Sources of Instability

Challenges to international security often stem from the instability of one or more states in a region. The Strauss Center actively supports research into the causes, contributing factors, and consequences of such instability, including:

  • Complex Emergencies and Political Stability in Asia: Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, this program explores the causes and dynamics of complex emergencies in Asia and options for building government capacity to respond. The program leverages the novel methods developed under the Center's CCAPS program and adds new risk assessment methods to identify and analyze complex emergencies in Asia.
  • Central America/Mexico Policy Initiative: This program explores the high-intensity violence and political disruption in Mexico in recent years, including its causes, its international dimensions, and assessments of past, present, and potential policy responses.
  • State Fragility: Over the last decade, ‘state fragility’—and its implications for national and international security—has driven tectonic shifts in U.S. policy and military thinking. Strauss Center research explores the factors that drive state fragility, assessing potential precursors to state fragility and possible responses to prevent and alleviate that fragility.
  • Armed Conflict and Social Conflict: The Armed Conflict Location and Event Database (ACLED) provides real-time data on political violence in Africa and South and Southeast Asia, enabling detailed analysis of conflict patterns, actors, and dynamics. The Social Conflict Analysis Database (SCAD) tracks protests, riots, strikes, inter-communal conflict, government violence against civilians, and other forms of social conflict, covering all of Africa, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
  • Understanding China: This program features both a speaker series on campus at UT (focused on improving understanding of China's evolving role in the international system) and a planned research-and-conference series examining China's human rights record.
  • Climate Change and African Political Stability (Archived): Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, this program explores the security consequences of climate-related events in Africa, with an emphasis on tracking, mapping, and analyzing conflict events and other challenges to the stability of African government institutions.