Conflict, Violence and Security

The effects of insecurity, violence and conflict are devastating. Violence kills, maims and displaces people, reinforces inequalities and creates barriers to economic and human development. IDS’ work provides a nuanced and realistic understanding of the relationship between violence, conflict, security and development with the aim of helping policymakers, practitioners and citizens build peace, prevent conflict and reduce poverty.

Youths with panga knives, bows and arrows and corrugated metal shields clash on the streets of Nakuru. Ethnic violence sparked last December following protests against disputed election results, after suspected vote rigging by Kikuyu President Mwai Kibaki. Copyright: Frederic Courbet/PANOS

IDS research examines the multiple layers and contexts in which violence manifests – from household to state and global level – and pin points the links and overlaps between these layers. We seek to understand how people live and interact in contexts of conflict and violence, and which institutions best support them.

Our research findings are used to develop policies and practices that strengthen people’s efforts to secure their own lives and livelihoods and improve the functioning of political institutions responsible for security and the management and prevention of conflict.

IDS has a pedigree of pioneering work on expanding citizen action in violent contexts. Our research shifts the analysis of fragility and chronic violence from one focused on the state to a more citizen-centred perspective. Our research on gender-based violence focuses on the power of collective action to change attitudes, norms and behaviours.

Another focal area is the dynamics of policy processes around conflict, violence and security examining the key framing and narratives. Our research focuses on non-traditional forms of security, especially linked to water, energy, food and health as well as post conflict and state building issues affecting service delivery and livelihoods. The encounter between global governance security development concerns, local kinds of knowledge and security brokers, and the role of emerging powers is central to our analysis.

Our work on this conflict, security and violence forms part of a broader IDS focus on building inclusive, secure societies.

IDS manages the Households in Conflict Network which brings together researchers interested in the micro level analysis of the relationship between violent conflict and household welfare.

In addition, IDS hosts the Addressing and Mitigating Violence programme which is funded by the UK Department for International Development. This flagship programme will generate practical policy options for states and citizens so they can better address and mitigate violence in both rural and urban settings.

IDS also hosts the Global Drug and Development Policy Roundup, which brings together researchers and policy-makers from across the world to address the nexus between illicit drugs, drug policy and drug-trafficking, on the one hand, and socioeconomic development, human rights and citizen security on the other.

To recieve regular updates on our work, subscribe to our Conflict, Security and Violence e-newsletter

< previous 1 2 next >
Photo of Becky Mitchell More details

Photo of Brigette Rohwerder More details

Photo of Camilla Lindstrom More details

Photo of Cathérine Müller, Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction research team More details

Photo of David Leonard More details

Photo of Fiona Wilson More details

Gauthier Marchais, Research Fellow in the Conflict and Violence research cluster at IDS More details

Photo of Jaideep Gupte, IDS Research Fellow More details

Jean Pierre Tranchant is a Research Fellow with the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team More details

Photo of Jeremy Allouche, IDS research fellow More details

Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mora photo More details

Photo of Lyla Mehta More details

Photo of Martin Greeley, IDS Research Fellow More details

Photo of Matteo Caravani, IDS PhD student More details

More details

Photo of Patricia Justino, IDS Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Research Fellow More details

Photo of Patta Scott-Villiers More details

Rajith Lakshman photo More details

Photo of Robin Luckham More details

Photo of Roger Williamson More details

< previous 1 2 next >
< previous 1 2 next >

‘Seeing’ Conflicts at the Margins: Understanding Community Experiences Through Social Research and Digital Narrative in Kenya and Madagascar

In a context of unprecedented investment in natural resource developments, this project bridges the social sciences, the humanities and community-based participatory research to ask how different ‘communities’ of actors ‘see’ and experience resource conflicts in Kenya and Madagascar. We use social science alongside a variety of participatory multimedia methods to open up conflict research to more diverse framings and voices, which can offer new insights on the drivers of resource conflict and pathways to peace. More details

