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A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict

Researcher(s): Frances Stewart

External Collaborator(s): Y Guichaoua

Region(s): Sub-saharan Africa  

Theme: Political Change

Project Status: Completed

MICROCON is a research project financed by the European Union and managed from the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex). It is composed of a consortium of researchers from all continents sharing a micro-level approach to conflicts.

Past and present violent conflicts, ranging from civil wars to riots and violent mass protests, affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people every year across the world and have resulted in significant lost opportunities in terms of human and economic development, the process of building democracy, as well as establishing peaceful international relations and reducing lawlessness and terrorism worldwide. At a fundamental level, conflict originates from individuals' behaviour and their interactions with their immediate surroundings, in other words, from its micro foundations. Therefore, identifying factors responsible for violent mass conflicts requires an in depth understanding of why individuals engage in collective acts of violence and how conflict affects their standing in society. The main objective of MICROCON is to address these questions by measuring and analysing individual and group interactions leading to and resulting from violent mass conflicts; and linking the micro foundations of violent conflict with regional and national initiatives of conflict prevention, resolution and mediation.

MICROCON is divided into a dozen of 'Work Packages', each focusing on a specific theme (concepts, measurement, health etc.). CRISE is responsible for a Work Package on group mobilisation. The package includes researchers from Germany, Norway and South Africa. CRISE itself will engage in comparative research on violent political groups in Mali (Touareg rebellion) and the DRC (the Mai-Mai armed groups) using methods already tried in previous CRISE research in Nigeria.

Read more about this project on an external website

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