Dep. of Geography
Papers and publications
ViewConflicts is a software continuously developed at Department of Geography, NTNU.
It visualizes armed
conflicts between 1946 and 2004.
of Armed Conflicts
Analysis of the causes of armed conflict is fundamental to peace and conflict research. Recently, the International Peace
(PRIO) and the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, in collaboration with the Department of
Sociology and Political
Science (ISS) and the Department of Geography at NTNU, have established a database on armed conflicts
from 1946 and up
to day. The
conflict data will be updated in Uppsala on an annual basis, while PRIO will maintain the database. As of March 2006 there are 229 armed conflicts
registered in the database for the period 1946-2004. The database includes both international (interstate) and internal conflicts (civil wars). The
definition of armed conflict follows that of the Uppsala Conflict Data Project The threshold for inclusion of a conflict (25 annual battle-deaths) is
lower than in most comparable datasets.
The collaborating partners at NTNU have contributed to the database data for the geographical center of each conflict as well as a measure of the
geographical extension of the conflict. A pair of latitude and longitude co-ordinates is registered for each conflict making it possible to map the
conflicts. A radius represents the conflict's extension.
Based on this dataset on armed conflict as well as data on probable conflict-generating factors (such as poverty, poor governance, lootable resources,
violent history, etc.), we will try to obtain a better understanding of how conflicts originate, spread, and end. Our work on this project has been
supported by, among others, NTNU, The Research Council of Norway and the Development Research Group at the World Bank.
Knowledge of the causes and dynamics of conflicts is essential for conflict resolution and conflict prevention. Although each conflict has its own
dynamics and each region its own history, there are many common factors. To come to grips with how conflicts emerge, spread, and end - the analysis
should take into account both the temporal and spatial components. Within this interdisciplinary cooperation the Department of Geography contributes
with implementation of tools for geographic visualization of conflicts that are registered in the database. In addition, future work will include tools for spatial
analysis in order to study relationships between, on the one hand, the locations for and durations of conflicts with, on the other hand, the temporal
and spatial presence of conflict-generating factors.
Jan Ketil Rød
Department of Geography, NTNU