In July 2014, Southern Africa is less violent than any other region on the African continent. With the exception of the protracted conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the recent low-intensity, localized conflict in Mozambique, the region has generally been stable. As such, unlike other regions in Africa, the major threats to Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are principally from sources other than widespread civil conflict. Despite this, these countries are highly vulnerable to conflict as a result of deep-seated structural issues, governance challenges and a lack of national political consensus on the strategic direction of certain countries in areas ranging from economic policy to the governance agenda. However, the realities and characteristics of SADC countries vary and different context-specific factors pose ongoing risks to peace. Against this backdrop, four main typologies of countries can be identified in the region, as discussed in the report.