» Archive for category: ‘Publications


Cameroon’s army forces on patrol near Mabass (Getty)- independent.co.uk

Cameroon: Confronting Boko Haram is a new report by International Crisis Group that points out the pros and cons of the Cameroonian government’s military response to fight against Boko Haram. The  report states that while the military campain has been partialy successful in disrupting the  jihadist group, the structural problems that allowed this threat to arise have not been addressed. 

To consolidate gains and bring lasting peace to the Far North, the government must now shift to long-term socioeconomic development, countering religious radicalism and reinforcing public services.

The full report (in French) can be downloaded here

The Institute for Economics and Peace, a leading think tank dedicated to developing metrics to analyze peace and to qualify its economic benefits, developed a conceptual framework, known as the Pillars of Peace, which are eight factors that provide a roadmap to overcome adversity and conflict, and to build lasting peace.

Graph 8The Positive Peace Report 2016 investigates these factors, why they are important, and how they work together to reduce levels of violence and improve resilience and peacefulness. The report asserts that peace is much more than the absence of violence:

It “introduces new thinking and evidence about Positive Peace. Positive Peace is defined as the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies. These same factors also lead to many other positive outcomes that support an optimum environment in which human potential can flourish. Without a better understanding of how societies operate, it will not be possible to solve humanity’s major challenges. Positive Peace combined with systems thinking provides a unique framework from which to better manage human affairs.”

The report offers a compilation of research on positive peace and resilience. You can download it here.


This report by PAX provides a unique overview of the manner in which armed conflict and the arms trade reinforce each other in the Horn of Africa. It deals with the security situation and the arms trade between 2010 and 2015 in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.pax-report-horn-of-africa-armed-and-insecure-cover135

A large number of people in the Horn of Africa have grown up in the midst of armed conflict. The abundance of weapons in the region and the constant influx of new arms play a large role in these conflicts. 

The report suggests that in order to significantly reduce levels of armed violence, governments in the Horn of Africa must shift from a focus on ‘national security’ to prioritizing ‘human security’.

This is to “improve the wider security perception by ensuring basic socio-economic preconditions such as personal and food security, an accessible labour market, as well as education and health systems (…) With so many people in the region used to armed conflict and major violence, it is imperative that efforts be made to better control the trade of arms, thereby preventing lethal instruments from ending up in the hands of those violating human rights or involved in war crimes.”

summary of the report is available. See also the complete report Armed and insecure

A conflict perspective on the EU approach to the Syrian refugee crisis

Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, just realized a policy brief  on Syrian, which states that attempts to deal with the refugee crisis may inadvertently contribute to emerging drivers of conflict and violence in the near future. 

Escape d76 Flickr

Source: D76 Flickr

Abstract: The European Agenda on Migration combines humanitarian and development assistance to encourage refugees to seek shelter in their ‘region of origin’ with a border externalisation strategy that aims to contain irregular migration into Europe. This policy brief maintains that the implementation of the Agenda is problematic from a conflict perspective because it inadvertently contributes to an environment in which refugees are increasingly marginalised and exploited. A longer-term danger is that these patterns of marginalisation and exploitation may become structural drivers of future conflict and instability. 


On Peacemaking is part of a series of reflections and unique insights into peacemaking from the Oslo Forum Series published in 2016. The papers cover a wide range of topics from the role of the United Nations in mediation, to the complex interplay between peace and justice, the inclusion of women and civil society in peacemaking, the normative framework in which mediators operate, and the challenges of the implementation phase. They address some of the thorniest issues mediators face in designing peace processes and pursuing peaceful settlements to armed conflicts. Thepublications are available here.




New challenges and responses


Rod Waddington - mursi tribe ethiopia bw

Source: Mursi tribe ethiopia, Rod Waddington, Flickr

While in Central America organized violence, carried out without any clear political objective or ideological basis, has taken on an epidemic form, this form of non-conventional armed violence is also shaping post-conflict and conflict environments such as Libya, Mali, Somalia and Syria. These cases show that there is ever greater hybridity between criminal, paramilitary and political behaviour in global manifestations of armed violence.  Pressure to rethink the policies adopted towards these non-state armed groups – whether they are extremist factions, urban gangs, drug trafficking organizations, vigilante groups or protection racketeers – has intensified as the efforts to stifle them through security measures alone yield disappointing results.

The Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre in collaboration with the Conflict Research Unit of the Clingendael Institute published the first reports in a series of papers commissioned on the subject of “non-conventional armed violence,” in order to explore these issues through case studies, comparative analyses and policy papers. For more information and to access the reports visit Clingendael Institute website.


Plural Security Insights

Category: Publications

26 Jul 2016

Clingendael’s Conflict Research Unit (CRU) consortium project Plural Security Insights seeks to foster effective security and rule of law policy and practice by offering empirical insights on plural security provision in urban contexts.  Led by Research Fellow Megan Price and funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the project provides empirically-based policy advice on how local governance structures might interact with various local security providers to improve security outcomes for urban residents.


Source: Andrea Scire / flickr

In many contexts around the world, the state is not the sole provider of security. Rather, an array of coercive actors assert claims on the use of force, an arrangement understood as ‘plural security provision’.  This phenomenon, and its policy implications, are examined in case studies of three urban contexts: Beirut (Lebanon), Nairobi (Kenya), and Tunis (Tunisia). The approach of the project privileges a bottom-up perspective, challenging both conventional state-centric international security and rule of law assistance and local policymakers to better engage with modes of security provision that people view as legitimate, effective, or at least the best available.

Here you can find the final synthesis paper that summarizes recurrent themes from the case studies and provides recommendations and advice for policy makers working in contexts of security pluralism.




Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 5.07.24 PMThe Handbook on Human Security: A Civil-Military-Police Curriculum, published by GPPAC, the Alliance for Peacebuilding and the KROC Institute for Peace Studies of Notre Dame University, aims to provide practical guidance and a shared set of terms and concepts to enable civil-military-police coordination to support human security.

“No one group can achieve human security on their own without working with others. Civil society, military and police all have roles to play in achieving human security.” 

Update on conflict dynamics and peacebuilding efforts.

Recommended article by Kisuke Ndiku, originally posted on TransConflict.

“It is a timely juncture in which to offer an update on peace in the Greater Horn and Great Lakes Region in Africa – South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somaliland, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.”


“Overall the Greater Horn and Great Lakes Region in Africa has been relatively stable but the concerns of governance and peace continue to be given very limited attention. This only happens when violence and disruption give rise to some short-term attention to violence and conflict, but not to peace. This is where a change is needed, focusing peace as opposed to focusing on violence. Peace as a continuum that assures growth and freedom needs to be catalyzed more than before through concerted engagement between communities, politicians, political parties and relevant organs of government. Exploring, identifying and using key pillars that contribute to community peace needs attention in each country.”


Inside the Storytelling Revolution

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 11.58.03 AMLike peace, stories are about process and product; stories shape the way we interact with our surroundings and how we define our role in the world. We find purpose and belonging through stories—as individuals, communities, and nations.  

The Alliance for Peacebuilding latest issue of Building Peace, Inside the Storytelling Revolution, is dedicated to the transformative and revolutionary power of storytelling. It examines the countless ways we communicate with one another and the power that stories hold to inspire peace as well as war.


International Institute of Social Studies

Conflict and Peace Studies is a specialization within the Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies MA Major in Development Studies. This blog provides a platform for discussion for researchers, students and others interested in this field of studies. The blog is administered by the Conflict and Peace Studies teaching team.

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