Research papers requested by the European Commission

The GSDRC is partly funded by the European Commission's Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP). The GSDRC supports the IcSP, the other services of the European Commission, and the European External Action Service (EEAS) in helping to prevent and respond to crises around the world. The following GSDRC publications were commissioned through the IcSP or its predecessor, the Instrument for Stability.

Piracy in the Horn of Africa, West Africa and the Strait of Malacca

What factors are discouraging or encouraging piracy in the Horn of Africa, West Africa and the Strait of Malacca? This report finds that a combination of factors in each of the regions have affected levels of piracy, at different times and depending on the type of piracy. For example, these factors may differ for subsistence pirates (largely gangs made up of part-timers who are ...» more

Lessons learned from security-related programming in stabilisation and conflict-affected contexts

The challenging environment that ongoing conflict presents means that evidence based analysis of security sector initiatives is hard to find (Ball and Walker, 2015, p. 3) and the evidence base uncovered by this rapid literature review is small. Interviews with experts suggest that there may be more documented cases and lessons which are not publicly available. Security ...» more

Contemporary conflict analysis of Iraq

This paper notes that conflict in Iraq has become increasingly sectarian, and has affected minorities the most. Among its findings it highlights roots of the violence: Sunni alienation following the ‘sectarianisation’ of the political system; feelings of insecurity as a result of sectarian militias and the increasingly Shia make-up of the Iraqi Security Forces; and structural ...» more

Strategic communications and foreign fighters

Key Findings: There is limited coverage of strategic communications programmes specifically aiming to prevent the recruitment of citizens who travel to conflict zones to become foreign fighters. There is relatively more coverage of strategic communications with respect to broader counter-radicalisation or countering violent extremism (CVE) approaches, but there are few case ...» more

Conflict analysis of Liberia

It is over ten years since Liberia’s final peace agreement was signed in 2003, putting an end to 14 years of violent civil wars. This paper finds that current levels of overt conflict in Liberia are relatively low, and there has been no large-scale violence since the end of the second war. However, it also finds that many of the root causes and grievances that led to the wars ...» more

Conflict analysis of Mauritania

Mauritania is a large, mostly desert territory, populated by 3.2 million inhabitants and with a history of military rule and regime change through coup d’états. It has a history of inter-ethnic conflict and politicisation of identity with a notable border dispute in 1989 between Mauritania and Senegal resulting in violence and the deportation of non-Arabic speaking (i.e. black) ...» more

Transitional justice lessons for Syria

Literature on transitional justice (TJ) experiences in the Arab world is limited, but there is some emerging analysis. This report found the literature highlights factors common in the region that have implications for TJ processes. These include: weak state legitimacy and capacity; decades of authoritarian rule and deep societal divisions; deep-seated socio-economic ...» more

Policy responses to criminal violence in Latin America and the Caribbean

Combatting the threat posed by transnational and domestic criminal organisations has become a critical concern of governments throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Ideas of how to reduce crime and organised violence in this region vary between those who advocate for state-security led approaches and those who argue for approaches that tackle the causes of crime and the ...» more

Organised violence and its impacts in Central America’s northern triangle

A range of criminal organisations operate in Central America’s northern triangle. Violence conducted by criminal organisations is one manifestation of a broader culture of violence that is endemic to many Central American societies (UNODC, 2007). At the personal and societal level: The extensive loss of life through homicide is the most obvious humanitarian outcome of violence ...» more