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UNT / Political Science / PSCI 3500 / What is the most conflict-ridden regions in the world today?

What is the most conflict-ridden regions in the world today?

What is the most conflict-ridden regions in the world today?


School: University of North Texas
Department: Political Science
Course: Intro to Peace Studies
Professor: David mason
Term: Spring 2016
Tags: national security, international relations, International Studies, middle east, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, europe, UnitedStates, Armed, Conflict, terrorism, civilian, Death, toll, Peace, Studies, University, Of, North, and texas
Cost: 25
Name: Reading: Human Security Brief 2006 Outline & Notes
Description: PSCI 3500: Intro to Peace Studies Section 001 Provided here is an outline of the Human Security Brief 2006 put out by The Human Security Centre. I have provided an outline of the entire article as well as notes from the article and its independent chapters, I have included a summary from my point of view at the end of the notes as well as some helpful-deifinitions that could be used for study. If
Uploaded: 09/04/2016
13 Pages 45 Views 1 Unlocks

Saturday, September 3, 2016

What is the most conflict-ridden regions in the world today?

1. Human Security Brief (2006)

1. Introduction/Outline

A. Trends in Armed Conflict 1 

- Most data from armed conflicts is collected when the government is one of the warring parties  involved.  

• This gives an incomplete picture of political violence in the world today. 2 

• The point of the Human security brief is to address the issues with collecting data on armed  conflicts in the world today, and being to remedy this skewing.  

- Central & South Asia are the most conflict-ridden regions in the world today.  - The total number of battle deaths in state-based as well as non-state-based conflicts has  declined in the years from 1990-2005.  

How wars end?

• Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced the greatest decline during this period.  B. Deadly Assaults on Civilians  

1. One-Sided Violence

- “The fact that the victims cannot fight.”  If you want to learn more check out How wide is an ocean basin?

- The number of deadly campaigns led by governments or armed-non-state groups upon  civilians,  

- Fatalities associated with such campaigns falls under this category.  

2. Genocides and Politicides  

- “Political mass murder, primarily that against civilians.”  

- Between 1989 and 2005, genocides and politicides have taken a sharp drop by 90%.  - Media perceptions support the notion that the varieties of these mass killings has  remained high or is even increasing.  

What is a conflicts between a state and a non- state armed group outside that state’s territory?

Titles that begin with a letter (A.,B.,C.,etc.) are denoting a sub-section within each chapter of the 1 reading.

When a bullet-point appears this note directly refers to, or relates in some way, to the dash directly 2 above it.


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3. Terrorism  

- There has been a steep and uneven increase in the number of terror attacks since the Cold  War years.  Don't forget about the age old question of What are the 5 steps of marketing plan?

- There has been a dramatic decline in terror attacks since 1990.  

- While the death-toll in terrorist attacks is relatively minor, the attacks themselves have  increased 3 times that of civil war and genocides.  

4. Assessing the Evidence

- From observing the data, it can be determined that attacks against civilians are increasing.  - However, when looked at in a different light or from a different perspective, while taking  into consideration the 90% drop in genocide/politicide, an argument can be made that the  amount of civilian deaths hoes not even closely resemble that of the Cold War years.  

C. How Wars End  

- Double the number of ears began in the 1990s than began in the 1980s, leading to a public  perception that the ‘90s where a more chaotic and tremulous time than before.  

• However, far more wars ended in the 1990s than where starting, going way to a 40%  decline in the total number of world-conflicts by the end of the decade  We also discuss several other topics like Why were some colonies able to survive in the sixteenth­-century?

- More wars ended in the ‘90s by way of settled agreement than victory of one government over  the other or over an armed group.  

• The same an be said for the beginning of the 21st century.  

- Wars that are ended in settlement, typically by course of negotiations, tend to have been wars  that last 3 times as long than those ended in military victory. They also have twice the  likelihood of starting back again within five years of the conflict’s end.  

2. Chapter One: Trends in Armed Conflicts  

A. Introduction  We also discuss several other topics like What are nutrition concepts?

- Fewer wars were being fought in 2005 than in 2003.  

