Conflict Analysis methodology paper by Independent Conflict Research & Analysis (ICRA)
“RE-APPRAISING CONFLICT ANALYSIS METHODOLOGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY”
Authors: Christopher Langton & Elena Rathgeber
This paper written by ICRA suggests that the conflict environment of the 21st Century is markedly different to that of the 20th Century; it highlights contextual change and calls for a shift in thinking. The authors recognise that this is a re-appraisal rather than a re-invention of thought and practice, but also point out that the thinking and practice were largely evolved at the end and shortly after the Cold War in a different context to today. In this way the paper recommends that previous theory and methodologies be taken forward and developed to be more applicable in a globalized world where, for example, non-state groups proliferate in number and conflict and its management and resolution have become more complex.
To meet this demand the paper describes a specific methodology for the objective analysis of conflict. The methodology is currently used in ICRA training programmes to teach actors involved in the analysis of conflict how to determine all aspects, prioritise, and decide on feasible courses of action. It is deliberately a generic method that does not seek proscriptive solutions for those involved but merely teaches an objective way of approaching prevention, management and resolution.
There is also a brief section on emerging conflict factors. The authors consistently highlight that one flaw in international conflict management is its reactive nature. The paper points to the growing need for more pro-activity in dealing with current and future conflict; in particular emerging trends such as those connected to urbanization and climate change that could lead directly or indirectly to conflict.
The full ICRA methodology paper can be downloaded here .