A Mobile Training Platform for Urban Policing in India and Nepal

The aim of this project is to develop training videos for urban police that can be accessed via mobiles. This kind of platform allows the videos to be centrally updated, accessed (or ‘pushed’) on demand, and also allow for an innovative addition to police performance monitoring. More details

Advisor for the World Development Report 2017

Prof. Patricia Justino is working on the World Development Report 2017 as an advisor to the lead author of the chapter on "Security, Conflict and the Absence of Violence", as well as producing a background paper for the WDR chapter. More details

Cities, Violence and Order

Cities have long been recognised as not only the firm centres of government in the global north and south, but also as central to the processes of state consolidation, transformation and erosion (as seen in the work of Charles Tilly in the 1980s and 1990s). More details

Community Based Peace Processes in Myanmar

Since 2013 Danny Burns has been working with Stephen Gray and Josephine Roos on systemic approaches to peace in Northern Myanmar. The work is rooted in community perspectives on the issues that face local people in Kachin and Northern Shan State. More details

Community Cooperation in Post-Conflict Bosnia

This project will investigate what determines the level of community cooperation in the post-conflict period. More details

Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Research Hub

This project supports and facilitates high-quality research, exchange of ideas, relationship-building and networking among the scholarly and practitioner community working in countering violent extremism (CVE) in Kenya. The CVE Research Hub will serve as a centre of excellence in research on policy, practice and theory in Kenya More details

Democratisation, Decentralisation, Local Governance: IDS-SDC Collaboration

The aim of this third phase of cooperation between IDS and SDC is to share learning and collaborate on policy engagement in priority areas of decentralised and democratic local governance. More details

Disadvantaged Groups and Social Mobility

Bruno Martorano and Patricia Justino will analyse group-based inequalities in Mexico and write a paper on the topic of ‘The impact of the recent crisis in Mexico on economic and political inequalities among minorities’ that discusses and advances an argument about patterns and trends. More details

Ebola: Lessons for development

IDS researchers argue that there is an urgent need to look beyond the immediate, on-the-ground concerns of disease control and containment to consider the bigger and broader questions about international development. More details

Fighting Over Land: Theory and Empirical Evidence from Colombia

The aim of this project is to develop a research agenda on the long-term effect of civil conflict on institutions, particularly on land tenure structure, in Colombia. More details

Food Security, Gender Equality and Peace-Building: Theoretical Framework and Future Agendas

IDS researchers have been commissioned to generate knowledge and evidence-based, actionable recommendations to governments and other stakeholders on the nexus between support to food and nutrition security and building resilient livelihoods, peace processes and stability, and how to integrate gender issues into appropriate policies and actions related to food and nutrition security in situations where conflict exists, has recently ceased, or is likely to reoccur. More details

Futures Workshop on Cities, Violence and Order: The Challenges and Complex Taxonomy of Security Provision in Cities of Tomorrow

Cities have for long been recognised as not only the firm centres of government in the global north and south, but also central to the processes of state consolidation, transformation and erosion (as seen in the work of Charles Tilly in the 1980s and 1990s). More details

Gender Based Violence in the Gaza Strip After Israeli Operation 'Protective Edge’

The proposed research attempts to contribute to our knowledge of VAW incidence and prevalence as well as responses, coping strategies and mechanisms of support in the five governorates in Gaza 2015. More details

GSDRC

GSDRC provide high quality, timely knowledge products to support international development planning, policymaking and other activities area. This includes a document library, a research helpdesk and email bulletins More details

Large-scale resource development at the rural margins: assessing implications for governance, conflict and peacebuilding in Ivory Coast and Kenya

Over three years, this project examined how conflict, local governance and peace-building arrangements in the rural margins of Kenya and Ivory Coast are affected by new, large-scale investments in resource exploitation. More details

MICROCON

A five-year research programme, taking an innovative micro level, multidisciplinary approach to studying the conflict cycle. More details

