Preventing Violence, War and State Collapse

The Future of Conflict Early Warning and Response

image of Preventing Violence, War and State Collapse
The international community today is hardly in a position to avoid another genocide, as witnessed in Rwanda in 1994, despite the significant evolution of early warning systems in recent years. Based on a review of the literature on early warning and response, as well as inputs from surveyed agencies, Preventing Violence, War and State Collapse assesses the value and role of early warning for the prevention of violent conflict and identifies the most effective early warning and response systems. It concludes with a set of recommendations for policy makers in donor and partner countries in influencing future developments in this field.

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Is Early Early? A Review of Response Mechanisms and Instruments

Advances over the past 15 years or so in early and rapid response have been made in the range of institutions, mechanisms, instruments and processes available to manage violent conflict – and in national, regional and international willingness to use force in situations of violent conflict. However, more has not necessarily meant better. In fact, the multiplicity of actors and responses means that the problem of late, incoherent, fragmented, and confused response is perhaps greater today than it was at the time of the Rwandan genocide. If the problem was then that “early warning is not wired to the bulb”, today it may be that there are too many bulbs competing with each other and not working when they should.

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