Cornelius Haritz joined the GIGA Doctoral Programme in October 2022. He is currently working on his dissertation titled “An empirical approach to conflict transformation in war-torn societies – What works and how?” Get to know Cornelius in this interview.
Cornelius Haritz joined the GIGA Doctoral Programme in October 2022. He holds a Master of Psychology from Georg-August University Göttingen, as well as a Master of Peace and Security Studies from the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy Hamburg. He is currently working on his dissertation titled “An empirical approach to conflict transformation in war-torn societies – What works and how?” Get to know Cornelius in the interview below.
What is your main motivation to address the topic of your PhD?
Currently, I think questions about peace and conflict are more acute than they have been in a long time. Qualified, scientific input on how to support peace is important in this situation to inform our societal debate and help define how Germany can contribute to this. In my project, I am particularly motivated to connect a political science with a psychological perspective, as not only institutions and contracts but also human minds determine peace.
How would you explain your research topic to your grandmother?
Research showed that many societies which once entered a spiral of violence have tremendous difficulties to leave their violent legacy behind. My goal is to examine which combination of conditions and strategies could successfully contribute to putting an end to violence or even reconcile former adversaries. I want to check this on a whole-of-society, political level (e.g., certain forms of shared government between former conflict parties), but also on a small-scale, community level asking individuals like you and me what helps them to leave conflict behind. What are you looking most forward to during your PhD studies?
I am looking most forward to go into field research in countries which experienced violent conflict in the past. Accompanying local projects of conflict transformation and highlight the perspective of people who actually lived (and live) through violent conflict will be very valuable for my research. It will allow me to connect and contrast it to insights of more abstract studies and make output of my research more useful in practice.
Big conference or small workshop?
Definitely small workshop. I love the personal level and depth with which you can discuss topics in such formats.
Qualitative or quantitative?
Both! That’s where the fun begins!