“Conflict mapping” is one possible first step you could take before intervening in a conflict. It is a method of presenting a structured analysis of a conflict at a given moment in time. It can provide both the intervenor and the conflict parties a clearer understanding of the origins, nature, dynamics and possibilities for transforming the – actual or potentially violent – conflict. 

You can find some categories and related questions in the box below, which can be incorporated into a conflict map. We will be discussing this further in week 5. Conflict Mapping Guide 

  1. A. Background 1. Map of the area 
  2. 2. Brief description of the country 
  3. 3. Outline history of the conflict 
  4. B. Conflict parties and issues 1. Who are the core conflict parties? What are their internal sub-groups, and on what constituencies do they depend? 
  5. 2. What are the conflict issues? 
  6. 3. Which issues are seen as the most urgent problems? 
  7. 4. Is it possible to distinguish between positions, interests and needs? 
  8. 5. What are the relationships between the conflict parties? Are there qualitative and quantitative asymmetries? 
  9. 6. What are the different perceptions of the causes and nature of the conflict among the conflict parties? 
  10. 7. What is the current behaviour of the parties? Is the conflict in an ‘escalatory’ or ‘de-escalatory’ phase? 
  11. 8. Who are the leaders of the parties? At the elite/individual level, what are their objectives, policies, interests, and relative strengths and weaknesses? 
      • C. Context: global, regional and state-level factors 1. At the state level: • Is the nature of the state contested? 
      • • How open and accessible is the state apparatus? 
      • • Are there institutions or forces which could serve as legitimate channels for managing the conflict? 
      • • How even is economic development, and are there economic policies that could have a positive impact? 

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