SOAS University of London

Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice

Wars without borders: Conditions for the development of regional conflict systems in sub-Saharan Africa

Dr. Nadine Ansorg

Date: 13 December 2013Time: 1:00 PM

Finishes: 13 December 2013Time: 2:30 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B101

Type of Event: Seminar

Seminar by Dr. Nadine Ansorg

Research Fellow, German Institute of Global and Area Studies;
Coordinator, Institutions for Sustainable Peace research consortium;
Visiting Researcher, Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS

Chair: Dr. Phil Clark, Reader in Comparative and International Politics, SOAS

Wars without borders: Conditions for the development of regional conflict systems in sub-Saharan Africa

How and under what conditions does war spread into regions and do regional conflict systems evolve? These systems are defined as socially constructed and geographically bound spaces of insecurity, ones that are characterized by interdependent armed conflicts in which a plurality of actors who concur and/or interact within complex networks, and on different levels of action, participate. The regionalization of armed conflict is conceptualized as either the geographical diffusion to a new territory or as the escalation of violence within the very same territory, with the involvement therein of a multiplicity of actors.The processes of diffusion and escalation of civil war in potential and existent regional conflict systems in sub-Saharan Africa between 1989 and 2010 are analyzed with the help of a multi-value Qualitative Comparative Analysis (mvQCA). By using such a QCA, it is possible to compare several different cases and produce results that go beyond the ones thus far discovered from small-N analyses. By comparing twelve cases it is also possible to identify the causal relationships and interactions between variables. The analysis shows that, in the cases compared, four specific conditions lead to a regional spread of violence: economic networks sustained through the support of neighboring countries; an intervention on the part of the government; militarized refugees; and, non-salient regional identity groups.