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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The Range of Early Warning Tools and Systems

Conflict early warning is today trying to find a balance between remaining relevant to its funders and focusing on the protection and preservation of life. However, it is tilting significantly towards the former. The pursuit of relevance means that the notion of an open source, pro-people and propeace conflict early warning system is giving way to one with a far more pronounced intelligence dimension, particularly among governmental and inter-governmental agencies that run such systems. Whereas this is in part a consequence of changing perceptions of international threats in the north, it bodes badly for those who believe that conflict early warning can contribute to a more democratic peace, focused on human security.

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