Click here to read ICSR’s latest report Childhood Innocence?: Mapping Trends in Teenage Terrorism Offenders

Cross-Border Conflict Evidence, Policy and Trends (XCEPT)

XCEPT

The Cross-Border Conflict Evidence, Policy and Trends (XCEPT) research programme seeks to better understand conflict-affected borderlands, how conflicts connect across borders, and the factors that shape violent and peaceful behaviour, to inform effective policy and programme responses.

Our team at King’s College London (KCL) will specifically look at how conflict traumas affect mental health and pathways to violent/peaceful decision-making over time. Put another way, our project is concerned with exploring why some individuals embrace violent means whilst others embrace peaceful ones in different conflict zones.

We will do this by employing large-scale longitudinal surveys across a number of different conflict zones. In practical terms this means we will revisit participants to examine if factors such as ‘want of revenge or peace’ may change depending on contextual events, such as conflict, civil war or a period of prolonged peace. This will be measured through an ‘Impact of Trauma Survey’ developed by our team at KCL.

This survey will be coupled with qualitative follow-ups, such as semi-structured interviews and oral histories, to further explore themes of trauma and conflict. There will also be scalable and easy to implement  interventions that will test whether reductions in traumatic stress can bring about reductions in violent extremism.

Our approach will create a rich empirical basis from which our team can propose tangible, practical outcomes for government and other stakeholders. Our goal is to translate first-class and rigorous academic research for consumption by audiences beyond the academy, using empirical insights to drive impactful and meaningful outcomes. We will do this by proposing psychosocial interventions that can reduce violence and promote peace.

The KCL team is interdisciplinary in its composition – comprising of experts in trauma, epigenetics, neuroscience, psychology, memory, gender, war, and terrorism – allowing us to better examine the factors which shape violent and peaceful behaviour. We will focus on three conflict-affected countries in particular: Iraq, Syria, and South Sudan.

The XCEPT research programme is a multi-year, interdisciplinary project with funding from UK Aid. It is led by Chemonics and The Asia Foundation, who manage a variety of partners including the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center, Chatham House, Conciliation Resources, Rift Valley Institute, and Satellite Applications Catapult. The KCL component is operationally led by ICSR, but brings together colleagues from a variety of research centres and departments, including the Centre for the Study of Divided Societies (CDS) the Institute for Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), and colleagues from the Department of War Studies.

Our team will publish their findings through peer-reviewed journal articles, working papers, policy briefs, podcasts, panel discussions, video explainers and blog posts. This website will become a repository for all XCEPT work produced by various partners across KCL. Meanwhile, all research outputs across the entire project will be published on the XCEPT website.


Watch a three minute overview of our project

  • May282024

    Rebuilding Downtown Beirut: laying the foundations for division or reconciliation?

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  • Apr162024

    Green Mosul: how trees helped a city recover after conflict

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  • Mar252024

    ‘These statues are not just pieces of stone’: How sculpture helps Mosul heal

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  • Mar112024

    Understanding the role of unconscious bias in conflict dynamics

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  • Feb272024

    Photo essay: A week in Iraq

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  • Feb132024

    The costs of ignoring conflict trauma in men and boys

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  • Jan032024

    Waiting for War: escalation on Lebanon’s southern border and conflict memory

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  • Oct172023

    Four years on from Lebanon’s 17 October revolution

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  • Aug312023

    XCEPT Briefing Note – Imprisoned for Terrorism: The Experiences of Inmates in Roumieh Prison in Lebanon

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  • Aug172023

    What do we mean when we talk about ‘resilience’ to violent extremism?

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  • Jul282023

    XCEPT Briefing Note – Men and Psychosocial Support Services Programming

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  • Jun282023

    Dr Inna Rudolf shares her research on post-conflict recovery in Mosul

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  • Jun142023

    Meet Dr Rajan Basra – XCEPT research

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  • May102023

    Martyrdom in Lebanon: An Evolution of Memory-Making

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  • Apr262023

    Meet Dr Fiona McEwen – XCEPT research

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  • Apr122023

    Can Uncertainty Make Us Violent? The Role of Uncertainty in Encouraging Violent and Extremist Ideologies

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  • Apr062023

    Translation in conflict: an instrument of power or a place of neutrality?

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  • Mar292023

    Forgotten refugees – the experiences of Syrian military defectors in Turkey

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  • Feb022023

    XCEPT Event – Reimagining Mosul: The Role of Competing Memory Narratives in Post-Conflict Reconstruction, February 20th

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  • Jan122023

    Controversies and Challenges of Peacebuilding in Nineveh: Revisiting Post-IS Reconciliation in Iraq

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  • Dec152022

    The Legacy of Trauma: Can trauma be transmitted across generations?

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  • Dec082022

    Gun-toting grannies and cattle raiders: why understanding civilian-combatant identities can help conflict recovery

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  • Nov172022

    What’s next for children in IS-affiliated families from Iraq?

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  • Sep272022

    Storytelling, Memory and Momentum: Iraq’s Tishreen Movement

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  • Aug112022

    The Spectre of Neuroscience in Security Studies

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  • Aug032022

    Stories as Research: How Community Narratives Inform Conflict Research

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  • Jul252022

    Do No (Self) Harm: Acknowledging Researcher Vulnerability in Research Ethics

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  • Jul222022

    The Importance of Prisons to Terrorist Groups and Movements

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  • Jul212022

    The Role of Trauma and Mental Health in Violent Extremism

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  • Jul212022

    Mass Media and Persuasion: Evidence-based Lessons for Strategic Communications in CVE

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  • Jul152022

    Prison-based Interventions Targeting Violent Extremist Detainees

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  • May042022

    Bringing Loyalist and Opposition Factions Together: The Prospects for Reconciliation in New Syria

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  • Mar092022

    Conflict Trauma and Violence: How Can We Promote Peace?

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  • Feb152022

    The Iraqi Politics of Memory and Victimhood

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