• There was also a sharp decline in death-tolls in relation to armed conflicts since 2003  [meaning in 2005].  


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B. State-Based Armed Conflict  

I. State Based Conflict: Those conflicts between states, or between a state and one or more 3 non-state armed groups.  

 a. Intrastate: Internal conflicts fought between a government and a non-state group.  

 b. Internationalized Intrastate: Conflicts in which either the government, non-state armed  group, or both, received external military support from a foreign government.  

 c. Extra-State: Conflicts between a state and a non-state armed group outside that state’s  territory.  

 d. Interstate: Conflicts fought between 2 or more states.  

(refer to figure 1.1)  

- In 2005, only 6 countries were the place of 50% or more of the world’s armed conflict.  • These 6 countries are home to 20% of the world’s population.  

- South and Central Asia became the most war-torn regions in 2005 with the highest amount of  armed conflict and the highest battle-death toll.  If you want to learn more check out Who would be against a ban on trade in mexico?

- While Iraq wad the deadliest armed-conflict of 2005, the Middle East was the 2nd in total  conflicts and battle-deaths.  

- Looking towards Europe, we see that the Chechin Rebellion [in Chechnya], was the only state based armed-conflict in 2005, ending by late-2006.  

C. Battle-Deaths Trends in State-Based Armed Conflicts  

- 2005 was the least deadly year in armed-conflict since the end of WWII.  

• North Africa, South/Central Africa, and The Middle East made up 60% of the battle-deaths  in 2005.  

- Iraq equated to 20% of the battle-deaths in 2005.  

- Sub-Saharan Africa experience ed a 98% drop in battle-deaths (100,000 people to 1,900  people).  

- Interstate Wars have been the main cause of these battle-deaths.  

3 Definitions throughout these notes will begin with a roman numeral (I,II,III, etc.). 3We also discuss several other topics like Describe how crime is measured in the united states, and list the kinds of crimes that cause people to enter correctional programs and institutions.

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• This is due to the interstate wars being fought, typically with mass amounts of large  weapons and large armies.  

- From 1950 to 2005, Interstate War was the most common type of armed-conflict, yet they  accounted fro minimal amounts of battle-deaths.  

- In the years after The Cold War, it has been Internationalized Intrastate Wars that have killed  more men, women, and children than any other form of armed-conflict.  

• This is because the foreign military assistance received in these conflicts increases the  killing-power of the warring parties.  

D. Non-State Armed Conflict  

II. Non-State Armed Conflicts: Conflicts fought between militias, rival guerrilla groups, clans,  warlords, or organized groups without the involvement of a government.  

• These conflicts are just as prevalent as state-based conflicts, however they are typically left  un-recorded.  

- Non-state based armed-conflicts are significantly less deadly than state-based conflicts.  - They are also much shorter in duration than conflicts that are state based.  - They occur in states with weak governments that are unable to maintain internal security.  - More than 50% of non-state armed conflicts occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.  - These conflicts are usually concentrated in a specific area within each region they occur.  E. Battle Death Trends in Non-State Conflicts  

- Since 2002 (up until 2005) Battle-death tolls in non-state armed conflicts decreased by more  than 80% in both SUb-Saharan Africa and South/Central Asia.  

F. Trends vs. Absolute Numbers  

- The number of armed conflicts is typically accurate in recorded trends  

- They death-toll is typically higher than that estimated in datasets  


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3. Chapter Two: Deadly Assaults on Civilians  

A. Introduction  

- While public perception supports the main idea [that more civilians are being killed, now,  more than ever], there is little hard evidence to support this claim.  

B. Trends in One-Sided Violence  

III. One-Sided Violence: The term to reflect that the victims cannot fight back (25 civilians must  die in order for this term to qualify).  

 1. The number of violent campaigns against civilians have increased by more than 50%  since 1992 (up until 2006).  

 2. Most of these campaigns have occurred in Sub-Sharan Africa.  

 3. This organized type of campaign has a strong correlation to armed conflicts, especially  civil wars.  

 4. The number of civilians killed in these campaigns is small when compared to the  number of those killed in armed combat.  

