The Logic of Illicit Flows in Armed Conflict: award winning paper by Dr Annette Idler


Congratulations to Senior Research Fellow and CONPEACE Programme Director Dr Annette Idler, who recently won two prestigious awards for her article exploring the relationship between armed conflict, organised crime and unstable regions.

The article, titled ‘The Logic of Illicit Flows in Armed Conflict’ was published in the quarterly World Politics Journal, of Cambridge University Press, last year. The piece demonstrates how we need to study armed conflict and transnational organised crime together in order to understand unstable regions, using the example of how differing violent groups interact with each other.

It specifically examines how the location and structure of illicit flows of drugs, weapons, or money influence cooperative arrangements between such groups. It integrates ethnographic methods such as carrying out an extensive range of interviews with ArcGIS software-supported spatial analysis based on satellite images, photographs, and other data.

Annette was awarded the American Political Science Association’s International Security section’s Best Article Award for the piece, and she also received an award for the Best Article or Edited Volume Chapter by a Section Member in the Latin American Studies Association’s 2021 Section Awards.

Annette commented: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive these two awards! There’s still a bias in political science towards studying armed conflict in isolation, without looking much at organised crime.

My work demonstrates how the two fields cross-fertilise and that, ultimately, we must study both together to grasp current global security dynamics. It’s fantastic to see the importance of this approach being recognised through these awards, and I hope it encourages more scholars to move into this direction with their work.”