With an inter-disciplinary team of researchers and a novel approach, this project explores the changes in the character of conflict. It pays particular attention to changes in five dimensions: Actors involved in conflict, the impact of conflict on civilians, the environments in which conflict takes place, the methods used in conflict and finally the resources that drive conflict. One of the major objectives of the project is to create a knowledge base 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. Each armed conflict embedded in it evolves in distinct ways. These changes range from the groups involved, the means used, the methods of violence to the places afected and the impact on civilians. 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 developed rapidly by increasingly relying on new technologies. Some conflicts have pushed towards and across borders, some have become urbanised, while others have moved into the 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.