How to Establish an Early Warning System: Concept and First Steps in Switzerland

Andreas V. Kohlschutter, Gunther Bachler


The authors introduce a pilot project on
a general conflict warning system
mainly designed to serve the Swiss Foreign
Ministry. Especially after the
Rwanda disaster, the administration
(backed by the Foreign Committee of the
Parliament) underlines the need for a
computerized system that builds the
ground for early recognition and, thus,
enhances the "institutionalized" pressure
to (re)act in a stage of a conflict as
early as possible. Questions arise on the
state of the art as weIl as on the interface
between early warning on one hand and
decision making and early action on the

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