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Photos by Federico Ríos

While the rebels group FARC-EP and the Colombian government had signed a historical peace agreement in November 2016, a broad range of armed groups continue their activities in the remote border regions.
Since 2019, Colombia has become the receiver of Venezuelan mass migration. Will Venezuelan migrants be pulled into the ranks of narco, guerrilla, and paramilitary groups?



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Impact on Civilians, Actors, Environments, Methods, Resources Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War Idler, Annette. 2019. “Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War.” Oxford University Press: New York. Actors, Environments, Methods, Resources Conflict in Colombia ​The conflict in Colombia started as a left-wing guerrilla insurgency against the Colombian government. Later in the conflict, new actors formed in reaction to the violence and instability (Pécaut, 2001), such as the violent engagement of paramilitary groups, including the paramilitary umbrella group AUC and its individual Bloque Central Bolívar, primarily with the left-wing guerrillas FARC and ELN (Saab & Taylor, 2009). Similarly, the drug trade and associated drug cartels became… Actors Time to rethink Colombia’s militarised national security approach Jorge E. Delgado, a Senior Expert for the Colombia/Venezuela programme in the Engagement, Dialogue and Process Design Unit at The European Institute of Peace, The configuration of Colombia’s security forces in a post-FARC-EP country has been a contentious and politically charged issue since the peace talks. Using a historical approach, the article argues that the Colombian security forces’ thinking has remained constant despite the signature of the 2016 Peace Accord.… Methods Mathematical Modelling of Conflict Change What drives nonlinear change in armed conflict? We identify changes within the conflict in Colombia across time and space which are invisible to descriptive statistics that assume linearity of conflict developments. To do so, we explore existing datasets on conflict events and our novel dataset on armed groups’ presence and behaviour in two Colombian departments. Drawing on Complexity Theory, we treat the conflict in Colombia as a complex system. Among the key characteristics of those systems… Actors, Impact on Civilians, Resources The Logic of Illicit Flows in Armed Conflict: Explaining Variation in Violent Nonstate Group Interactions in Colombia ​Why is there variation in how violent nonstate groups interact in armed conflict? Where armed conflict and organized crime converge in unstable regions worldwide, these groups sometimes enter cooperative arrangements with opposing groups. Within the same unstable setting, violent nonstate groups forge stable, long-term relations with each other in some regions, engage in unstable, short-term arrangements in others, and dispute each other elsewhere. Even though such paradoxical arrangements… Actors, Impact on Civilians Visualizing Change in Armed Conflict: Complexity in the Eyes of the Beholder Violent conflict evolves and adapts to ever-changing conditions motivated by interactions between actors involved in conflict and the places in which it develops. Such a multifaceted interplay of variables complicates the understanding of dynamic conflict and requires sophisticated tools to explain the processes it involves. Challenging hegemonic epistemological processes in conflict studies and related fields, we argue that visualization offers opportunities to explore dynamic conflict in a… Actors, Impact on Civilians, Environments Transformations in the Colombian Armed Conflict In his photographs, Federico Ríos explores transformations in the Colombian armed conflict through the period of negotiations between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) (2010–2016) and the unfolding post-peace accord moment. His photo-essay includes many of the conflict’s armed actors, such as guerrilla groups that have been pushed to Colombia’s borderlands. Yet the series of photographs goes beyond classic depictions of Colombia’s armed… Actors, Impact on Civilians, Environments Introducing the Changing Character of Conflict Platform project: New approach to quantitative analysis of protracted conflicts Katerina Tkacova, University of Oxford The interdisciplinary project aims to create a knowledge-based platform for academics, practitioners, policy-makers and the wider public to understand the changing character of conflicts across different epistemologies and methodologies. While we might not be able to stop some conflicts, we may well be able to prevent a drastic increase in casualties or erosion of social fabric if we understand the main patterns of organized violence. In our work, we focus… Methods, Resources Conflicts in Flux: A Novel Approach to Analysing Conflict Dynamics ​This article presents a novel approach to studying armed conflict based on a new geographical unit of analysis, ‘setting of organized violence’ (SORVI). Some of the world’s most devastating armed conflicts—ranging from the Afghan civil war to the Syrian conflict—comprise several entangled conflicts and changing contested issues that spill across borders. They also feature new spin-off conflicts. Current macro-level studies of conflict research, especially those with quantitative… Actors, Impact on Civilians Uncertainty in Changing Security Landscapes: Evidence from Colombia and Myanmar This paper sheds light on how uncertainty informs people’s everyday lives in changing conflict situations. Annette Idler argues that, in settings of armed multiparty conflicts, changes such as ceasefires or the demobilization of an armed actor induce uncertainty because the previously existing order and the rules of behaviour attached to it are no longer available. Drawing on evidence from extensive fieldwork in Myanmar’s and Colombia’s remote conflict-affected borderlands, she shows that… Actors, Impact on Civilians The Politics of Images: Understanding Change in Armed Conflict through Photography ​This article demonstrates how integrating the disciplinary approach of International Relations with visual arts in the form of photojournalism and documentary photography enhances understanding of dynamic change in armed conflict. We argue that photo-essays are a powerful methodological and epistemological tool of knowledge production because of their potential to (i) allow us to understand dynamic change in armed conflict as a process, rather than a static phenomenon; (ii) contribute to an…