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Dr Luke Abbs is a research fellow at the Centre of Religion, Reconciliation and Peace (CRRP) and associate fellow at the Department of Government, University of Essex. He has expertise in quantitative methods, using data analytics to explore key policy questions related to (non)violent political conflict and peacebuilding. His work has been published in the Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution, the Journal of Global Security Studies and Mobilization, and he has published a monograph with the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

Luke's research is focused on developing three important bodies of peace and conflict research. Firstly, exploring the impact of religious peacebuilding on communal violence and civil war peace processes. Secondly, the emergence of nonviolent resistance campaigns, and the impact that nonviolent movements have on the peaceful resolution of armed conflict. Thirdly, the dynamics of civil war, including the impact of armed militias on peace processes in Africa and the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping with current studies on Darfur, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At the CRRP he work's with the centres academic partners; secular, religious and faith-based organisations; as well as government and international NGOs, providing consultancy in many areas of peacebuilding. In an ongoing project, Luke and CRRP colleagues are working with UNICEF on identifying, montoring and countering hate speech against migrants. He has also engaged in various consultancies for the United Nations Operations Crisis Center (UNOCC), Conciliation Resources, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) and the United States Institute for Peace (USIP). In his previous role at the University of Essex, he worked extensively with policy makers in local government, such as Essex County Council, Essex Police and the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit, using statistical methods and supervised machine learning prediction to support collaborative and evidence-based research projects.



Abbs, L. (2021). The Impact of Nonviolent Resistance on the Peaceful Transformation of Civil War. Washington, DC: International Center on Nonviolent Conflict Press.

Abbs, L. (2021). The Language of the Unheard? Ethno-Political Exclusion and Ethnic Riots in Africa. Journal of Global Security Studies. 6(2).

Abbs, L. and Gleditsch, K.S. (2021). Ticked off, but Scared off? Riots and the Fate of Nonviolent Campaigns Mobilization. 26(1): 21-39.

Abbs, L., (2020). The Hunger Games: Food Prices, Ethnic Cleavages and Nonviolent Unrest in Africa. Journal of Peace Research. 57(2): 281-296.

Abbs, L., Clayton, G. and Thomson, A. (2020). The Ties That Bind: Ethnicity, Pro-government Militia, and the Dynamics of Violence in Civil War. Journal of Conflict Resolution. 64(5): 903-932.


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