Research Programme 2

Peace and Security

How do we overcome conflict, and how do we create sustainable peace? This question is of key importance to understanding and shaping political, social, and economic developments in the twenty-first century. While interstate wars have become rare and the number of civil wars has decreased overall, violent and other conflicts remain a ubiquitous challenge. International crises, protracted intrastate conflicts, and lower-level state and social violence still destroy the lives of millions of people. They are also a major hindrance to development and put the security of individuals, social groups, states, and the world significantly at risk.

The Peace and Security Research Programme examines peace and conflict processes in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, and investigates international violence and security trends. We analyse the role of local, national, regional, and international actors in peace and conflict by integrating qualitative and quantitative comparative methods.

Utilising our networks with leading institutions in peace, conflict, and security research from several world regions we generate in-depth knowledge of the processes involved. Analysing the increasingly transnational nature of conflicts and peacebuilding, we aim to identify lessons for both scholars and policymakers.

The Peace and Security Programme scholars specifically study (1) how social identities and ideology intensify or reduce insecurity and conflict; (2) which institutional arrangements (such as power-sharing governments, security sector reforms, transitional justice arrangements) help to promote peace; and (3) how external actors affect peace and conflict dynamics, as well as the security implications of their interventions at the local, national, regional, and international levels.