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

Gauthier Marchais - Research Fellow

Conflict and Violence
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Deborah West

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Gauthier Marchais is a Research Fellow in the Conflict and Violence Research Cluster at IDS. He holds a PhD in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on dynamics of armed mobilisation, social transformation and armed group governance in conflict affected areas. He convenes the Conversations on Conflict and Violence Seminar Series at IDS, a multi-disciplinary seminar held on Mondays at IDS.

Gauthier’s PhD research focused on the dynamics of armed mobilisation in the province of South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, using a mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) approach. He is currently finalising two research projects on the region. The first paper seeks to provide evidence on the determinants of participation in non-state armed factions, using novel quantitative methods, and informed by qualitative research carried out in the region.

The second project also combines qualitative and quantitative approaches, to understand the conditions of emergence of indirect rule type governance arrangements between armed factions and local authorities in zones controlled by armed factions, in co-authorship with Raul Sanchez de la Sierra (UC Berkeley) and Soeren Henn (Harvard). He is also one of the directors of Marakuja Kivu Research, a non-profit association specialised in research in conflict affected settings, based in Goma, DRC.

Gauthier is currently a co-investigator two ESRC funded projects. The first, led by professor Patricia Justino (IDS) and in partnership with the Centre for Human Rights (CHRIPS) in Nairobi, and the Armed Conflict Location and Events Data Project (ACLED), seeks to ascertain the validity of different reporting sources for violent events, by comparing online crowdsourced monitoring of violent events with traditional media reporting in terms of timeliness, accuracy, and representativeness. The project outputs and papers will be available in the summer of 2018.

The second is a project that seeks to ascertain the relationship between armed group governance and environmental conservation in Mindanao, Philippines. The project is led by Professor Ana Maria Ibáñez of the Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, and due to start in 2018. In addition, Gauthier Marchais is starting a two projects on education in conflict, in partnership with Save the Children, due to start in 2018.

Gauthier is also interested in questions of race and structural racism in the academy. He is currently writing an academic article on race in contemporary research on the African continent, and has recently completed a non-academic book on race from the perspective of a white man.

This project aims to establish a long-term partnership between the IDS, Save the Children UK (SCUK) and Save the Children International Rwanda (SCI-R) to analyse, evaluate and scale-up (in partnership with the Government of Rwanda) a unique holistic programme (First Steps) that supports families of children aged 0-3 in the district of Ngororero in Rwanda.

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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.

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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.

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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


Assessing the Role of Social Media and Digital Technology in Violence Reporting

IDS Working Paper 492 (2017)

The use of social media and digital technologies has radically changed the way that information about violence is captured, reported, analysed and acted upon. People’s use of social media played a significant role in the Egyptian revolution, post-election violence in Kenya, and drug-cartel violence in Mexico. Social media can be used to provide humanitarian agencies, policymakers and academics seeking to understand and respond to violent crises with data unavailable from other sources. More details

Using digital media for real-time violence monitoring and response

01 Aug 2018
By Roudabeh Kishi, Patricia Justino, Gauthier Marchais

What's trending in work on governance and conflict?

04 Apr 2017
By Robin Luckham, (incomplete), Gauthier Marchais

Thematic Expertise:
Building Inclusive Secure Societies; Children and Youth; Conflict Violence and Security; Governance; Collective Action; State Capacity; Politics and Power; Reducing Inequalities; Taxation.

Geographic Expertise:
Sub Saharan Africa; Congo (Democratic Republic).