SOAS University of London

Major study on foreign interventions in conflict-affected countries to be launched at SOAS

1 October 2018

The publication of a major new study on how international interventions in conflict-affected countries have affected violence reduction and post war transitions for the UK Government's Stabilisation Unit will be launched at SOAS University of London on 2 October.

The report ‘Elite Bargains and Political Deals’ is written by SOAS scholars Professor Jonathan Goodhand and Dr Patrick Meehan, and Dr Christine Cheng from Kings College London and was developed over 18 months involving case studies of 21 countries.

It focusses on how external interventions in conflict-affected countries have, or have not, helped reduce violence. One of the key findings is that interventions can be ineffectual, or counter-productive, when interveners fail to analyse and engage effectively with underlying configurations of power and processes of elite bargaining in conflict-affected states.

The report’s findings are now being incorporated into the UK’s approach to conflict reduction internationally.

Originally publicised at Chatham House on 14 June by Alistair Burt MP, Minister for the Middle East and for International Development, the report provides a more robust evidence base for the UK’s approach to stabilisation to help policy makers deliver more effective interventions in conflict contexts.

Approximately two billion people live in parts of the world affected by violent conflict and fragility. By 2030 the World Bank estimates that 50% of the world’s population will live in countries affected by violence and instability. Since the end of the Cold War, conflict resolution and peace building have been essential components of international interventions in conflict-affected states. However, understanding of what works is still limited and partial.

Further information on the report can be found on the project website. The event will take place at SOAS Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre on 2 October at 5.30pm.