Introducing the MICROCON blog: Understanding violence and how it might be overcome

Posted by Patricia Justino.

Welcome to the MICROCON blog! MICROCON, or ‘A Micro Level Analysis of Violent Conflict’ is a five-year research programme funded by the European Commission, which takes an innovative micro level, multidisciplinary approach to the study of the conflict cycle. It is a five year programme, and has recently entered its final year.

Over the next 12 months, members of MICROCON’s 60-strong research team will be reflecting on the latest conflict research from around the world, as well as recent developments in countries affected by violent conflict. MICROCON is founded on the belief that micro-level analysis – at the level of individuals, households and small groups – is vital in understanding conflicts, how they can be prevented or curtailed, and how their effects can be mitigated.

 An important overall insight of MICROCON’s findings to date is that in each conflict there is a variety and combination of motives for engaging in violence – it is not possible to just talk about one that applies across conflicts. There are differences between leaders and followers; and also between individual motives and group motives. There are differences across conflicts, and causal factors also change over the course of conflicts. Given the complex range and combination of factors involved, strategies to prevent the (re-)emergence of violence need to be based on a micro-level appreciation of people’s strategies for coping with vulnerabilities to both socio-economic disadvantage and violence

This blog will seek to bring the micro-level expertise of our team of researchers to bear on current conflicts and to discuss the latest developments in conflict research, with a view to stimulating debate and engaging with anyone who is interested in discussing violent conflicts and how they might be overcome. So please do add your perspectives ‘below the line’ in the coming months, and please do get in touch to let us know what you think of the blog!

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