Conflict analysis - Brief Description


The world-wide increase in intrastate violent conflicts and recent incidents of genocide and ethnic cleansing caused development policy to pay more attention to the theme of conflict management. The purpose of conflict analysis in a developmental policy context is:

  • To better understand why there is a conflict (historical and structural circumstances), and why this conflict is expressed violently.
  • To better understand how stakeholders deal with conflicts.
  • To inform the actors concerned how to respond sensitively to a conflict situation, thereby contributing to reducing or eliminating the likelihood of violent conflict.

Conflict analysis is a method for developing, in a systematic way, a multidimensional understanding of the causes and dynamics of conflict, as well as the opportunities for peace. In addition to the analysis of root causes, it focuses on the actors and their relationships. It captures the dynamic character of conflicts by observation from multiple perspectives, and takes into consideration the past, present and future. It combines methods from the social sciences, as well as methods from a systemic development approach.