Robert Muggah


Robert Muggah: How to protect fast-growing cities from failing

Worldwide, violence is on the decline, but in the crowded cities of the global south — cities like Aleppo, Bamako and Caracas — violence is actually accelerating, fueled by the drug trade, mass unemployment and civil unrest. Security researcher Robert Muggah turns our attention toward these “fragile cities,” super-fast-growing places where infrastructure is weak and government often ineffective. He shows us the four big risks we face, and offers a way to change course.


Policy and Research Papers

Conflict Prevention and Preventive Diplomacy: What Works and What Doesn't?

The purpose of the first International Expert Forum, “Conflict Prevention and Preventive Diplomacy: What Works and What Doesn’t?,” was to explore the theory and practice of preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention. Launched at the International Peace Institute (IPI) in New York on December 15, 2011, the forum is a joint collaboration of the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the SecDev Group, IPI, and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). The first forum was divided into three sessions: insights from research; insights from the field; and a stock-taking session focusing on the implications of research and analysis for policy and practice.

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Next Generation Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration

The process of disarming, demobilizing and reintegrating ex-soldiers at conflict’s end is as old as war itself. The results of these efforts are far from even. Even so, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) has assumed a central place in the imagination of the peace, security and development communities. It is frequently advanced as a key pillar of multilateral and bilateral stabilization and reconstruction efforts at war’s end. Yet, the contexts in which DDR is conducted are also changing. As the United Nations and others grapple with the new geographies of organized violence, it is hardly surprising that they are also adapting their approaches. Organizations operating in war zones (and also outside of them) are struggling to identify ways of ‘disengaging’ Al Shabaab in Somalia or northern Kenya, Jihadi fighters in Syria and Iraq, Taliban remnants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Boko Haram militia in Nigeria. There are increasingly complex legal and operational challenges for those involved in DDR about when, how and with whom to engage. In order to effectively engage with these dilemmas, this article considers the evolving form and character of DDR programs. In the process, it considers a host of opportunities and obstacles confronting scholars and practitioners in the twenty first century, offering insights on future trajectories.

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Security and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Dealing with Fighters in the Aftermath of War

This book provides a critical analysis of the changing discourse and practice of post-conflict security-promoting interventions since the Cold War, such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), and security-sector reform (SSR)

Although the international aid and security sectors exhibit an expanding appetite for peace-support operations in the 21st Century, the effectiveness of such interventions are largely untested. This book aims to fill this evidentiary gap and issues a challenge to 'conventional' approaches to security promotion as currently conceived by military and peace-keeping forces, drawing on cutting-edge statistical and qualitative findings from war-torn areas including Afghanistan, Timor Leste, Sudan, Uganda, Colombia and Haiti. By focusing on specific cases where the United Nations and others have sought to contain the (presumed) sources of post-conflict violence and insecurity, it lays out a new research agenda for measuring success or failure