Research Team 1

Identities, Ideology, and Conflict

The Identities, Ideology, and Conflict Research Team studies how religious and other social identities – as well as ideologies – affect processes of mobilisation and diverse forms of contentious politics, as well as how they either intensify or de-escalate insecurity and violent conflict. The research team also analyses how religion and ethnicity combine with material factors, such as natural resources, in shaping the trajectories of conflict.

Based on extensive fieldwork and on cooperation with researchers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, we generate in-depth knowledge of the actors and micro-level processes involved. Moreover, we focus on the general impact that identities and ideology have on conflict. As an interdisciplinary team that includes political scientists, historians, ethnologists, and religious studies experts, we cover and compare cases in and across the different world regions. In doing so, we employ qualitative as well as quantitative methods.

The research team focuses on three areas:

  • It analyses social and political actors and their mobilisation strategies. This analysis includes research on Islamist movements and the reasons for the “radicalisation” or “moderation” of violent and potentially violent groups, as well as the manner in which radicalisation and moderation take place.

  • It investigates how religious factors influence the likelihood of armed conflict, and how they interact with other drivers of conflict and peace, such as ethnic identities and natural resources. This investigation includes work with global data sets on the religious ideologies of rebels and different forms of religious violence.

  • It looks at micro processes of conflict and cooperation at the local level and at the influence that, for example, interethnic relations have on these processes.

Current Research Projects

EC, Horizon 2020, Initial Training Network (coordinator: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS) | 2019 - 2023
EC, Horizon 2020 (coordinator: Hugo Observatory – University of Liège (ULg)) | 2018 - 2023

Completed Research Projects

German Foundation for Peace Research (DSF), Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) | 2012 - 2015
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) , German Israeli Foundation | 2008 - 2018
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) | 2015 - 2018