Armed Social Violence

Handbook Dialogue No. 12

In some countries, more civilians are being killed by armed gangs and criminal organisations than in traditional combat. Still, these pockets of armed social violence – "undeclared wars" marked, among other things, by criminal, gang and/or urban violence – have long received much less attention than politically motivated forms of armed conflicts. As their effects — social-political destabilisation, in some cases coinciding with high numbers of victims — are becoming more pressing, national and international actors have begun addressing the phenomenon. This dialogue examines this phenomenon. It points out the added value that peacebuilding can bring to the development of effective policy responses to armed social violence. Case studies explored include Colombia, El Salvador, Syria, Myanmar, Guinea-Bissau, Timor Leste, the UK and Mexico.

  • Barbara Unger, Véronique Dudouet, Matteo Dressler and Beatrix Austin (Eds.): “Undeclared Wars”– Exploring a Peacebuilding Approach to Armed Social Violence. 2016. Handbook Dialogue Series No. 12 - complete. Hardcopy >

Single contributions:

  • Bernardo Arévalo de León and Ana Glenda Tager: Armed Social Violence and Peacebuilding: Towards an operational approach. 2016. Berghof Handbook Dialogue Series No. 12 - lead article. PDF >
  • Jenny Pearce: The “Violence Turn” in Peace Studies and Practice. 2016. Berghof Handbook Dialogue Series No. 12 - comment. PDF >
  • Andy Carl: The (Not So) New Challenge of Responding to Armed Social Violence with Peacebuilding. 2016. Berghof Handbook Dialogue Series No. 12 - comment. PDF >
  • Gema Santamaría: From War-Making to Peacebuilding? Opportunities and Pitfalls of an Integral Approach to Armed Social Violence in Mexico. 2016. Berghof Handbook Dialogue Series No. 12 - comment. PDF >
  • Karen P. Simbulan and Laurens J. Visser: The Value of Listening to Community Voices. A Peacebuilding Approach to Armed Social Violence. 2016. Berghof Handbook Dialogue Series No. 12 - comment. PDF >
  • Marco Carmignani and Fernando Cavalcante : Countering Armed Social Violence in Guinea-Bissau: The Case of the Model Police Station. 2016. Berghof Handbook Dialogue Series No. 12 - comment. PDF >