publication Date: 09/23/10

Featuring Chris Blattman, Assistant Professor of Political Science & Economics, Yale University; 2009-10 visiting fellow at NYU Wagner and 2010-11 visiting fellow at NYU’s Department of Politics.
Theories of child soldiering are as numerous as the theorists. In theory rebel leaders forcibly recruit lower-ability children under specific circumstances: when punishment and supervision are cheap, when children’s other options are bad, and when rebel groups are poor. To understand which mechanisms dominate in practice, Chris Blattman will discuss interviews and surveys of former members of Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army and the evidence that suggests that children are more easily indoctrinated and disoriented than adults. His analysis will confirm the findings on a new “cross-rebel” dataset and results that suggest new strategies for combating child soldiering.

Author: NYU Wagner Office of International Programs
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