XCEPT is proud to present stand-out research published by the XCEPT consortium during 2022. Below you can find highlights from our research on conflict-affected borderlands, how conflicts connect across borders, conflict dynamics, the drivers of violent and peaceful behaviour, and the use of innovative methodologies in conflict settings.

XCEPT Research on Borderlands 

RESEARCH REPORT, THE ASIA FOUNDATION, RIFT VALLEY INSTITUTE, CARNEGIE MIDDLE EAST CENTER
Border Towns, Markets and Conflict

This report aims to amplify a grounded understanding of the everyday reality of communities in fragile border areas and how conflict shapes their lives. Read more

RESEARCH REPORT, RIFT VALLEY INSTITUTE
Fixing the Price: The Politics of the Khat Trade Between Ethiopia and Somaliland

Ethiopian authorities doubled the price of khat for exports to Somaliland and Djibouti in April 2022. Following much controversy, the decision was reversed a few months later. What was behind this trade price ‘fix’, and why does it matter? Read more

RESEARCH REPORT, RIFT VALLEY INSTITUTE
War, Migration, and Work: Agricultural Labour and Cross-border Migration from Northern Bahr el Ghazal, South Sudan

This study examines the history of labour migration and labour relations in present-day South Sudan’s Bahr el-Ghazal borderlands with Darfur and Kordofan (regions of present-day Sudan). Read more

RESEARCH REPORT, RIFT VALLEY INSTITUTE
Purchasing Insecurity: The African Red Sea Region and the Global Food Trade

Focusing on the late 19th and 20th centuries, this report examines the historical origins of the Red Sea region’s structural food insecurity, linking the current crisis to the rinderpest epizootic (1887 – 1889), destabilisation of the rural economy, and accelerating process of urbanisation that transformed the African Red Sea Region. Read more

BLOG, TRIAS CONSULT
Broken Borderlands: How Conflict is Changing Communities on the Edge of Nations
Communities living on either side of national borders often forge deep cultural and economic ties but suffer acutely when countries clash. Borders hardened by continued conflict risk destroying community relations that once thrived despite differences. Read more

BLOG, XCEPT
Frontier Farming: Along the War-Torn Ethiopia-Sudan Border, Agriculture, Politics, and Conflict are Increasingly Entwined

The capture of fertile agricultural land in Western Tigray and the eastern Sudanese Al Fashaga region sheds light on how profits from cash crops help feed politics and conflict. Read more

RESEARCH REPORT, CARNEGIE MIDDLE EAST CENTER
Border Nation: The Reshaping of the Syrian-Turkish Borderlands

After a decade of civil war, Syria’s border with Turkey is divided. Yet long-term stability will require a peace agreement that treats the border as an indivisible whole. Read more

POLICY BRIEF, CARNEGIE MIDDLE EAST CENTER
Reckless Abandon: Why Tunisia Can No Longer Delay a Border Free Trade Zone

Tunisia’s planned free trade zone in Ben Guerdane has stalled while similar projects in Libya have advanced. If Tunisian authorities move quickly to revitalize the plan, they can boost the economy and give hope to the marginalised border population. Read more

XCEPT Research on Conflict Dynamics

RESEARCH REPORT, ALCIS
Changing the Rules of the Game: How the Taliban Regulated Cross-Border Trade and Upended Afghanistan’s Political Economy

This research reveals just how fundamentally the rules that govern cross-border trade have changed since the Taliban takeover, upending the political economy of Afghanistan in the process. Read more 

BLOG, THE ASIA FOUNDATION
The Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis and Responses in Cox’s Bazar: Five Years On

In August 2022 it will be five years since the start of one of the world’s most severe humanitarian crises, yet the political and security dynamics surrounding Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh remain unstable. Read more

RESEARCH REPORT, CHATHAM HOUSE 
Moving Medicine in Iraq: Networks Fuelling Everyday Conflict

A system involving doctors, pharmacists, political parties, armed groups, and businesspeople fuels corruption and conflict in a medicine supply chain which kills people every year. Read more

RESEARCH REPORT, CARNEGIE MIDDLE EAST CENTER
The Pitfalls of Saudi Arabia’s Security-Centric Strategy in Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s security is contingent on Yemen’s stability and economic prosperity. As such, Riyadh should help revive Yemen’s moribund economy in both the borderlands and the inland agricultural sector. Read more

BLOG, CHATHAM HOUSE 
How the Captagon Trade Impacts Border Communities in Lebanon and Syria

Any policy designed to counter the growing Captagon trade must take into account its impact on local border communities. Read more

PODCAST, CHATHAM HOUSE
Africa Aware: Relations between Ethiopia and Sudan with Ahmed Soliman, Abel Abate Demissie, Kholood Khair and Yusuf Hassan

This episode of Africa Aware examines the relationship between Ethiopia and Sudan. Listen here 

XCEPT Research on Violent and Peaceful Behaviour 

RESEARCH REPORT, XCEPT
Youth Disrupted: Impact of Conflict and Violent Extremism on Adolescents in Northeast Syria

This study explores the impact of conflict and violent extremism on adolescents in northeast Syria to inform efforts to support recovery and prevent resurgent violence and violent extremism. Read more

REVIEW OF EVIDENCE, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
Prison-Based Interventions Targeting Violent Extremist Detainees

Little is understood about how prisons influences terrorists. This research explores which interventions have been most effective in rehabilitating violent extremists. Read more

POLICY BRIEF, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
The Role of Trauma and Mental Health in Violent Extremism

This paper assesses the impact of mental health and trauma on radicalisation and violent extremism. It argues that large-scale interdisciplinary research on non-ideological risk factors would benefit deradicalisation and prevention programming. Read more

POLICY BRIEF, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
Mass Media and Persuasion: Evidence-Based Lessons for Strategic Communications in Countering Violent Extremism

The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS has invested heavily in strategic communications. However, there is a weak evidence base to determine whether any of these efforts have their desired impact. Read more

BLOG, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
Bringing Loyalist and Opposition Factions Together: The Prospects for Reconciliation in New Syria
Western visions for post-war Syria often entail disarmament and reintegration of Islamist groups. There is, however, less discussion about how the legacies of state authoritarianism in regime or loyalist areas will likely hinder reconciliation. Read more

XCEPT Research on Methodologies 

PRACTICE PAPER, THE ASIA FOUNDATION
Community-Driven Approaches to Research in Contexts of Protracted Crisis

This paper summarises the methodologies and approaches developed and the lessons that have surfaced from working with Rohingya populations living in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Read more

BLOG, XCEPT
How Can Researchers Better Navigate the Profits and Perils of Satellite and Open-Source Investigations?

Satellite and open-source data are revolutionising conflict research. But these fast-accelerating research methods come with their own set of risks and require careful handling. Read more

BLOG, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
Do No (Self) Harm: Acknowledging Researcher Vulnerability in Research Ethics

This commentary explores why the welfare of the researcher frequently slips through the net of the ethical principle to ‘do no harm’. Read more