Cross-border conflict, evidence, policy and trends (XCEPT)

This five-year policy-focused research programme seeks to respond to the challenges of long-term cross-border conflicts by exploring the drivers behind them.

Protracted conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, Horn of Africa and parts of Asia, although usually arising from intra-state disputes, rarely remain contained within national borders. Their effects reverberate outward and external actors are drawn in.

The longer these wars last, the more difficult they are to resolve as the interests of international actors collide and the web of economic and political interactions which sustain violence and connect conflict across borders expand and deepen.

The Cross-border conflict, evidence, policy and trends (XCEPT) research programme brings together world-leading experts to examine conflict-affected borderlands, how conflicts connect across borders, and the drivers of violent and peaceful behaviour.

Chatham House provides research leadership to the programme, as part of the wider consortium, and our research explores:

  • the intersection of conflict supply chains which sustain and embed violence
  • coping supply chains for survival-based economic activity which occurs in the context of violence

Three geographic case studies will be supported by cross-cutting workstreams on gender and social inclusion, livelihoods, and border security. Each will produce analysis and recommendations to inform international policy responses to conflict across borders.

These case studies will focus on:

  • armed actors and financial flows through Iraq and the Levant
  • human smuggling across Libya, East and West Africa
  • gold mining and weapons flows across Sudanese borderlands

The consortium is made up of a range of other organizations, including the Asia Foundation, the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center, the Rift Valley Institute, Chemonics UK and King’s College London.

XCEPT is funded by UK Aid from the UK government.