Intra-state conflicts in failed and failing states are among the most frequent types of armed disputes of the present. They show patterns of violence that are difficult to grasp with the typical methods of quantitative conflict research. Often confined to particular areas and fought between non-state actors, these conflicts elude state-centric theories and cannot easily be represented with country-level data.
In response to this problem, the present thesis draws upon actor-centered theories of conflict research and transfers them to a local level of analysis. In doing so, it relies on spatially disaggregated data on conflict events in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The analysis of this exemplary area of limited statehood gives important insights into how empirical methods in conflict research can be extended to better discern the causes of violence in modern intra-state conflicts.