ICOS works in conflict and post-conflict zones using Cultural Analysis research to examine the perceptions of local people with regards to their own situation or their attitudes towards the political/security landscape in their country. The unique insight provided by this work is used to gain a true understanding of the reality on the ground and to develop realistic and sustainable policy recommendations.
ICOS has been conducting Cultural Analysis research in Afghanistan since 2005, resulting in the publication of over 35 reports on the situation in the country. Much of the research has focused on military-aged males to determine their susceptibility to supporting or joining insurgent groups and provide a longitudinal assessment to evaluate the effects of international military operations. ICOS has also conducted field research on local perceptions of the war in Iraq, and research to assess the impact of the war on terror in fuelling support for insurgent groups in Somalia.