A Public-Health View on the Prevention of War and Its Consequences



Political violence, armed conflicts, and human-rights violations are produced by a variety of political, economic, and sociocultural factors. Conflicts can be analyzed in an interdisciplinary way to obtain a global understanding of the relative contribution of risk and protective factors. A public-health model is presented to address these risk factors and protective factors. The model results in a matrix that combines Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary interventions with their implementation on the levels of the Society-at-large, the Community, the Family, and Individual. Subsequently, the risk and protective factors are translated into multi-sectoral, multi-modal, and multi-level preventive interventions involving the economy, governance, diplomacy, the military, human rights, agriculture, health, education, and the media. After this classification, the interventions are fitted in their appropriate place in the matrix.

The interventions can be applied in an integrative and eclectic way by international agencies, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and moulded to the requirements of the historic, political-economic, and sociocultural context. The framework maps the complementarities between the different actors, while engaging themselves in preventive, rehabilitative, and reconstructive interventions. The framework shows how the economic, the diplomatic, the political, the criminal justice, the human rights, the military, the physical and mental-health sectors, and the rural development sectors can collaborate to promote peace or prevent the aggravation or continuation of violence. A major increase in understanding is needed of the relations between risk and protective factors and of the developmental pathways of generic, country-specific, and culture-specific factors leading to political violence.


Conflict Resolution Security Council Armed Conflict Political Violence Child Soldier 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.VU University Medical Center and Boston University School of MedicineAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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