Introducing the Changing Character of Conflict Platform project: New approach to quantitative analysis of protracted conflicts

Author: Dr. Katerina Tkacova • Resource type: Podcasts


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 on the following dimensions of conflict and the changes within them: actors involved in conflicts, methods used in conflicts, resources that drive conflicts, environments in which conflict takes place, the impact of conflict on individuals and societies. In the presentation, we introduce a new approach to quantitative analysis of protracted conflicts, which is one of the components of the project. Those conflicts often change their location, spread across borders and create new spin-off conflicts or escalate the old ones. To capture the dynamic and complexity of protracted conflicts, we draw new geographical units based on the activity of carefully identified relevant conflict actors. Using data from various sources including the Georeferenced Events Dataset (UCDP) and the PRIO-GRID (PRIO), we select important indicators to convene a comprehensive yet concise analysis which is designed to inform policy-makers involved in violence reduction and conflict reconciliation. The new approach to quantitative conflict analysis allows us to identify patterns of changes in time and space in the five dimensions of conflicts – actors, methods, resources, environments and impact.