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Rethinking armed group control: towards a new conceptual framework

Bahiss, Ibrahim, Jackson, Ashley, Mayhew, Leigh and Weigand, Florian ORCID: 0000-0003-2629-0934 (2022) Rethinking armed group control: towards a new conceptual framework. Centre for Study of Armed Groups Working Paper. Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London, UK.

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Prevailing understandings of control – which focus on territorial dividing lines and violent incident monitoring – miss important indicators of armed group control. We argue that armed group control should instead be broken down according to the ways in which armed groups seek to influence populations. To exercise influence and control, armed groups apply a variety of practices, including different types of violence, dispute resolution, taxation, regulation of movement, access to aid and services, and social strictures. Territorial markers of control tend to be misleading, as many armed groups exercise control over populations beyond areas where they are physically present, shaping and influencing civilian life in the economic, social and political spheres deep into areas thought of as ‘government controlled’. This paper proposes several alternate ways of monitoring shifts in armed group control, by focusing on practices and the development of underlying capacities required to influence civilian behaviour. The hope is that more contextualised and specific indicators can improve conflict early warning.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2022 08:21
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2022 08:21

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