XCEPT examines how conflicts connect across borders. It is led by Chemonics and Chatham House with Conciliation Resources and support from specialist partner Satellite Applications Catapult. Research revolves around case studies of cross-border conflict dynamics spanning the Middle East and North Africa, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, and South Asia. The XCEPT Research Fund also enables responsive research on emerging conflicts and supports international and local researchers to build evidence on what works to stabilise, resolve and prevent conflict. Key areas of focus include:

(1) Chatham House research on conflict systems and transnational conflict and coping supply chains. This research examines how conflict actors and civilians become enmeshed in illicit and licit activities that fuel instability and violence across borders in the from the Levant through Iraq and Iran, from Libya across North Africa and into the Sahel, and from Sudan/South Sudan across the Horn of Africa.

(2) Conciliation Resources research on the intersection of cross-border conflict, pastoralism and climate change in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, applying predictive analysis to support targeted conflict resolution strategies.

(3) XCEPT Fund and responsive research on international and regional responses to the transnational dimensions of conflict. This strand focuses on drawing lessons from policy interventions—multilateral, regional, bilateral—on conflict prevention, stabilisation, and resolution in core XCEPT geographies  and through comparative analysis of policy responses.

(4) XCEPT Fund and responsive research on emerging conflicts and transnational trends, extending research into new geographies and topics that complement the core research, such as the intersection of conflict, crime and violent extremism, and the gendered impacts of cross-border conflict.