Arguably the most important aspect for researchers and policymakers is to have access to reliable information, especially when focusing on armed conflict. In order to know when there is greater risk for the outbreak of war, whether containment has been effective, or when post-conflict measures are appropriate, there is a need to clarify what an armed conflict consists of. The most commonly employed definitions of armed conflict are being measured through battle-related fatalities tied to the political goals of the warring sides. This definition excludes several other indicators of human suffering, such as violent crime, genocide, starvation, and forced migration. This chapter reviews some of the problems with expanding the concept of conflict and argues that it is beneficial to use a narrow conflict concept in order to study the relationship between war and other phenomena such as criminality and genocide.
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