Andreas Forø Tollefsen

PRIO and University of Oslo, Department of Sociology and Human Geography (Human Geography)

Andreas Forø Tollefsen

Disaggregating the Conflict Trap: A Spatial Analytical Approach

Violence begets violence; civil war affected countries are more likely to experience future conflict. An important explanation for this pattern is that the consequences of past conflict are highly disruptive for a society. An armed conflict obstructs economic development, which increases the risk of renewed conflict. This vicious cycle of violence and economic underperformance is sometimes called the conflict trap. While the idea of a conflict trap is central for understanding the inertia of political violence, it has only been conceptualized and explored at the country level. We know much less about whether there is a comparable local conflict trap and to what extent and how local poverty-violence dynamics may exhibit spatial (in addition to temporal) dynamics, including diffusion.

This project will disaggregate the concept of conflict trap into its local components and mechanisms. Combining new innovations in GIS applications for conflict research with new geo-referenced data sources and insights from political geography this project seeks to develop new theory and new evidence on the local dynamics behind the conflict trap. Ultimately, the project aims to build on this contribution to offer sound policy recommendations on how to escape the conflict trap.