Historical Social Research

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Ingvill C. Mochmann: Children Born of War – A Decade of International and Interdisciplinary Research. [Abstract]

The group of Children Born of War (CBOW) has existed under the notion of different wordings throughout history of mankind. Being fathered by foreign and often enemy soldiers and local mothers these children are known under a variety of different names in their respective home countries. Although different, these particular groups of children seem to share some similar characteristics across time, nations, and conflicts. In order to facilitate a systematic comparative analysis, the research field of Children Born of War was established in 2006 unifying the various research activities, information and knowledge on these children cross-nationally. This article summarizes the achievements obtained so far focusing on the following questions: How was the conceptual framework developed to analyze CBOW interdisciplinary and internationally? How was the empirical evidence base on CBOW expanded and consolidated? What are the results obtained so far? The article concludes that developing new research programs is a cumbersome and challenging process as basic components of the research field do not exist a priori. With respect to the field of Children Born of War this process is further complicated as the topic is highly sensitive. Nevertheless, by systematically expanding collaboration and research networks, presenting the topic in relevant research settings and engaging in knowledge transfer the research program today has reached a level of consolidation which provides a sustainable basis for future development. It thereby supports further research on the topic. As the best interest of Children Born of War is often neglected, the expansion of this research field may also give this group a higher visibility in national and international politics and facilitate their empowerment in today’s conflict and post-conflict zones.

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