Building Inclusive, Secure Societies

Building more inclusive and secure societies acknowledges the appalling dangers and lasting harms to people's lives and livelihoods from everyday conflict and violence, but also from risks associated with the environment, health and the economy.

Small boy looking out to wide open sea, waiting for his father to return from fishing

Inclusive institutions key to long-term resilience

Being and feeling unsafe and insecure is devastating to individuals, families, communities and societies. Our work contributes to a greater understanding of how we can build resilience and protect people against threats from conflict as well as environmental, economic, political and social shocks. Preventing a shock from magnifying in to a crisis also requires inclusive institutions and an understanding of how we can enable citizens to feel that they have a stake in the way their communities are governed.

Greater peace, freedom and safety for people everywhere

IDS’ work seeks to understand the factors that underlie and reinforce insecurity – a lack of inclusion and citizenship, unequal power relations and problematic forms of securitisation. This work explores what institutions, communities, policy and practice can do to achieve peace, freedom and safety for everyone, everywhere.

Patricia Justino, IDS Research Fellow and Leader of the IDS Conflict and Violence Cluster:

 “With almost one third of the world’s population living in low-income conflict-affected countries, it is critical that we understand the effects of conflict on people’s welfare, behaviour and poverty.” 

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Aiding Resilience? The Impact of Foreign Assistance on the Dynamics of Intrastate Armed Conflict

The aim of this project is to evaluate the association between types, locations, timing, and amounts of development aid and the likelihood, escalation, severity, spread, duration, and recurrence of violence, spanning the phases before, during, and after conflict. More details

‘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

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

Capacity Building for Smart Data and Inclusive Cities (SDIC)

The “Capacity Building for Smart Data and Inclusive Cities” (SDIC) project aims strengthen technical and institutional capacities by working directly with municipal authorities participating in the Smart Cities Mission in four secondary cities in India: Bhopal and Jabalpur (in Madhya Pradesh) and Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi (in Kerala). 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

Coptic Culture Conservation Collective

The Coptic Culture Conservation Collective initiative will create a narrative and visual archive of contemporary Coptic intangible cultural heritage. 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

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

Market-Based Mangrove Afforestation and Reforestation in Kenya and India

This study aims to understand and compare processes and relationships associated with the ‘marketization of nature’ – how nature-based commodities and markets for trading them are brought into being – in the context of mangrove afforestation, reforestation and restoration projects in Kenya and India. More details

Meanings and Expressions of Empowerment and Accountability (part of the A4EA programme)

This research theme, under the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) Research Programme, is concerned with the meanings of empowerment and accountability from the point of view of the people’s experiences and perceptions, and this in turn means for collective action. More details

Pathways to Accountability Bargains (part of the A4EA research programme)

This research theme, under the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) Research Programme, is concerned with the following question: how can stable and inclusive political settlements (among elites) and a just social contract (between elites and different social groups) emerge that are based on accountable and responsive institutions? More details

Pathways to Inclusive Development through Innovation, Technology and Change

Pathways to Inclusive Development through Innovation, Technology and Change is developing a framework to analyse alternative pathways that link different forms of technological innovation, and evaluate resulting structural change and inclusion outcomes in low-income countries. 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

The Role of External Actors (part of the A4EA research programme)

This theme supports the programme in addressing: What are the best ways for external actors, such as donors, NGO’s etc., to support internally led social and political actions or to create enabling conditions that contribute to empowerment and accountability?’ 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

View all Research Theme's publications

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Promoting and Protecting Religious Diversity in the Middle East

Promoting and Protecting Religious Diversity in the Middle East

IDS Rapid Response Briefing 5 (2013)

In the aftermath of regime ruptures in the Arab world and with the political ascendancy of Islamist groups, there has been a mass exodus of citizens belonging to religious minorities from the region. More details

IDS publications on international development research

War and Rural Development in Africa

IDS Bulletin 27.3 (1996)

Rural development thinking can no longer claim that conflict falls outside its mandate, according to this edition of the IDS Bulletin. The nature of warfare in Africa is changing dramatically. War is being used as an instrument of policy, and becoming a way of life in the worst affected areas, with civilians, not combatants, the most vulnerable. More details

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