Techniques of Violence in Civil War

Please note: This page refers to an event that has already taken place.

Time: Fri 20 (13:00) - Sat 21 (16:00) August 2004
Place: PRIO, Fuglehauggata 11. Oslo

This workshop is sponsored by the Working Group on Microfoundations of Civil War at CSCW. It will focus on why insurgent movements and governments use or abstain from using various “techniques” and methods that are available in their repertoire. 

These include, but are not limited to,


  • ·      suicide attacks
  • ·      torture
  • ·      rape
  • ·      looting
  • ·      mutilation
  • ·      kidnapping political opponents to obtain concessions
  • ·      kidnapping for ransom
  • ·      kidnapping children as a form of forcible recruitment (and other forms of recruitment)
  • ·      car bombs and other indiscriminate attacks against civilians
  • ·      taking and killing of hostages
  • ·      hunger strikes
  • ·      holding groups collectively responsible (reprisals)
  • ·      disappearances
  • ·      massacres
  • ·      military options (use of land mines, Stinger missiles, checkpoints, etc.) and techniques

This list is not meant to be exhaustive or restrictive, but rather to stimulate suggestions.  The purpose of the workshop would be to investigate these particular techniques and learn as much as possible about them, so as to be able to ask questions both about concepts, definitions, measurement, and data, as well as about empirical variation.  We wish to move beyond anecdotal approaches to systematic ones where possible.

We invite people who have conducted detailed investigations on these issues to submit paper proposals.  The workshop may possibly result in the publication of an edited volume or a special journal issue.

Note that although the workshop is part of a Centre for the Study of Civil War, if it helps our analysis we will look at means of violence as they are used in other types of conflicts than civil wars.

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