Violent conflict results in enduring constraints to development. However, violence has an instrumental role beyond destruction. It is used strategically by political actors to promote social transformation. One way transformation takes place is through the emergence of local governance structures in places where the government is absent or heavily contested. These structures will affect significantly the living conditions of local populations. Yet understanding of these impacts is very limited. The main purpose of this project is to analyse how the relationship between populations living in areas of conflict and armed non-state actors controlling or contesting those areas results in forms of local governance and order, and how these in turn affect the access to and effectiveness of livelihoods. The study is based on comparative qualitative and quantitative empirical work in Colombia, India, Lebanon, Niger and South Africa. Improving the understanding of these forms of governance and order has important implications. Theoretically, it provides important micro foundations to understand the duration and termination of violent conflict. At the policy level, understanding how different actors operate and influence local conflict dynamics is important for creating the space for interventions to engage with a range of actors, views and local realities.
Institute of Development Studies
Bridging Micro and Macro Approaches on Civil Wars and Political Violence: Issues, Challenges, and the Way Forward