Analysing and Understanding Violent Non-State Groups

With support from DPIR, an initiative between the Changing Character of War Programme and the UN Staff System College to collaborate on work to analyse and understand violent non-state groups has now been launched.

Maintaining peace and security has become complicated by an increase in the violence perpetrated by an increasingly assertive and brutal range of hybrid actors. At the same time, traditional armed conflicts have evolved. Complex insurgencies flourish in peripheral regions where the central state’s presence is scarce or flimsy.

Understanding the changing character of armed groups presents novel analytical and practical challenges for UN entities and other international organisations and partners.

The collaboration was launched at an event on Wednesday 27 April, at which Dr Annette Idler (University of Oxford), Dr Fabio Oliva (United Nations System Staff College), Mr Chris Rush (Geneva Call) introduced the collaboration, discussed these challenges and their implications for changes in armed conflict. For more details on the event, please see

Dr Annette Idler is Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations and at Pembroke College; Director of Studies, Changing Character of War Programme