Armed Conflict and Armed Violence—An Expanding Policy Lens

John Siebert Armed Conflicts, Defence & Human Security

John Siebert

Autumn 2010 Volume 31 Issue 3

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People not in war zones are increasingly subjected to violence perpetrated with weapons. Analysis and responses to insecurity in wars or “armed conflicts”1 have been expanded in recent years to include the circumstances of “armed violence,” that is, violence perpetrated with weapons but not in wars.

The expansion of the policy lens is derived in part from the falling number of armed conflicts since 1995—from 44 to 28 in 2009 (see p. 22)—but the number of people dying violently has remained relatively constant. An estimated 740,000 people die each year from armed violence, with 490,000—or the majority of these deaths—taking place outside war zones (Geneva Declaration Secretariat 2008, p. 1).

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