A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

"Peace and Conflict" Features Research from START Investigators

The Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM) at the University of Maryland -- a partner institution in the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START)-- has just released a new report that explores global conflict trends, with special focus on the interplay of terrorism and national and international conflict.

Peace and Conflict is a biennial publication from CIDCM that provides key data and documents trends in national and international conflicts ranging from isolated acts of terrorism to internal civil strife to full-fledged interstate war. Peace and Conflict 2008 is a large format, full-color reference including numerous graphs, tables, maps, and appendices dedicated to the visual presentation of data. Crisp narratives are highlighted with pull-quote extracts that summarize trends and major findings.

A 24-page Executive Summary of the full publication can be downloaded from CIDCM's website. This year's edition of Peace and Conflict features two analyses resulting directly from START research: START Director Gary LaFree, START investigator Laura Dugan, and University of Maryland doctoral student Susan Fahey present findings from their work on "Global Terrorism and Failed States," in which they use data from START's Global Terrorism Database and from the Political Instability Task Force to examine the relationship between frequency of terrorist attacks in a country and whether a country is failed or failing.

In addition, START researcher Victor Asal, University of Maryland doctoral student Carter Johnson, and START researcher Jonathan Wilkenfeld (who also serves as co-editor of the publication) conduct a regional analysis in their chapter "Ethnopolitical Violence and Terrorism in the Middle East." This analysis, which explores trends in the behaviors and practices of ethnopolitical organizations in the Middle East since 1980, reveals that there have been a proliferation of such organizations over time, and that the percentage of such organizations that use terrorism to pursue their political goals has decreased over time. This analysis is an outgrowth of START's Terrorism and Ethnic Political Violence project.

Other features of the publication include:

  • the Peace and Conflict Instability Ledger, a ranking of the status and progress of 160 countries based on their forecasted risk of future instability
  • a global survey of all international and domestic terror events since 1970
  • large format, full-color graphs, tables, maps, and appendices throughout.
  • Supplementary materials and a suite of data analysis tools appropriate for students and policy analysts can be found at the Peace and Conflict 2008 companion website.