New and Emerging Forms of Violence Data for Crisis Response: A Comparative Analysis in Kenya

The project will produce a robust evidence base on the opportunities and limitations of social media data on violence reporting to inform UK emergency and crisis response, in the context of violence monitoring in Kenya. More details

Overcoming Violence Through Local Institutions: A Comparative Study of Households and Communities in Colombia

This project will support collaboration and engagement between IDS and the Universidad de los Andes in conducting a unique three-year research programme on the effect of violent conflict on institutional change. More details

Pilot Study to Estimate the Extent of Child Soldiering, Child Labour, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in South Sudan, DRC and Nigeria

This pilot study, funded by ILO, IOM, UNICEF and Walk Free Foundation, aims to estimate the extent of child soldiering and forced labour, human trafficking, and modern slavery in contexts of armed conflict in South Sudan, DRC and Nigeria. More details

< previous 1 2 next >

View all Research Theme's publications

Use this search to display this theme's publications and filter by journal, author, country and much more.


first < previous 1 2 3 4 5 next > last
Non-IDS publication

Welfare Spending and Political Conflict in Latin America, 1970-2010

World Development 107 (forthcoming)

In this article we study an age-old question in political economy: does government spending on welfare ensure peace? This question was at the heart of the European Welfare State model of the early 20th century, and remains relevant today in face of rising inequalities and political conflict. More details

Wp513_FrontCover

Energy Protests in Fragile Settings: The Unruly Politics of Provisions in Egypt, Myanmar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe, 2007–2017

IDS Working Paper 513 (2018)

How do popular protests about the basics of everyday life, specifically about energy, come about in settings where political authority is fragmented and conflict and repression common? How do state and political actors respond to protests which disrupt social and economic life, and undermine public authority? To what extent do such mass protests, often justified as inherently moral struggles over the basics of everyday life, empower the powerless or hold the powerful to account in such political settings? And how do external actors shape these events? More details

School Feeding or General Food Distribution? Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Educational Impacts of Emergency Food Assistance during Conflict in Mali

Innocenti Working Paper 2018-04 (2018)

We rely on a unique pre-crisis baseline and five-year follow-up to investigate the effects of emergency school feeding and general food distribution (GFD) on children's schooling during conflict in Mali. We estimate programme impact on child enrolment, absenteeism and attainment by combining difference in differences with propensity score matching. More details

WURSHIJL_cover

Wellbeing and Protracted Urban Displacement: Refugees and Hosts in Jordan and Lebanon

The war in Syria, now in its eighth year, has led to the mass exodus of the Syrian people. Lebanon and Jordan have achieved a remarkable feat by hosting millions of refugees, with many having located to urban areas, where the great majority of local populations are already situated. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Political Space for Women’s Empowerment in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is widely deemed to have made rapid progress on gender equality and women's empowerment. How to understand the apparent advances of women in a poor, populous, Muslim-majority country in the belt of classic patriarchy? More details

This is the front cover to the book 'Universities and Conflict: The Role of Higher Education in Peacebuilding and Resistance'.

Universities and Conflict: The Role of Higher Education in Peacebuilding and Resistance

This book uses a series of case studies to examine the roles played by universities during situations of conflict, peacebuilding and resistance. More details

Menstrual Hygiene Management in Humanitarian Emergencies

Until recently the issue of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for women and girls in emergencies had been somewhat overlooked by agencies engaged in humanitarian response. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Bulletin 49.1A, 'Inclusive Peace and Security'.

