• Permalink Rwandan military personnel with the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) perform a short-range patrol in Northern Darfur while a child plays with a soccer ball. UNAMID began operations in the region in December 2007.
12/Oct/2009. , Sudan. UN Photo/Olivier Chassot.

    The UN’s Darfur “Cover-up” and the Need for Reliable Conflict Data

The UN’s Darfur “Cover-up” and the Need for Reliable Conflict Data

By Alex de Waal International peacekeeping operations are deployed to complicated and troubled places. Often, reliable information is scarce, rumors and poorly-founded allegations are common, and interpretation of events is highly politicized. Recent controversies around what is going on in Darfur illuminate the need for much better data. A former UN official, Aicha Elbasri, has made much-publicized allegations that the […]

Understanding Violence by African Government Forces: The Need for a Micro-Dynamics Approach

By Judith Verweijen Remarkably, there are few in-depth studies of the forms and processes underlying violent practices enacted by African government forces. This indicates that the research programme of the microdynamics of violent conflict has made few inroads on the study of militaries in Africa. Calling for an empirically grounded approach that disaggregates the study of conflict from the study […]

Tim Allen on the Importance of Fieldwork

In an interview with The Economist’s Prospero blog, JSRP Research Director Tim Allen underlines the crucial role serious fieldwork should play in underpinning international development policy and practice, arguing that: “There are systems of scholarship and discourses of power that are grounded in ignorance”, but ultimately concluding that “it’s possible to change things by bringing evidence from the ground”.

Read the […]

Can ‘Context-Specific’ Security Programming Handle the Reality of Dynamic Circumstances?

By Mareike Schomerus This piece originally appeared as part of ODI’s Development Progress series ‘What role for security in development progress?’. It’s an easy point to make: current programmes on security and development do not pay enough attention to context. I myself have tried to land that punch during past discussions. Now I cringe when I hear about ‘context-sensitivity’ because […]

Practice Without Evidence: interrogating conflict resolution approaches and assumptions

By Tatiana Carayannis, Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic, Nathaniel Olin, Anouk Rigterink and Mareike Schomerus What is the evidence that existing approaches to the resolution of violent conflict have achieved their intended effects to improve the lives of conflict-affected populations? Violent conflict is one of the greatest challenges to development. Two decades of concentrated interventions to mediate, end, or transform violent conflict have […]

The Boundaries of Evidence in Conflict Management and Peacebuilding

By Jeroen Adam In The Asia Foundation’s recent report, “Subnational Conflict and International Development Assistance,” the authors argue that a sustainable solution to the many subnational conflicts plaguing different countries in Asia will ultimately depend on a true political transformation. As explained by the authors, subnational conflicts are rooted in entrenched horizontal inequalities as minority ethnic populations are systematically excluded from access to […]

Governance and post-conflict reconstruction in Northern Uganda

On 07 and 08 November, a conference on governance and post-conflict reconstruction took place in Gulu, hosted by the Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS, University of Gulu) and co-organised by the Institute of Development Policy and Management (University of Antwerp) the JSRP partner Conflict Research Group (University of Ghent). Tim Allen and Holly Porter of the Justice […]

Rethinking the climate-conflict connection

“Shifts in climate are strongly linked to increases in violence around the world … US scientists found that even small changes in temperature or rainfall correlated with a rise in assaults, rapes and murders, as well as group conflicts and war.

– BBC News, Rise in violence ‘linked to climate change’, August 2, 2013
The debate about the relationship between climate […]