The worldwide review of political, military and humanitarian trends in current conflicts.

The Armed Conflict Survey (ACS) is a new annual publication that provides yearly data on fatalities, refugees and internally displaced people for all major armed conflicts, alongside in-depth analysis of their political, military and humanitarian dimensions. The first edition of the book covers the key developments and context of more than 40 conflicts, including those in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Myanmar, Syria and Yemen. 

The ACS features essays by some of the world’s leading authorities on armed conflict, who write on subjects such as:

  • the development of jihadism after 9/11;
  • hybrid warfare;
  • refugees and internally displaced people;
  • criminality and conflict;
  • the evolution of peacekeeping operations

The authors discuss the principal thematic and crossregional trends that have emerged over the past year, complementing the granular approach to each conflict at the core of the book.

The ACS also includes maps, infographics and multi-year data, as well as the highly regarded IISS Chart of Conflict.

The book is edited by Nigel Inkster, Director of Transnational Threats and Political Risk at the IISS.

From £84.00
Product variations
Online Access, Digital Download & Print £247.00 + shipping
Online Access & Digital Download £216.00
Print edition £84.00 + shipping
  • Introduction

    For most citizens of liberal democracies in the developed world, direct experience of war and armed conflict must seem an impossibly remote contingency. Such citizens can of course witness on a daily basis scenes of violence occurring around the globe, brought to them in ever more swift and vivid ways by the mass media. But these scenes bear little resemblance to the environment of peace and security that forms their...
  • Chapter 1, Part I: Countering Hybrid Warfare

    ‘Hybrid warfare’ is a modern term for an ancient practice that has become more prevalent in recent centuries: the combination of regular and irregular forces to menace an enemy. This is a potent one–two punch. In fact, it is in many ways more effective than either conventional or unconventional forces fighting by themselves. As described by Frank Hoffman, scholar at the US National Defense University and the foremost theorist of...
  • Chapter 1, Part II: The Evolution of Global Jihadism

    In the act of joining together, there is often a corresponding act of breaking away. In June 2014, the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a jihadist group based in parts of Iraq and Syria, announced the establishment of a ‘caliphate’ led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: ‘the sun of jihad has risen. The glad tidings of good are shining.’ Yet this effusive declaration of union was met with...
  • Chapter 1, Part III: Crime and Conflict

    Organised crime is usually considered an issue of law and order that should be dealt with by the police. It is seldom associated with conflict. And yet, for centuries, the two have gone hand in hand. Armies have plundered to pay for their campaigns, while pirates and bandits have used armed violence to acquire treasure. Conflict creates a permissive environment for criminal activity, and the threat or use of force...
  • Chapter 1, Part IV: Preventing Displacement in Armed Conflict

    Population displacement in armed conflict is a growing problem. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 2013 was the first year since the Second World War in which more than 50 million people were displaced. This is both a major humanitarian problem and an indicator of the intense violence faced by civilians in conflict zones. For the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), this calls for a...
  • Chapter 1, Part V: Peace Operations and the Responsibility to Protect

    The United Nations does not lack critics, but even steadfast opponents of the organisation begrudgingly acknowledge two singular contributions that it has made to the use of armed forces in the service of international security: operationally, in peacekeeping; normatively, in exercising the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The invention and evolution of the former, away from the traditional principles of consent and a minimal use of force, still fall short of...
  • Chapter Two: Maps, Graphics and Data

    The Armed Conflict Survey (ACS) is a new annual publication that provides yearly data on fatalities, refugees and internally displaced people for all major armed conflicts, alongside in-depth analysis of their political, military and humanitarian dimensions. The first edition of the book covers the key developments and context of more than 40 conflicts, including those in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Myanmar, Syria and Yemen.
  • Chapter 3: Middle East

    Egypt (Sinai) With the election of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as president in June 2014, Egypt’s military strengthened the hold on power it had regained one year earlier, after ousting incumbent Muhammad Morsi. Sisi received 93% of the vote, while just 3% went to his sole rival Hamdeen Sabahi, a Nasserist who had come third in the 2012 presidential election. Due to the ‘cult-like’ following Sisi had obtained, the landslide was widely...
  • Chapter 4: Sub-Saharan Africa

    Central African Republic Central African Republic experienced deepening violence in 2014, as the country’s predominately Muslim rebels clashed with vigilante groups made up of Christians and animists. The conflict had been sparked by the Muslim Séléka rebellion of March 2013, which unseated President François Bozizé. Initially led by Michel Djotodia, who replaced Bozizé, the rebels were accused of carrying out mass atrocities that targeted Central African Republic’s Christian majority. Although Djotodia...
  • Chapter 5: South Asia

    Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani was inaugurated as president of Afghanistan on 29 September 2014, completing a transfer of power threatened by political dysfunction, a resurgent Taliban and the imminent withdrawal of NATO combat troops from the country. Despite delays in the election, US Secretary of State John Kerry was able to create a power-sharing agreement that placed Abdullah Abdullah, Ghani’s electoral rival, in the newly created post of chief executive officer. Upon...
  • Chapter 6: Asia-Pacific

    China (Xinjiang) The conflict in Xinjiang rapidly intensified in 2014, as a series of violent incidents and a sharp increase in fatalities cast doubt on Beijing’s strategy in the region. With 400 people killed in the violence during the year, up from 141 in 2013, Xinjiang appeared to be locked into a cycle of repression and retaliation: the government’s introduction of tougher security policies coincided with terrorist attacks that were increasingly...
  • Chapter 7: Europe and Eurasia

    Armenia–Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh) There were no breakthroughs in the Armenia–Azerbaijan peace process in 2014, despite a series of meetings between the countries at the ministerial and presidential levels. In fact, the sides were barely able to maintain the status quo. In summer and autumn, fighting intensified as tensions reached their highest levels in years. While this did not result in full-blown war, the instability of the ceasefire was demonstrated by clashes of...
  • Chapter 8: Latin America

    Central America (Northern Triangle) In an attempt to counter endemic violence, tougher security policies were unveiled in 2014 by the three countries of Central America’s ‘northern triangle’: Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The measures often included a military component, raising concerns about a deepening dependence on the armed forces for internal security. Such fears were compounded by the breakdown of the truce between the gangs of El Salvador – the region’s...
  • Chapter 9: Explanatory Notes

    The Armed Conflict Survey provides analysis and data on active armed conflicts involving states and non-state armed groups across the world. The data in the current edition is accurate according to IISS assessments as at January 2015, unless specified.
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Armed Conflict Survey 2015

The worldwide review of political, military and humanitarian trends in current conflicts.

From £84.00
Product variations
Online Access, Digital Download & Print £247.00 + shipping
Online Access & Digital Download £216.00
Print edition £84.00 + shipping

Monitoring Conflicts Worldwide

Armed Conflict Database

A regularly updated IISS online resource providing detailed information on more than 70 conflicts worldwide.