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.