The Changing Character of Conflict Platform

Understanding, Tracing, and Forecasting Change across Time, Space, and Cultures

With an inter-disciplinary team of researchers and a novel approach, this project explores the changes in the character of conflict.

Our Approach

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About the Project

The Changing Character of Conflict Platform, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council’s Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research, was administered by the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2021, with a large interdisciplinary and international team (see People). Thanks to further generous funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, in 2022 we add to this with the “Network for Change: Building on the Changing Character of Conflict Platform”, administered by the Department of International Development, University of Oxford.

One of the major objectives of the project is to create a knowledge-based platform for academics, practitioners, policy-makers and the wider public to understand the changing character of conflict. This project is particularly important in the light of the world’s constantly changing security landscape.

In some cases, non-state actors proliferate due to the fragmentation of existing groups, while others manifest processes of homogenisation. Some long-running conflicts have remained relatively constant in how they have been fought, whereas others have evolved rapidly by increasingly relying on new technologies. Some conflicts have pushed towards and across borders, some have become urbanised, while others have moved into cyberspace. Change also varies across space: both across regions and across conflicts within the same country. Finally, change in conflict is shaped by local cultures, yet embedded in shifting geopolitics, characterised by great power politics and a reshuffling of the balance of power through the (re-)emergence of new players.

The conflict platform project provides a novel tool and visualisations to analyse these changes in a nuanced and forward-looking manner.

Latest Updates

11 March 2021 16:30

Annette Idler Presents her Research on the Logic of Violent Nonstate Group Interactions at ECDAS

2 March 2021 17:00

Uncertainty in War and Peace: The Security Impacts of Changing Orders talk by Dr Annette Idler

13 October 2020 13:00 — 13 October 2020 14:30

CCW seminar: The Power of Uncertainty: How Change in Conflict Influences Security by Dr Annette Idler