1st Edition

Comparing Armed Conflicts

Edited By Bruno Charbonneau, Adam Sandor Copyright 2021
    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    194 Pages
    by Routledge

    Comparing armed conflicts primes the production of categories that, when mobilized, can alter the trajectories of the conflicts. Considering the political dynamism of spaces of conflict and intervention, and that practitioners regularly seek out academic expertise, this book discusses the possibilities and limits of comparative approaches to understanding armed conflict and intervention.

    Capacity-building experts, development workers, international organizations, and diplomats use their previous experiences and bring them into new contexts to understand and respond to their environment. Conflict actors can also make comparisons to buttress their political position in negotiations, consolidate their control over fighters, and as calls for transnational rebel solidarity. The use of such comparisons is an inherently political move and it has an impact on the production of scientific knowledge, on conflict dynamics themselves, and on the formulation and implementation of conflict management policy: comparison is inherently a practice of order-making. While there are important epistemological and methodological stakes associated with researchers engaging in comparison, there are also important productive effects connected to the research avenues taken.

    The chapters in this book were originally published in the Civil Wars.

    Introduction: Power and Comparative Methods: Performing the Worlds of Armed Conflicts

    Bruno Charbonneau and Adam Sandor

    1. The Importance of Context When Comparing Civil Wars

    William Reno

    2. Comparing Conflict-related Sexual Violence: Expertise, Politics and Documentation

    Róisín Read

    3. Fanning the Flames or a Troubling Truth? The Politics of Comparison in the Israel-Palestine Conflict

    Mandy Turner

    4. Privileged Sphere of Comparison: Empire, Methods and Conflict Intervention

    Bruno Charbonneau

    5. The Middle East is Violence: On the Limits of Comparative Approaches to the Study of Armed Conflict

    Jacob Mundy

    6. Normative Scaling and Crisis Knowledge: The Problematic Use of Selective Analogies to Compare Conflicts

    Florian P. Kühn

    7. Sahelistan? Military Intervention and Patronage Politics in Afghanistan and Mali

    Romain Malejacq and Adam Sandor


    Bruno Charbonneau is Professor and Director of the Centre for Security and Crisis Governance (CRITIC) at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean, and the Founder and Director of the Centre FrancoPaix in Conflict Resolution of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada.

    Adam Sandor is Research Associate with the Centre FrancoPaix in Conflict Resolution of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada.