The Conflict Patterns and Role of Pro-Government Militias

Pro-government militias (hereafter PGMs) are a growing risk to the safety of civilians and stability of developing states. Of all active militias operating on behalf of political elites (e.g. rebel leaders, politicians, political parties, warlords, military, government officials, etc.),…

‘Good Governance’ and Conflict in Africa

The World Governance Indicators (WGI), produced by Kaufmann, Kraay, and Mastruzzi (2014), measure governance defined as “the set of traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised; this includes (1) the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced, (2) the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies, and (3) the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them.”…

Human Rights, Rule of Law, and Political Conflict in Africa

Human rights abuses can range from physical violence to denials of peaceful assembly or freedom of expression. Amnesty International (2015) highlights shortcomings in justice and accountability, where crimes such as gender-based violence go unpunished; this impunity can have further negative ramifications within effected societies (ACLED, 18 February 2015).…

Reporting Lags and the Timeliness of Realtime Data

ACLED collects disaggregated data of every event of political violence in Africa, henceforth expanding to Asia (Raleigh et al., 2010). A particularity of ACLED’s work is the publication of data on a real-time, weekly basis.…

State Fragility and Conflict in Africa

The Fragile States Index (FSI), produced by The Fund for Peace, highlights pressures faced by states, identifying “when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure”, with the intent of shaping assessments of political risk by researchers and policymakers (Messner et al.,…

Violence in Zimbabwe

  Zimbabwe’s political violence is characterized by several distinct features. An extremely high proportion of all conflict is directed against civilians: while across Africa, violence against civilians’ averages at 30% of total political violence, in Zimbabwe, it accounts for 75% as an average from 1997-2015.Most…

Al Shabaab in Tanzania: Current Status and Potential Future Patterns

Although Tanzania holds a reputation for peace and stability, the country has experienced an increase in violent Islamist-related activity in 2015. The most recent attack occurred on the 14th of April in the eastern Morogoro Region (see Figure 1), when a suspected Al Shabaab militant attacked a police officer with a machete.…

The Risk of Conflict-Related Mortality: How to Calculate Risk and Understanding Relative Risk Across Countries  

A unit of relative risk is necessary in order to be able to draw comparisons on the risk of violence or death against civilians from political conflict. A micromort is such a measure, and is often used to determine the ‘riskiness’ of various activities within decision analysis (Howard, 1980).…