Inclusive Peace and Security

IDS Bulletin 49.1A (2018)

This IDS Bulletin Archive Collection reviews four decades of analysis and research on peace, security, and development, drawing on articles published in previous issues of the Bulletin throughout this timeframe. More details

PB151_Cover

Urban Refugees in Lebanon: Housing, Residency, and Wellbeing

IDS Policy Briefing 151 (2018)

Lebanon hosts over a million Syrian refugees in addition to other displaced groups. These refugees have gravitated to urban centres, putting significant pressure on local infrastructure and services. More details

Wp510_Cover

Indirect Rule in Armed Conflict: Theoretical Insights from Eastern DRC

IDS Working Paper 510 (2018)

Recent literature has shown that the study of armed conflict can be highly informative to understand processes of state-building. One of the fundamental choices that states or other military actors face when occupying new territories and populations is whether to administer them by developing novel administrations (direct rule), or by devolving rule to pre-existing local authorities (indirect rule). More details

Wp511_Cover

Decentralisation, Devolution, and Dynamics of Violence in Africa

IDS Working Paper 511 (2018)

This research sets out to understand the effect of processes of decentralisation on violent conflict in Africa, and what entry points these provide for research and policy actors to engage in meaningful and effective governance, peace-building and conflict resolution. More details

Building Peace in the New Oil Frontiers of Northern Kenya

Since the discovery of oil five years ago in Northern Kenya, explorations have spread to more than 30 drilling and testing sites. This has brought foreign investment, and in turn, new work opportunities, corporate social investment in schools and health clinics, and options for personal enrichment through contracts and tenders. In an area long inhabited by pastoralists, this rapid development has created tensions, resistance, and conflict around both access to new opportunities and also the impacts on lives and livelihoods. More details

The Impact of Food Assistance on Food Insecure Populations During Conflict: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Mali

World Development (2018)

Mali, a vast landlocked country at the heart of West Africa in the Sahel region, is one of the least developed and most food insecure countries in the world. In this study, we exploit data from a unique pre-crisis baseline to evaluate the impact of humanitarian aid on the food security of rural populations. More details

image for non-ids publications

The Role of Land Property Rights in the War on Illicit Crops: Evidence from Colombia

World Development 103 (2018)

This paper examines the effect of the formalisation of land property rights in the war against illicit crops, using the case of Colombia. More details

WP508_Cover

Youth Engagement in the Realm of Local Governance: Opportunities for Peace?

IDS Working Paper 508 (2018)

An interest in young people has gained significant traction in both policy and academic circles over the past ten years, partly informed by the correlations between ‘youth bulges’ and large numbers of unemployed youth and a country’s instability. More details

Non-IDS publication

Women and Peacebuilding: Local Perspectives on Opportunities and Barriers

Development and Change (2018)

This article discusses new qualitative evidence on the opportunities and barriers to women's participation in peace-building processes, based on a comparative analysis of case studies conducted in Afghanistan, Liberia, Nepal and Sierra Leone. More details

Does Intimate Partner Violence Decline as Women’s Empowerment Becomes Normative? Perspectives of Bangladeshi Women.

World Development 101 (2018)

The aim of this study is to clarify the relationship between women’s empowerment and IPV in a setting where gender roles are rapidly changing and IPV rates are high. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Building Inclusive Peace and Security in Times of Unequal Development and Rising Violence

This paper situates the challenges of building peace and security within the historical legacies of unequal development, militarism and global violence. It identifies the spaces for change opened by shifts in global balances of power and profit during the twenty-first century. Rapid technological changes, notably in information technologies are transforming the worlds of war and work. More details

image for non-ids publications

The Need to be Governed: Governance and Violence in Conflict Contexts

Economists for Peace and Security Journal 13.1 (2018)

This article analyses the relationship between governance and violence in light of the World Development Report 2017 on Governance and the Law. More details

Wp503_FrontCover

The Role of External Actors in Supporting Social and Political Action towards Empowerment and Accountability with a Focus on Fragile, Conflict- and Violence-Affected Settings

IDS Working Paper 503 (2017)

This paper explores the role and experience of external actors, particularly donors, in supporting social and political action in fragile, conflict and violence affected settings. More details

first < previous 1 2 3 4 5 next > last

Sign up for e-alerts

Get e-alerts for updates on Conflict, Violence and Security