Modelling Violence as Disease? Exploring the Possibilities of Epidemiological Analysis for Peacekeeping Data in Darfur

Allard Duursma, Róisín Read

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Abstract

This article explores the potential and limitations of epidemiological analyses of violence. We draw on an 18-month sample of Joint Mission Analysis Centres data to identify clusters of armed violence in Darfur and model the risk of armed clashes in space and time. We illustrate the merit of using methods from both descriptive epidemiology and analytical epidemiology to study armed conflict. We observe three interesting correlations. Firstly, that violence in one locality means it is more likely that there will be violence in a neighbouring locality in the next month. Secondly, that the presence of peacekeepers in a locality where violence has occurred means it is less likely that violence will occur in a neighbouring locality, than if peacekeepers were not present. Finally, our third observation is that the presence of peacekeepers in a given locality means it is more likely that violence will occur in that locality. Understanding how conflict occurs in space and time could contribute to the effectiveness of peacekeeping missions. This touches upon the major commonality between the efforts of peacekeeping missions and epidemiology: both are fundamentally concerned with the well-being of defined populations and both rely on data to design effective interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-755
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Peacekeeping
Volume24
Issue number5
Early online date20 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

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