CSCW: Human Rights, Governance and Conflict (2008-2012)

CSCW - Human Rights, Governance and Conflict

Conflict and human rights violations are closely intertwined. During a civil war, torture and political killings are particularly common. But governing structures also affect the respect of governments for the human rights of their citizens. This working group aims to disentangle the triangular relationship between human rights, governance and conflict. In particular, we focus on the role of human rights and governing structures during the escalation of conflict, their contribution to the severity and duration of conflict, and their role in establishing a viable and secure peace after the cessation of warfare.

The Working Group analyses research questions such as these:

  • Can an increase in certain types of human rights violations be interpreted as an early-warning sign of an impending conflict or conflict escalation?
  • What institutional arrangements are more prone to groups taking up arms in opposition to the state?
  • What is the essence of conflict suspension, resolution, and termination?
  • Which government structures are most conducive to the resolution of conflict, the institutionalisation of peace, and the protection of human rights?
  • How can a post-conflict society deal with past atrocities to establish a viable foundation for the restoration of peace and justice?

To address these questions, the group will draw on an extensive body of research, ranging from the analysis of democratisation and human rights, to studies of rebellion and political stability. Methodologically, qualitative approaches, game theoretic and quantitative statistical analysis will be employed.

Particular attention is given to the disaggregation of the three concepts, human rights, governance, and conflict, in order to develop a better understanding of the mechanisms that link them together and to be able to devise more concrete and feasible policy recommendations.

The Pro-Government Armed Groups Dataset contains information about organised armed groups that are identified by documentary, media, and other sources to be pro-government but are not part of the state's regular security forces.

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