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.


IDS research and policy analysis focuses on the politics and governance of conflict, violence and security. Our research programmes examine multiple layers and contexts in which violence manifests – from household to state and global level – and pin point the links and overlaps between these layers.

The Conflict Violence and Development research cluster in the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction team analyses how people live and interact in contexts of conflict and violence, and which institutions best support them. The cluster uses research findings to develop policies and practices that strengthen people’s efforts to secure their own lives and livelihoods.

The Governance team leads research on security, organised crime and the governance of violent conflict and peace-building at multiple levels, from the local to the transnational. This work contributes to more effective policies for mitigating violence and improving the functioning of political institutions responsible for security and the management and prevention of conflict.

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

The KNOTS team focuses on the dynamics of policy processes around conflict, violence and security examining the key framing and narratives. The 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.

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.

Alia Aghajanian PhD student

Alia Aghajanian - PhD student

More details
Photo of Becky Mitchell

Becky Mitchell - Research Officer - Conflict, Violence and Development Cluster

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

Cathérine Müller - Marie Curie Postdoctoral Researcher

More details
Photo of David Leonard

David Leonard - Visiting Fellow

More details
Photo of Fiona Wilson

Fiona Wilson - Visiting Fellow

More details
Photo of Freida M'Cormack

Freida M'Cormack - Research Officer

More details
Photo of Allister McGregor, IDS Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction research fellow

J. Allister McGregor - Research Fellow

More details
Photo of Jaideep Gupte, Research Fellow with Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team

Jaideep Gupte - Research Fellow

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

Jean-Pierre Tranchant - Research Fellow

More details
Photo of Jeremy Allouche, IDS research fellow

Jeremy Allouche - Research Fellow

More details
Jeremey Lind is a Research Fellow with Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team

Jeremy Lind - Research Fellow

More details
Photo of Lyla Mehta

Lyla Mehta - Research Fellow

More details
Photo of Marika Djolai, DPhil Student with the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction research team

Marika Djolai - DPhil Student

More details
Governance research, Markus Schultze-Kraft

Markus Schultze-Kraft - Research Fellow

More details
Photo of Martin Greeley, IDS Research Fellow

Martin Greeley - Research Fellow

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

Patricia Justino - Team Leader and Research Fellow

More details
Rajith Lakshman photo

Rajith Lakshman - Research Officer

More details
Photo of Robin Luckham

Robin Luckham - Research Associate

More details
Photo of Roger Williamson

Roger Williamson - Visiting Fellow

More details
Photo of Yashodan Ghorpade

Yashodhan Ghorpade - Doctoral Student Researcher

More details

Agency and Governance in Contexts of Civil Conflict

Analysing how the relationship between populations living in contexts of violence and armed non-state actors controlling or contesting those areas results in forms of local governance and order, and how this affects people's livelihoods. More details

Changing Livelihoods in Darfur Since 2005

Assessing current livelihood strategies and options available to vulnerable communities living in Darfur. 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

Food Riots and Food Rights

The objective of this research is to improve the prospects for accountability for food security at a time of volatility. This will be achieved through an exploration of the proposition that recent popular mobilisation around food has activated public accountability for hunger. More details


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

Households in Conflict Network

Undertaking collaborative research into the causes and effects of violent conflict at the household level. More details

Improving access to livelihoods, jobs and basic services in violent contexts

Expanding access to work and services, such as public utilities and safe and reliable transportation, are important elements of any approach to strengthen security in poor urban neighbourhoods. More details

Karimojong Citizen Research

Young researchers in northern Uganda have been probing questions posed by their own communities. From December 2012 to November 2013, they have been using action research techniques to investigate land, peace and justice in Karamoja, a post conflict society. Their findings, shared with community leaders and local government, have shed light on a fundamental problem of a society in transition out of decades of violence. More details

Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency

The 'Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency' (PVCA) project is an action research project designed by researchers at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and carried out with a number of institutional partners. More details

Quantifying the Impact of Women’s Participation in Peace Building

Review existing evidence on the importance of women’s activities in local peace-building processes, and on the impact of policy interventions aimed at supporting the social, economic and political roles that women play in peace-building processes. More details

State Fragility and Rural Development

This project for the GIZ considers the specific challenges posed by state fragility in selected countries (Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Yemen, Nepal and Bolivia) to inform the agency's development cooperation strategy. More details

Strengthening core state functions to mitigate and prevent different manifestations of violence

In the context of exploring the dynamics and logics of violence and responses to it by the state and the international community, Nigeria and Sierra Leone make interesting case studies. These case studies are part of the Addressing and Mitigating Violence programme, which focuses on 'newer' forms of violence and organised crime as well as the changing dynamics of long-standing situations of violence More details


Training and Mobility Network for the Economic Analysis of Conflict (TAMNEAC) is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network, funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme. More details

Tomorrow Today: Development Frontiers in an Insecure World: International Security and the Implications for Development

Development has long been linked with security. However, in recent years development and security have been linked in new ways. These new ties reflect changing conceptualisations of threats originating from aid-recipient contexts in an interdependent world and the expectation that development should help to prevent the spread of these risks. More details

UN MONUSCO/World Bank DRC Consultancy

The primary objective of the consultancy is to support the development of a coordinated approach to monitoring and evaluation for the Peace Consolidation programme (PCP) in DRC. More details

Women in Local Peacebuilding Research

Documenting the role of women in local peacebuilding, conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Liberia. More details

first < previous 1 2 3 4 5 next > last
PB57 Front Cover

Policing Urban Violence: Lessons from South Asia

As densely populated urban centres emerge as economic powerhouses where global GDP is concentrated, they are also increasingly vulnerable to shocks of violence and insecurity. More details

ER 57 Front Cover

Settling After the Revolts? Egypt’s Political Settlements and Violent Transition

The uprisings in the Arab region generated much hope among significant proportions of the population that a rupture with the status quo would herald a new era marked by bread, freedom and social justice/human dignity, the catchphrase of many of the revolts. More details

This is the image for IDS Policy Briefing 48, 'Undercurrents of Violence:
Why Sierra Leone’s Political Settlement is not Working'.

