Bombings, Explosives and Conflict Part 2: Weapons of the Weak? Remote Violence and the Relative Strength of Non-State Actors

Does the use of remote violence indicate weakness in a non-state conflict actor? Forms of ‘remote violence’, such as roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), enable armed groups to attack targets that they do not have the capacity to face directly. As a result these weapons have been described as ‘weapons of the weak’…

Remote-Violence, Bombings and Conflict Part 1: The patterns of bombings in post-Arab Spring North Africa

While the Arab Spring was lauded as a triumph of democracy by various Western politicians, the response from security analysts have been more ambiguous (CNN, 28 May 2011). There have been concerns that the dramatic shifts, or outright disintegration, of existing power structures could aid international and domestic conflict, particularly within the region (BBC News,…

Education and Political Conflict Part 1

Following the announcement on the 16th October that the Nigerian government had negotiated the release of over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok in Nigeria, the global trend of deliberate and recurrent attacks against schools and education in conflict-affect areas has received renewed attention. In Nigeria from 2012 – 2014, the ACLED dataset recorded an average…

Riots and Protests in Egypt after the November 2013 Protest Law

Nationwide hunger strikes across Egypt have grabbed international media attention in September as political activists, journalists, detainees and lawyers continue to campaign against the Egyptian protest law introduced in November 2013. The protest law is seen by hunger strike participants as a limitation on basic principles of freedom and a restriction on the right to peaceful assembly. Enacted…

The trend of increasing violence in post-Gaddafi Libya

Ongoing fighting between rival militias around Tripoli Airport and battles between the military and Islamist militias in Benghazi have grabbed international headlines and put the post-civil war breakdown of law and order in the North African nation back in the spotlight (BBC, 2014). Both the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the European Union…