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Measuring Resilience to Intrastate Armed Conflict

Sat, September 2, 12:00 to 1:30pm, Hilton Union Square, Plaza A


Recently, development programs have emphasized the importance of resilience: “the ability of people, households, communities, countries, and systems to mitigate, adapt to and recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth” (USAID 2012). Standard indicators used to gauge resilience are: (1) the extent to which essential functions are maintained and negative effects avoided in the face of shocks and stresses; (2) the speed and degree of recovery from any damage; (3) responses that improve capability to withstand future shocks and stresses and even achieve new, more optimal, durable states of affairs. In this paper, we translate the concept of resilience to the realm of intrastate armed conflict. One of the primary motivations is to devise a methodology of measurement that amalgamates several dimensions of the phases before, during, and after conflict, including the vulnerability to the onset and recurrence of violence, as well as the escalation, severity, spread, and duration of violence that does occur. In contrast, exiting studies have traditionally treated these dimensions as separate dependent variables in empirical analyses. Our key objective is to identify specific signatures that characterize trajectories of resilience to armed conflict. For this purpose, we use a combination of spatial econometrics (exploratory spatial data analysis) and computational modelling (agent-based modelling) to investigate patterns in integrated geocoded data on various types of conflict events covering Africa from 1997-2015.