Security, Conflict and Peace
When approaching the causes and implications of conflict and political violence, this research cluster is particularly concerned with the feedback between institutions—be they society, governments, humanitarian organizations, or social groups - and conflict dynamics. Thus, much of our focus is on moments of change, including such topics as norm decline, securitization and desecuritization, the increasingly militarized approach to peace-building, and the changing forms of genocides, as well as continuities and patterns in conflict. We specifically seek to understand processes but also in many cases critique them, asking ethical questions about power and epistemology in relation to the discourses of violence, armed conflicts, and peacebuilding.
The members of the cluster come from a wide range of backgrounds including international relations, historical sociology, law and political science. They engage in conceptual and theoretical work, along with empirical analysis, and often use mixed-methods approaches within individual research. Levels of analysis range from individuals to intergovernmental institutions, and our interests cover time periods from the 19th century to the present day and a geographic range that includes Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America. Current interests within the group include the impact of natural resources on civil wars, local policies on hate crimes, security-governance paradoxes resulting from the EU’s peacebuilding practices, secessionist movements, forms of contestation within the EU around military support to third countries, racism and anti-Semitism, the role of identity in post-conflict stabilization, protecting civilians in war, the international politics of humanitarian action, and transnational advocacy on humanitarian norms.