Conflict Research Group
The Conflict Research Programme (CRP) is an international research consortium led by the LSE that holds a £6.68m grant from the UK Department of International Development. Following the successful completion of an inception phase, the programme is currently funded from October 2017 to March 2021.
The programme is led by Consortium Executive Director, Professor Mary Kaldor and Co-Director for Research, Professor Alex de Waal. Professor Toby Dodge leads the work on Iraq and the wider region, and Dr Rim Turkmani leads our Syria research. Joint directors for research in DRCongo are Dr Tatiana Carayannis (western DRC) and Prof Koen Vlassenroot (eastern DRC).
Also based at LSE are Research Managers Henry Radice and Anna Macdonald, Programme Manager Wendy Foulds, and researchers Naomi Pendle, Allard Duursma, Jessica Watkins and Zeynep Kaya.
CRP was designed to address the drivers and dynamics of violent conflict in the Middle East and Africa and to inform the measures being used to tackle armed conflict and its impacts. CRP research will analyse the logic of the political marketplace and how it intersects with moral populism to drive violence. It will use the concept of civicness to examine how people attempt to constitute humane forms of public authority even in the most extreme circumstances, and how international interventions might better resolve conflict-related problems by supporting responses based on such local civicness.
Spatial Inequalities in African Political Economy
This project aims to identify and interpret political-economy causes and effects of spatial inequalities in East and West African countries, focusing on both urban-rural and cross-regional inequalities. Although these patterns of inequality are of obvious policy and political salience, they are very poorly understood in the academic and policy literatures.
Do political and institutional causes contribute to these disparities in ways that have gone unnoticed in existing studies, and that may be amenable to reform? And do high levels of inequality in Africa help to produce political effects that scholars have attributed to other, more uniquely African cultural sources (such as ethnicity), therefore causing policy-makers to miss the positive and negative lessons of the experiences of highly unequal countries around the world?
This project, led by Professor Catherine Boone in LSE’s Departments of Government and International Development and supported by LSE RIIF Seed Fund, addresses both these questions. Our findings will draw Africa-focused scholars and policy-makers toward more theoretically-informed, broadly comparative, and policy-relevant analyses of the causes, effects, and litigators of spatial inequality.
MEDIAFRICA: New Media Practices in a Changing Africa
New Media Practices in a Changing Africa is a multi-disciplinary project, involving 8 researchers and 7 institutions in 5 countries with funding from the Research Council of Norway, FRIPRO programme.
Over the course of three years, this comparative research project will carry out pioneering and innovative research on the social effects of the rapid spread of new media in Africa. Featured country case studies include Botswana, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. With practice theory as an analytical foundation, the aim of the project is to generate knowledge that is useful for understanding the social and economic developments that Africa is currently going through.
Dr Wendy Willems of LSE’s Department of Media and Communications heads up the Zambia research team.
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Improving Adolescent Access to Contraception and Safe Abortion in sub-Saharan Africa: health system pathways
This three-year research project, funded by MRC/DFID from 1 April 2017, aims to establish how the implementation of contraception and abortion services for adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa can be improved. It will do this by comparing services in three countries: Ethiopia, Malawi and Zambia. These three countries represent a range of abortion legal frameworks, from least restrictive (Ethiopia) to most restrictive (Malawi). The research will generate new evidence by collecting data from two groups: adolescents seeking either safe abortion or post-abortion care at facilities; and key informants involved in the implementation of contraception and abortion services for adolescents.
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Dr Ernestina Coast of LSE’s Department of International Development is the Principal Investigator of this project with IPAS.
Going With or Against the Flow? A Study of Water Governance in Goma, DR Congo
This research will investigate the programme’s theory of change, its people, and the critical junctures that have underpinned it. Attention will be paid to how it has sought to work with the power and politics of Goma and the wider DRC, the relationships it has formed with state and non-state actors, and how it has interacted with its primary donor. The overall goal is to relate the research findings to the latest thinking on undertaking adaptive programming in fragile and conflict-affected states.
This is a CPAID and Mercy Corps funded project, based at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, LSE. Patrycja Stys, Tom Kirk, Duncan Green & Joe Trapido are the Principal Investigators.
Building suburbia: housing and the middle classes in Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam, a city of 4.3 million people, has one of the fastest rates of urbanization in the world (UN-Habitat 2014). The city is experiencing rapid residential growth on its outskirts as people who can, acquire land and build houses. As they do so, they are building new suburbs – low-density residential neighbourhoods far from the city centre – about which little is currently known. From 2015-2018, this research, funded by LSE STICERD and LSE RIIF Seed Fund and conducted by Dr Claire Mercer in LSE's Department of Geography and Environment, sets out to address the following quetsions: who lives in these suburbs? How are suburban landscapes planned and built? And, what are the emerging social, cultural, political and economic dynamics of these spaces?