Understanding and Ending Persistent Conflicts: Bridging Research and Policy

Brendan O'Leary, Andrew Silke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Building public policy, especially foreign policy, without drawing on available evidence is to build on sand. Most policy makers recognize this and would prefer to have good evidence to hand when deciding how best to tackle any problem. Good evidence makes the policy makers life easier at every turn, provides the keys for appropriate action, and highlights appropriate measures to judge the success or failure of initiatives. It provides robust defenses of policy and challenges critics to produce more compelling reasons for alternatives. For the policy-maker managing insurgents that use terrorism, the evidence-base for guidance has often been poor. This book attempts to fill gaps in this area with contemporary or recent long-lived insurgencies. The modest lessons we have extracted from our different conflicts merit close attention. Intelligent policy formulation and analysis can benefit from them, at least that is our hope.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTerror, Insurgency, and the State
Subtitle of host publicationEnding Protracted Conflicts
EditorsMarianne Heiberg, Brendan O'Leary, John Tirman
PublisherUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
Number of pages40
ISBN (Print)9780812220292
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • terrorism
  • insurgency
  • counter-insurgency
  • counterterrorism

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