Durable Resolution of Communal Conflicts

Project Overview

Project Leader

Project Period

  • 2010 - ongoing 

Project Description

This project explores under what circumstances communal conflicts (violent conflicts between non-state groups organized along a shared communal identity) can be settled in a manner that promotes durable peace. Communal conflicts can be very violent and often cause disastrous upheaval of local life and livelihoods, resulting in major displacements. Despite the prevalence of communal conflicts and a growing academic attention to these conflicts, academic knowledge about the conditions for their durable resolution is still very limited. Hence, the project aims to develop theory and advance knowledge on this subject. The project has crucial policy implications: a detailed understanding of these processes will improve the efficiency of domestic and international interventions as well as development aid.

The focus of the project is on local conflict resolution processes and how they relate to the way the government handles the conflict. Under what circumstances does the government intervene, and how? What other actors are involved in addressing local conflict? How do different third party actors relate to each other, and how does this affect the outcome? To address these questions, the project employs both quantitative methods, using data on intervention in communal conflict collected for this project, and qualitative methods including field research. Fieldwork focuses on cases in Kenya, and entails interviews with the different stakeholders in local conflict resolution, including government representatives, local elders, participants in peace conferences, and the conflict actors themselves.

Related Publications and Working Papers

Main Financial Support

Field research is funded by research grants from Swedish funding agencies and scholarships.