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The long shadow of conflict: Unexpected links between war, interpersonal violence and social cohesion - 26 May 2021

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Chair: Pauline Zerla, Research Associate, King's College London

Speaker: Dr Jocelyn Kelly, Director for Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s (HHI) Gender, Rights and Resilience (GR2) program


How does violent conflict affect the way people perceive their communities, how treat each other and how they think of themselves, even years after hostilities end? The session will first present findings on the long-term, hidden ways that political conflict can destabilize communities through a “contagion” of political violence into gender-based violence (GBV).

The session will go on to explore some surprising links between conflict, GBV and deeply impactful yet hard-to-measure phenomena such as personal resilience, self-efficacy, “othering,” envy and social cohesion. A recent population-based impact evaluation from eastern DRC provides insight into how these phenomena relate to both perpetration and victimization of GBV. The data also point to some of the pathways that might help or hinder violence to persist and morph as countries seek to move from conflict to post-conflict recovery.



Dr Jocelyn Kelly is the Director for Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s (HHI) Gender, Rights and Resilience (GR2) program, where she designs and implements projects to examine issues relating to gender, peace, and security in fragile states. Dr Kelly has been conducting health-related research using qualitative and quantitative research methods for over a decade in national and international settings. She has given briefings related to gender and security to the United Nations Security Council, the U.S. State Department, USAID, the World Bank, OFDA, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Dr Kelly’s work focuses on understanding and preventing gender-based violence and human trafficking in complex crises, with an emphasis on specially examining mechanisms for resilience in these settings. Dr Kelly’s current research interests include: promoting and measuring GBV risk mitigation in humanitarian emergencies; understanding the continuum of GBV before during and after humanitarian crisis; and measuring and promoting social cohesion and community resilience as a pathway to reducing violence.

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Event details

26 May 2021

Online event