Undercurrents of Violence: Why Sierra Leone’s Political Settlement is not Working

Debates over violence, security, humanitarian and development imperatives have long been polarised. More details

Front cover for Evidence Report 48

Reclaiming the Streets for Women’s Dignity: Effective Initiatives in the Struggle against Gender-Based Violence in between Egypt’s Two Revolutions

This paper is about the struggle to combat gender-based violence in public space in Egypt through the sustained collective action of vigilante groups who organically formed to respond to the increasing encroachment on women in public space from 2011 onwards. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Evaluation Methodologies for Aid in Conflict

Knowledge and rigorous evidence around the role of external development partners in situations of conflict and fragility is still lacking. There is little accountability for the billions in aid being spent in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo. More details

Making the Urban Poor Safe: Lessons from Nairobi and Maharashtra

Making the Urban Poor Safer: Lessons from Nairobi and Maharashtra

The most impoverished neighbourhoods of Nairobi and Mumbai are characterised by severe lack of service provision, poor access to employment opportunities and urban violence. More details

Image teaser for ER39

Missing the Point: Violence Reduction and Policy Misadventures in Nairobi's Poor Neighbourhoods

Violence and crime are part of everyday life in many of Nairobi’s poor urban neighbourhoods. More details

Image teaser for ER38

Is it the Right Time for the International Community to Exit Sierra Leone?

A detailed analysis of Sierra Leone's socioeconomic trends and political institutions show a disturbing picture of anger, frustration and violence. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Responding to Security Threats: Livelihoods Under Protracted Conflict

Populations affected by violent conflicts often withstand threats to their security as well as threats to their livelihoods. Their response to the former threats nontrivially affects their response to the latter threats, and vice versa. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Ekoi and Etem in Karamoja - A Study of Decision-making in a Post-conflict Society

This book presents the findings of a group of young Karimojong who set out to explore land, peace and customary law in the Karamoja sub-region in Uganda. More details

Image Teaser for RRB4

Churning Waters: Strategic Shifts in the Nile Basin

This briefing considers the impact of the diplomatic rift between Egypt and Ethiopia in the Nile Basin on broader development in the region and the possible diplomatic and developmental scenarios that could emerge as construction of the GERD dam progresses. More details

Image Teaser for ER17

Unemployment, Service Provision and Violence Reduction Policies in Urban Maharashtra

This report analyses the relationship between violence and economic vulnerability among urban populations in the Indian state of Maharashtra. More details

Image teaser for ER16

Addressing and Mitigating Violence: Uptake Strategy

The overarching purpose of the Addressing and Mitigating Violence theme (AMV) is to generate useful analysis to tackle policy dilemmas relating to ‘newer’ forms of violence and organised crime. More details

Non-IDS publication

Measuring Conflict Exposure in Micro-Level Surveys

Published by the World Bank, this report extensively reviews current practices and datasets used in micro-level surveys of conflict-affected populations. We review existing conflict- and violence-related questionnaires, with a special focus on the World Bank’s Living Standard Measurement Study (LSMS) surveys. More details

Image Teaser for ER10

Battling with Increased Gender-Based Violence in Egypt’s Transition: Report on the Scoping Workshop held in Cairo, November 2012

This workshop report examines the relationship between Gender-based violence, collective action and masculinities through six country case studies. More details

Front cover for Global Drugs Round Up Event Briefing June 2013

Bringing Development In: Tackling the negative effects of illicit drugs and drug policy on development

This Event Briefing explores why the development community has not engaged with the negative effects of illicit drugs and drug policy on development, and makes recommendations on how it can work more closely with the drug policy community to address these effects. More details

Image Teaser for Evidence Report 5, 'Nigeria's Post-1999 Political Settlement and Violence Mitigation in the Niger Delta' by Markus Schultze-Kraft.

Nigeria's Post-1999 Political Settlement and Violence Mitigation in the Niger Delta

Almost fifteen years after transitioning to civilian-electoral rule, Nigeria is still wrestling with the legacy of a protracted period of military government and the ‘resource curse’ associated with its huge oil wealth. More details

Image Teaser for Policy Brief 37, 'Understanding and tackling violence outside of armed conflict settings' by Jeremy Lind and Becky Mitchell.

Understanding and Tackling Violence Outside of Armed Conflict Settings

Understanding and tackling violence that occurs outside of armed conflict settings is essential to improving the wellbeing of some of the world’s poorest communities. More details

Image Teaser for IDS Policy Briefing 35 'Elites, Oil and Violence Mitigation in the Niger Delta'

Elites, Oil and Violence Mitigation in the Niger Delta

The crisis in the oil-rich Niger Delta in Nigeria is one of the world's forgotten conflicts in which thousands have been killed and the country’s vital oil industry has suffered. More details

first < previous 1 2 3 4 5 next > last

Find an IDS expert

Use our online directory to find an expert on research or by team.

Find a person

Sign up for e-alerts

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