C. Regional Differences  

- Sub-Saharan Africa had an occurrence of nearly double all other regions of violence against  civilians.  

- There has been a sharp increase in the occurrences of one-sided violence against civilians  across The Middle East, since 2000.  

- Starting in 2001, there has also been a measurable increase in civil death, via state-based  conflict, in East/Southeast Asia.  

- The Rwandan genocide is highlighted as an outlier when it comes to intended civilian death.  

• The death-toll in said genocide was almost equal to the global death-toll of all state-based  conflicts in 1950.  

• Aside from this genocide, intended civilian death has been steadily decreasing over the past  decade (1995-2005).  

D. The Worst Perpetrators?  

- The answer to this question depends…  


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- In the years 1989-2005, the most conflicts have been initiated by a non-state armed group.  • This is much more the norm in the modern era.  

• Non-state armed groups also killed more civilians in 13 out of those 17 years.  E. Genocides and Politicides  

IV. Genocide and Politicide: Campaigns of “political mass murder” that are directed primarily  against civilians and are intended to exterminate “in whole or in part” a communal, political,  or politicized ethnic group.  

• Politicizes diver in that the victims involved are targets due to their political convictions  rather than their involvement or membership in a religious or ethnic group.  

- In the years 1989-2005 there was a 90% decrease in this type of mass-murder.  - There was however a 55% increase in violent campaigns against civilians.  - While small violent campaigns against civilians increased, genocide and politicide events have  dramatically decreased.  

F. Terrorism  

- Since The Cold War, and until 2001, there had been a steady increase in the number of local  and global terror attacks.  

- In 2001, there began a sharp and dramatic increase in the number or terror attacks.  • 2004 saw a estimated 4 times as many terror attacks than that of 2001.  

- When not accounting for local terror attacks in South Asia, The Middle East, and The Persian  Gulf, the global terror attack rate has actually decreased. (300 attacks in 1991, 58 attacks in  2005).  

- Terrorism kills relatively few people when compared to the death-tolls of state and non-state  sponsored armed conflicts.  

G. Can We Trust the Data?  

- The data collected in The Human Security Brief (2006) does rely on media and other reports.  - Things to remember:  

 1. Many deaths go un- or under-reported.  


Saturday, September 3, 2016

 2. When overall violence its high, only high-profile events get reported, leaving a bigger  picture left un-seen and the entire death-toll un-reported.  

 3. It is increasingly harder to distinguish civilian deaths from guerrilla-combatant/ civilian-clothed-militant deaths.  

H. The Need For Better Statistics  

- In order for multinational organizations, like the EU and UN, to develop better ideas of the  bigger picture and, in turn, develop policy to come up with solutions to these problems there  needs to be better collection of more reliable statistics.  

• If there is no way to truly evaluate the problem and the evidence, it is far more difficult to  develop polecat for solutions in order to help the civilians in need of aid as well as end these  conflicts.  

4. Chapter Three: How Wars End  

A. Introduction  

- Since the end of The Cold War, far more conflicts have ended in negotiated settlement than  military victory.  

B. War Termination Trends  

- The breakup of the former-USSR left most of it’s territories in chaos and created a climate of  instability that led to serious and large amounts of political violence.  

- During The Cold War, more armed-conflicts started than ended, this scenario swapped after  the end of The Cold War.  

- Since its end, there has been a major increase in negated settlements bringing about the end of  armed conflict.  

• There is also a visible effort in the international community to intervene in state-based  conflicts, bring them to an end, and then to prevent these conflicts from recurring once they  have ended.  

• There is a general attitude in the global community since the end of The Cold War that  peace is preferred to war.  


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C. Victories and Negotiated Settlements  

- The past 60 years have shown that the pursuit of obtaining military victory is less common.  

V. Conflict Episodes: Periods of violent conflict that can be ended by military victory, or by  negotiated settlement.  

• This includes peace agreements and ceasefires.  

