Conflict and Security
We examine causes and consequences of violent conflict in unstable regions of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. We ask how efforts to (re)construct states shape local, regional and international security.
International responses to violent conflict
International responses to violent conflict have become more fragmented and contested. The global peacebuilding enterprise has branched out beyond the UN and the World Bank. Assertive and often controversial military deployments have become part of peace operations. Diplomacy is failing to address large conflicts such as Syria, and complicated patterns of transnational conflicts no longer fit the concept ‘civil war.’
We research contemporary military, diplomatic and aid interventions by regional, international and Western actors. We also carry out evaluations of specific projects and programs designed to build peace.
Security and statehood in the Middle East
Our research programme on security and statehood in the Middle East tries to understand the dynamics of contemporary upheavals in the region. From Libya to Afghanistan, violent conflicts have afflicted communities and threaten the viability of the state.
- We ask what drives the descent into social and political volatility
- We trace the origins to the social relations that have shaped models of statehood and authority in different countries
- We examine how the organization, mobilization and legitimation of armies and other parts of the security apparatus have set the stage for internal conflict
- We analyze how regional and international rivalries affect struggles over state authority
- We pay particular attention to the role of the media in fueling social and political polarization