Analysing and Understanding Non-state Armed Groups - Istanbul
In the last three decades, maintaining peace and security has become further complicated by an increase in violence perpetrated no longer exclusively by national armies and armed opposition groups but also by an increasingly assertive and brutal range of hybrid actors, such as illegal armed groups, transnational criminal networks and urban gangs. The impact is so significant that the violence resulting from these situations exceeds many on-going civil wars.
Analysing and understanding these new types of non-state armed groups (NSAGs) and the increasingly complex environments they operate in poses a challenge to the UN. Since affiliation and distinctions change constantly, a holistic understanding of the actors and structures that shape contemporary forms of armed violence is needed. This course equips UN staff and partners with analytical tools and practical knowledge to better comprehend the political, economic and social factors driving genesis, group cohesion, resource strategies and organizational logic of non-state armed groups. The training builds upon the conceptual framework of systems thinking as an innovative tool for seeing through complexity and identifying underlying structures and root causes of violence in order to generate lasting change.
The course adopts a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together theoretical and practical insights from various fields and areas of engagement. The Changing Character of War Centre at Oxford University collaborates on this project by integrating findings and tools from the Changing Character of Conflict project into the course content. Dr Annette Idler is the academic lead for the courses.
Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Apply different methods and tools, including systems thinking, to analyse and understand non-state armed groups;
- Explain the interrelation between political, economic, social, cultural and gender-related aspects of armed violence;
- Identify the challenges and risks involved in operationalising engagement in complex environments;
- Value country examples and good practices for analysing non-state armed groups.
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