Conflict zones are difficult subjects for empirical research seeking to understand how certain structures, networks, strategies, behavioural patterns, and modalities of violence are created, exploited, manipulated, and replicated. Understanding the dynamics, flashpoints, and structures of conflict may help prevent its eventual recurrence; while understanding the adaptations and strategies employed by those caught in conflict would be of use to humanitarian and policy interventions during and after the war.
The goal of this Review is twofold: to map existing research, identifying findings that are directly relevant to the policy and practice of conflict prevention and resolution; and to clarify areas of interest for future research agendas. To do this, this Review focuses on three relevant groups in conflict zones: armed groups, elite networks, and households.
Funding for this project from the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is gratefully acknowledged.