- When a conflict is classified as “other”, this means that said conflict’s death-toll has fallen  below the 25 a year criteria for it to be classified as an “Armed-Conflict”.  - Patters of wars terminated during the 1990s:  

 1. Average of 12 terminations a year (Aprox. 120 terminations).  

 2. 35% of conflicts ended in negotiations.  

• The increase in these trends has shown relation to an increase in international activism to  end conflicts as well as foster peace and cooperation.  

• There has also been more international cooperation in pas decades with the founding(s) or  increasing usage of International organizations such as the United Nations.  

• In addition, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have become increasingly common  to help foster cultures of peace.  

D. Different Stakes, Different Settlement Positions  

- When it comes to the “stakes” of armed conflict, they can be defined by two different  categories:  

 1. Those where the control of territory is the issue, these are often struggles of succession.  

 2. Those where the conflict is being fought over the control of the government. These are  often power struggles.  

- While most armed-conflicts are fought over control of territory, those that most often end in  negotiated settlement are those fought over who should control the government.  

- Post-1989 negotiated settlements over territory typically saw the settlement provisions allow  for greater autonomy for the minority group.  

• Provisions for referenda on the future status of the disrupted territory are common in these  type of agreements.  


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- Peace agreements that follow wars over the control of the government often include provisions  for elections (48% of settlements), a provision to create an interim government , and the right  to form political parties.  

• Only 15% of these agreements were successful.  

- In peace agreements to end intrastate conflicts, 60% called for a ceasefire, disarmament (44%  of settlements), rebels to integrate into the a national army (38% of settlements), amnesty for  rebels (28% of settlements), and peacekeeping missions (23% of settlements).  

E. The Downside of Negotiated Settlements  

- The large increase in negotiated settlements demonstrates an increased effort by the world as a  whole to bring wars to an end.  

- There, however, are negative effect to this attitude:  

 1. Wars ending in negotiated settlement, typically last 3 times as long as those won by  military victory.  

 2. Negotiated settlements are also 3 times as likely to fail when compared to provisions of  a military victory.  

- Reasons for this seem clear: both sides are left with militaristic capabilities and mutual  feelings of “hostility and lack of trust”.  

• Meaning: they could possibly see it better to continue fighting in the hopes of a better  outcome the second time.  

- These facts might suggest that allowing war to it’s own devices would be preferable to peace agreements.  

- The average failure of a peace agreement during The Cold War was 13%.  - In the post-Cold War world, peace agreements have been, historically, poorly constructed and  poorly-received, hence their failure.  

- The 1990s saw negotiated settlements become more unstable, with 43% of all conflicts  starting again within 5 years.  

• This however could be an effect of more conflicts ending in the ‘90s than during The Cold  War.  


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F. Give War a Chance?  

- Summary: In an article written by Edward Luttwak (called “Give War a Chance”) an argument  is presented “that more lives would be saved in the long term if the international community  stopped trying to mediate settlements of violent conflicts, but instead allowed them to ‘burn  themselves out.’” (Human Security Brief, 36).  

- The argument that is presented indicates that intervention by NGOs and organizations like The  United Nations actually prolong the violence.  

• Saying when outside intervention occurs it only allows both sides to regroup and coordinate  more and deadlier attacks on each other.  

- “Give War a Chance” concedes that there have been conflicts where NO outside intervention  has occurred yet they have continued for more than decades, essentially undermining it’s own  argument.  

 1. Combatants involved in long-lasting wars are 70% more likely to come to the  negotiating table the those involved in short-lived wars (this point however is trivial since those  involved in short-lived wars never have the chance to become exhausted by a long and drawn out  conflict).  

• Wars that cannot be stopped by victory can often, and often are, ended by negotiated  settlement.  

 2. Mediation is dangerous.  

• External mediation is crucial to long-lasting conflicts because it is rare that two sides  with heavily entrenched rivalries will come to negotiating on their own.  

- This is because each side distrust the other and fears the other exploring them in  negotiations.  

 3. In long-lasting conflicts, victory is possible if external actors provide aid to one or  more of the warring parties.  

- While certain data seems to support the notion that battlefield determined winners would be  preferable to negotiated settlements, review of hard evidence suggests that this would actually  lead to long armed-conflicts and higher death-tolls.  

