A Review of Libya in 2014

Libya was the fourth most active and the sixth most violent country in the ACLED dataset with 2383 reported fatalities from battles and remote violence in 2014. The deterioration of security in Libya throughout 2014 has been characterized by a myriad of factional armed groups with complex competing claims and two divided governments mobilizing competing narratives in the pursuit of ‘political legitimacy’.…

State Policy, Political Opportunity and Phases of Contentious Political Activity in Egypt

A cursory glance at Egypt’s conflict landscape from the beginning of the revolutionary uprising would infer that overall, riots and protests have followed an upward trajectory with increased participation, mobilisation and dissent against the regime (see Figure 1).…

Tensions among soldiers in Ivory Coast

Contrary to the recent tensions in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast has experienced a period of relative stability in 2014. With the exception of an outbreak of violence in May 2014, when pro-Gbagbo militia fighters stormed the South-western village of Fetai killing three soldiers and ten civilians (Aboa, 2014), overall conflict levels and intensity have remained relatively low throughout much of the year.…

Terrorism: A review of differences in definition

The existence of multiple, contrasting and even contradictory definitions and conceptualisations of terrorism in policy, legal frameworks and academic research is well-documented. The plethora of competing legal definitions has been likened to the Bermuda Triangle (Dedeoglu, 2003), and attempts to develop consensus around a single one, to ‘the quest for the Holy Grail’ (Levitt, 1986).…

A Review of Research Using ACLED in 2014

ACLED exists as an open-source tool to aid research into conflict dynamics and political violence. Certain traits of ACLED make the dataset especially suited to fine-grained micro-level analysis. Below are a selection of research papers published this year which have used ACLED; articles are chosen based on how certain traits of the ACLED enabled the authors to carry out their research.…

Tunisia Presidential Elections: a fresh start or “in with the old”?

On Sunday, Tunisia observed the first round of presidential elections since the 2011 revolution, with a 62.9% turnout. Despite the Tunisian authorities deploying 80,000 security forces across the country to face anticipated unrest (Al Jazeera, 24 November 2014) the elections were not marred by violence, reflecting their open and inclusive nature.…

Anti-Government Protests and Regime Breakdown: Conflict Dynamics in Transitional States

“Authoritarian regimes…breakdown in systematically different ways, and they also affect post-transition outcomes” Geddes (1999: 6) The recent civil disobedience activity in Burkina Faso to oust President Blaise Compaore, following an attempt to extend his 27-year long term (BBC, 30 October 2014) highlights the success of civil society movements in mobilising for regime change.…

Remote-Violence, Bombings and Conflict Part 3: Overall Trends in the Use of Improvised Explosive Devices

The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in conflict zones across has become increasingly prevalent over the past few years (Norton-Taylor, 3 July 2014). Conflict in Africa mirrors this global trend, as the number of discrete events involving IEDs grew from 9 reports in 2005 to 468 in 2013.…