Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research (SCSR)

Past Events

Knowing about civilian harm in the war in Yemen

Tuesday 19 February 13:00 until 14:00
Arts C333
Speaker: Anna Stavrianakis and Andrea Carboni
Part of the series: SCSR Research Café

Please join us for our first research café event of the term, 19th February 1-2pm, Arts C333.

Since the start of the latest round of war in Yemen, reporting of civilian casualties has been contested and politicised. Media reports usually give a figure of "in excess of 10,000", although the latest research from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) estimates a figure of a total fatality toll in Yemen to at least 80,000 since the beginning of the Saudi-led intervention. The UK government, meanwhile, systematically attempts to cast doubt on the number and civilian status of casualties in order to legitimise its support for the Saudi-led coalition. What, then, are the scholarly and political challenges of knowing about civilian harm (either direct conflict deaths, indirect deaths, famine or cholera) in the war in Yemen? Join us at this Research Cafe to discuss! It features Andrea Carboni, ACLED researcher and Sussex Geography DPhil researcher, discussing the ACLED methodology and the challenges around data collection in Yemen, and Anna Stavrianakis, faculty member in the International Relations department discussing how the UK government is generating non-knowledge about civilian harm: that is, how it can say, despite all the evidence coming from Yemeni and international activists, journalists and academics, that there is no clear risk of the misuse of weapons – and hence no reason to halt arms supplies to the Saudi-led coalition.

Download the poster: Knowing about civilian harm in the war in Yemen [PDF 479.84KB]

Research cafes are meant as informal spaces to support the development of research ideas, projects and publications. Anyone can propose leading a session - either around their own work or a theme. We'd especially welcome sessions led by PhD researchers, including people at an early stage of their research. These could be around draft papers, fieldwork plans or reports, methodological issues or anything else of interest which is related to conflict and security research. Please email Katy on if you are interested in leading a session, or have suggestions for a theme for discussion. 

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By: Martin Wingfield
Last updated: Tuesday, 12 February 2019