G. Are Today’s Conflicts More Intractable?  

- There is a fair amount of skepticism that the trend in decline of armed-conflicts will continue.  10

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- Many academics believe that the wars that could be ended have been ended and those still in  process will continue and will prove to be far more difficult to end.  

• “The 21st Century has been left with fewer but more intractable conflicts.”  - We should see fewer conflicts end and the decline in political violence since the end of The  Cold War end as well.  

- We should count on conflicts such as Burma, Israel/Palestine, and Columbia (yet it has ended  as of 2016) to continue.  

- We also see that conflicts such as Burundi and Uganda might be close towards some sort of  end (2006).  

- Since 71% of todays conflicts have lasted less than 10 year, “istractability” may not be the  new way of things after all.  

5. The Next Human Security Report  

A. The Hidden Costs of War  

- In war zones, 10 or more people per every combat death are killed by malnutrition or war exacerbated disease.  

- Indirect deaths in war-torn regions are already high and these deaths typically go un-recorded  in reports and datasets on battle death-tolls.  

- Little is still known about the indirect death-toll off civilians in proximity to armed conflict  - Humanitarian assistance can help save lives dramatically with little cost  

• Provisions and service provided by humanitarian aid can reduce the mortality rates within 4  to 6 months of arriving in war-torn regions.  

B. The Causes of Peace  

- There is an assumption that the drivers of peace are the antithesis of the drivers of war.  • As economies improve, typically the risk of war declines.  

• However, the decrease in political violence seen since the 1990s is not supported this factual  evidence.  


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• Some “structural changes” have not been significant enough to explain the steep decline in  conflicts.  

- From 2003 to 2005, there was actually an increase in oner-stress economies in Sub-Saharan  Africa (11 to 14).  

• Over these same years armed-conflicts in the region went from 30 to 19 (a 37% decrease).  

• The greatest evidence for this decline is, in fact, the exploded conflict prevention efforts and  peacekeeping missions.  

- Research has also shown that coercive methods of conflict-preventions, such as sanctions or  military intervention, do not work or have little effect in preventing conflict (North Korea).  

6. Summary of Human Security Brief (2006)

 In Human Security Brief (2006) we have discussed what kind of conflicts existed during  The Cold War, while concentrating on the post-Cold War environment. We have covered trends  in both armed conflicts in both state-sponsored and non-state sponsored settings, focused heavily  on the deaths of civilians in relation to armed conflict, and discussed how wars end, mainly by  way of negotiated settlement.  

 There is a general consensus that in today’s society, peace is preferred to continued  conflict. This is reflected in the global communal efforts to end ongoing wars, prevent those  ended and preventing any future ones from occurring, while promoting peacekeeping/peace building efforts through international cooperation in addition to further humanitarian aid.  

 Since the 1990s there has been a steady decline in all kinds of conflict from terrorism to  civil wars within countries, and that there has been a more serious drop in the number of  genocides/politicides than any other kind of armed conflict. When looking at how wars end, we  can see that they increasingly end in negotiated settlement; that settlement typically correlates to  a long-lasting war when compared to military-victories, and that conflicts ended in settlement  have at least twice the likelihood of re-igniting within 5 years of ending.  

7. Definitions  

I. State Based Conflict: Those conflicts between states, or between a state and one or more  non-state armed groups.  


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II. Non-State Armed Conflicts: Conflicts fought between militias, rival guerrilla groups, clans,  warlords, or organized groups without the involvement of a government.

III. One-Sided Violence: The term to reflect that the victims cannot fight back (25 civilians must  die in order for this term to qualify).

IV. Genocide and Politicide: Campaigns of “political mass murder” that are directed primarily  against civilians and are intended to exterminate “in whole or in part” a communal, political,  or politicized ethnic group.  

V. Conflict Episodes: Periods of violent conflict that can be ended by military victory, or by  negotiated settlement.

8. Works Cited  

Human Security Centre. Human Security Brief 2006. Vancouver: Liu Institute for Global Issues,  University of British Columbia, 2006.


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