The Securitization of Child Soldiers by Burmese Insurgent Groups:Preliminary Research from the Field

Will Plowright


This paper argues that a process of securitization is occurring between international society and insurgent groups. It seeks to address the puzzle that some insurgent groups are reducing their reliance on child soldiers, even though it is not in their immediate strategic interest to do so. Even though insurgent groups are experiencing a relative decline in power in regards to the state, they are reducing their numbers of recruits while continuing to wage insurgency. In order to establish and demonstrate how the hypothesized process of securitization emerges, a plausibility probe will be used. This will be done in order to demonstrate how the process occurs in the cases of two insurgent groups. Specifically, the two groups here analyzed are the Karenni National Progressive Party and the Kachin Independence Army.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.