Abstract: In areas of limited statehood we neither observe a state with a fully functioning regular army, nor a solely dyadic conflict structure (state vs. rebel group). Instead, these areas are characterized by the state’s inability to control the use of force and the presence of several entrepreneurs of violence competing as providers of security or perpetrators of insecurity. Yet, violence does not take place all across the country. While some strategic hotspots experience continuous fighting and/or violence against the civilian population, other areas are differently affected by armed combat depending on the number of competing armed groups and on the institutionalization of territorial control. In order to uncover the spatial and temporal variations of violence and (in)security in areas of limited statehood, we are particularly interested in the question how the proliferation of armed actors (including both the fractionalization of armed groups and the military intervention of external actors) and the remaking of governance (e.g. Somaliland, Islamic Courts) affect the vertical/horizontal escalation of armed conflict and patterns of violence (against military or civilian targets). We use the case of Somalia as a striking example for armed conflict between mostly non-state armed groups that demonstrates the variance of violence in time and space.