With the 26th edition of the Conflict Barometer, the HIIK continues its annual series of reports covering dynamics of political conflicts worldwide. 2017 was marked by an increased number of wars in Africa. New wars developed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and in Ethiopia. Also, new wars were observed in Myanmar and the Philippines. Additionally, non-violent interstate conflicts affected political developments in the last year. While the conflict between Japan, South Korea, and the US, on the one hand, and North Korea, on the other, significantly shaped international politics in the course of the year, the conflict between Qatar, on the one hand, and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, on the other, especially influenced the Middle East.

In 2017, the HIIK introduces a new category of texts called ‘spotlights’. These short articles complement the well-established conflict descriptions by presenting additional information on certain conflicts as well as their influence on political realities. The Spotlights are supposed to underline the HIIK’s purpose of combining quantitative conflict measurement with qualitative approaches. Light will be cast on cyber conflicts, on political developments in Pakistan, Ethiopia, and the DR Congo, on how opium fuels conflict in Afghanistan, and on the current role of NATO in Europe. Additionally, the HIIK reflects and discusses its own methodology by exemplarily applying it to current conflicts in Colombia.

As in previous years, the Conflict Barometer also contains extensive accounts of measures of conflict resolution such as negotiations and treaties, UN peacekeeping missions as well as authoritative decisions by the ICJ and the ICC. Finally, the report provides a time series of network graphs visualizing interstate conflict constellations.

The final version of the current Conflict Barometer 2017 can be downloaded below:

The Conflict Barometer is also available for download as an iOS app from the App Store.


The Board of Directors would like to thank all who contributed to this report for theiroutstanding efforts, especially during the final stages of editing. Without their commitment, a publication like this would have been impossible. The board would particularly like to thank Franziska Linke and Timo Werth.


The Board of Directors

Sara Engelberg, Marilena Geugjes, Marko Hermsen, Vincent Stüber, Emil Unrath

Heidelberg, February 2018