David Plunkert

When the United States looks abroad to assess the risk of conflict, it relies on a host of tools to understand other countries’ social and political divisions and how likely they are to result in unrest or violence. These techniques reflect decades of research, in both government and academia, into the root causes of civil disorder and state failure. The idea is that by better understanding those causes, policymakers can prevent conflict before it breaks out or, failing that, help states recover quickly once it does.

One such tool is the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Conflict Assessment

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