What are the causes of violence?

Violent conflict can have many causes. The reasons that make a group suddenly enforce its goals with direct violence against another group are both multifaceted and complex. To support this observation, BICC has developed an interactive matrix that systematically clusters the different ideas and theses on causes of war. The matrix is based on a qualitative understanding of war as a process of the collective use of physical violence.

The matrix combines five cause categories (structural contradiction, motivations and goals, catalysts before the outbreak of violence, trigger, catalysts after the outbreak of violence) with five functional dimensions (politics, economy and demography, culture, military / security, environment). In total, the BICC conflict matrix shows 25 cause complexes for violent action. Of course, one complex will not be as important as another in the different violent conflicts. The relevance of each individual complex will differ from war to war. This means that each violent conflict has its very own “map” showing the interplay of various different cause complexes.

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Data tables

For some select map layers, the information portal ‘War and Peace’ provides the user with all used data sets as tables.

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Magnifying Glass in front of a Boston map

Country portraits

In the country reports, data and information are collected by country and put into tables that are used in the modules as a basis for maps and illustrations.

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Compass with Mirror

Navigation and operation

The information and data of each module are primarily made available as selectable map layers and are complemented by texts and graphs. The map layers can be found on the right hand side and are listed according to themes and sub-themes.

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