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Perceived tenure security as a tool for understanding the conflict context and predicting violent conflict

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Written by Anna Locke, Pilar Domingo, Ian Langdown

Land is central to violent conflict. Over the period 2000–2015, land was an element in over half of violent conflicts. With challenges such as climate change, population growth and the ‘youth bulge’, migration, urbanisation and rising food insecurity are all likely to intensify competition over land. Land-related conflicts are often localised in nature but have the potential to spill over to national or even regional conflicts in certain settings.

Yet land is often not considered centrally in conflict analysis and prediction. Few conflict analysis tools recognise the role that land and property issues can play in instigating, sustaining and re-igniting conflict. Even fewer recognise or incorporate the concept of tenure security — the expectation that you can use your land or property for a period of time — or perceived tenure security — how people assess or view their level of tenure security and the risk that they will lose their right to use land or property in the future.