Trajectories of Armed Conflicts over Time

New PRIF Report by Thorsten Gromes maps the extent of lethal violence over time [German only]

Foto zeigt ein Holzkreuz und Schlappen im Vordergrund und dahinter einige Sandhügel, in denen weitere Holzkreuze stecken

Provisorisch angelegter Friedhof entlang der „Todesavenue“ in der kongolesischen Hauptstadt Brazzaville, Foto: © picture-alliance / dpa | epa AFP

Conflict trajectories show how the extent of lethal violence develops over time. The more syste­matically research determines the trajec­tories of armed conflicts and the more precisely it understands how the respect­ive trajec­tories come about, the better it can assess the further develop­ment of current conflicts. In PRIF Report 15/2022 (in German), Thorsten Gromes maps the courses of 125 intra-state conflicts that began after 1989 and ended by De­cember 2020. Here, the respec­tive tra­jectory results from the ups and downs of lethal violence over the total duration of the con­flict.

What stands out in parti­cular is the fact that every se­cond conflict has a one-off peak in violence ex­ceeding the average death rate several times over. Almost every third conflict is cha­racter­ized by a wave-like pro­gression. The in­sights gained into the course of con­flicts can be used to inform efforts on how these con­flicts can be con­tained or ended.

Download: Gromes, Thorsten: Der Verlauf bewaffneter Konflikte. Zum Ausmaß tödlicher Gewalt über Zeit, PRIF Report 15/2022, Frankfurt/M.