The Law of the Land: Communal Conflict and Legal Authority


Location: Hesburgh Center, Room C-103

Kristine Eck, assistant professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden; visiting fellow, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Eck examines how the type and functioning of the legal system can help to explain the outbreak of communal conflict. When dual systems of customary and modern law are not exclusive, the conflicting sources of legal authority lead to insecurity about which source of law will prevail. Because the source of law is contested, conflict parties cannot trust the legal system to adjudicate disputes predictably, which encourages the use of extrajudicial vigilante measures. Using new data on communal violence throughout West Africa, Eck will examine this argument at the subnational level for the period 1990–2008.

Kristine Eck is also an affiliated researcher with the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. Her previous research has focused on violence against civilians, conflict dynamics, and rebel recruitment.

This event is free and open to the public.