: Understanding the drivers of intimate partner violence (IPV), perpetrated by men and experienced by women, is a critical task for developing effective prevention programmes.: To provide a comprehensive assessment of the drivers of IPV.: A comprehensive review of the drivers of IPV, at the end of a six-year programme of research through the with reference to other important research in the field.: Broadly, we argue that IPV is driven by poverty, patriarchal privilege, and the normative use of violence in interpersonal relationships. These factors also increase childhood trauma, poor mental health and substance misuse, and poor communication and conflict in relationships, which in turn impact on IPV. Disability status, and contexts of armed conflict, or post-conflict, further reinforce and exacerbate these risks. We move beyond describing associations towards describing the causal pathways through which these factors operate to increase IPV.: Specific recommendations about the future of further research on drivers of IPV include a greater focus on understanding the causal pathways from drivers to IPV and clearly delineating association from causality in studies, particularly for women and girls with disabilities, in armed conflicts, and adolescent girls and young women. To achieve this, we recommend extensive in-depth qualitative research, and complex quantitative modeling studies. Understanding drivers and causal pathways better will enable the identification of points of entry for the development of more effective IPV prevention interventions.