Chapter 8: Conflict complexes and internationalization of conflicts

Regional complexes

Karl W. Deutsch et al. 1957. Political Community and the North Atlantic Area. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, created the concept of a ‘security community’ and built it on a series of comparable cases during a long historical period. The term has entered into political use. This work explains the original intensions and the distinctions that were made of different types of such communities. Peter Wallensteen and Margareta Sollenberg 1998. ‘Armed Conflict and Regional Conflict Complexes, 1989–1997’, Journal of Peace Research, 35: 593–606, followed up on Deutsch’s work. Building on early results of the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), the two authors observed the connections between different conflicts, particularly with respect to regional settings. Thus, they coined the term ‘regional conflict complexes’. In Understanding Conflict Resolution also ‘global conflict complexes’ have been added.

Barry Buzan and Ole Waever 2003. Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. In this comprehensive volume, the two authors point out the importance of regions for understanding the operations of the international society. Security concerns create connections between societies, and thus they are interested in such ‘regional security complexes’. It complements the previously mentioned UCDP-based article, but also contrasts it, in terms of methodology and emphasis. Arthur Silve and Thierry Verdier 2018. ‘A Theory of Regional Conflict Complexes’, Journal of Development Economics, 133 (July): 434–47 pursued the topic by investigating regional contagion effects as well as containment measures of civil conflict.