Luke Abbs

Senior Research Officer
School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE)
 Luke Abbs



I am a researcher at the BLG Data Research Centre, based at the University of Essex and Research Fellow at the Department of Government. At the BLG Data Research Centre we deploy applied analytics to inform key policy questions, turning data into knowledge and knowledge into impact. My expertise is in prediction, using statistical methods and supervised machine learning techniques. My role is two-fold: to inform policy questions from local government and charities and to aid the prediction of political conflict within the academic field of political science. My policy role involves engagement with stakeholders such as Essex County Council and Essex Police, exploring a range of policy questions and data analysis related to crime, health and economic growth. I am also involved in the training provided to stakeholders, which is also provided through the Centre. My current academic research agenda is focused on developing two important bodies of conflict research. The first focuses on analysing armed violence and the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping at the subnational-level. This currently consists of the analysis of violence and UN peacekeeping across three separate case-studies: Darfur, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The second explores the emergence and dynamics of nonviolent resistance campaigns and the impact that mass nonviolent resistance has on ongoing civil war and peace processes. My research is published in the Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution and the Journal of Global Security Studies. My more general research interests include: communal violence, food insecurity, ethnic inequality, non-state armed actors, nonviolent resistance, UN peacekeeping and mixed methods (i.e. combining qualitative, statistical and/or machine learning approaches). Email:


Journal articles (3)

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

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



Colchester Campus