How Can We Prevent Violence Becoming a Viable Political Strategy?
A basic issue that conflict analysis investigates is how non-peaceful ways of living and governing become viable political strategies. Macro-level studies provide some important insights but micro-level analysis is vital to understand the mechanisms that make violence possible. This briefing outlines some preliminary findings in this respect from MICROCON, a major research programme analysing violent conflict at the micro level. It also discusses their implications for policies aimed at preventing the (re-)eruption of violent confl icts. An important overall insight is the variety and combination of motives involved in each case. Given this complexity, policy strategies need to be based on a micro-level appreciation of people's strategies for coping with vulnerabilities to both poverty and violence.
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