Institutions often serve as dynamic sites of contestation, though their effects are varied. In certain contexts, institutions creatively support people’s resilience, while in others they serve as bastions of stasis and exclusion that further entrench the production of violence.

As such, this panel analyses the many mutually constitutive relationships between social actors, the context in which they are embedded and conflict dynamics. For example, among other subjects, papers could explore how social groups choose between institutions in violent settings, what the outcomes of these choices are and how they interact with conflict dynamics, or they could address the evolution of institutions in violent contexts and ask if and how they support people’s resilience and/or influence expressions and patterns of violence. The panel builds on scholarship that examines the agency of conflict-affected populations and the complex interactions between their institutional preferences, social networks, and exposure to violence.

We define violence broadly – physical, structural and psychological, and invite empirically-based papers that explore the nature and role of institutions in insecure settings, including rural or rapidly growing urban spaces across Africa.

Specifically, we invite papers that examine:
1. The role that institutions play in supporting or undermining everyday resilience in contexts of violence;
2. How fragile security environments influence institutional development;
3. The ways in which institutions interact with and condition patterns of violence.

To contribute a paper, please send an abstract by email to Solange Fontana: solange.fontana[at] and David Peyton: davidpeyton[at] by March 10, 2017.