||The conventional wisdom holds that ‘once a terrorist always a terrorist’. This paper
will examine, on the contrary, how very different groups and individuals have
abandoned political violence. The paper will provide a review of the literature on
terrorism, particularly since 9/11 and on disengagement more specifically.
Subsequently the paper will assess disengagement in Italy and South-East Asia in two
ways: by looking both at the factors leading to disengagement reported by the former
‘terrorists’ and at the policies implemented by different states to foster
disengagement. The author aims to show that, contrary to much of the literature on
‘new terrorism’, though violent groups, and target states differ vastly similar
conclusions can be drawn on why disengagement occurs and how it can be fostered.
Finally concluding remarks will be made along with policy recommendations in
particular on the issue of disengaging and reintegrating returning foreign fighters.