News Archive for 2017

Alva Myrdal’s place in Uppsala inaugurated

Louise Olsson

On 8 September, in memory of Alva Myrdal and her efforts for peace and nuclear disarmament, Alva Myrdal’s place was inaugurated in Uppsala. Louise Olsson, researcher at the Department and at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) gave a speech during the ceremony and highlighted Alva Myrdal as a source of inspiration since she successfully combined the collection of research findings, diplomacy and a great personal commitment. Other speakers were Lena Hjelm Wallén, former Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Uppsala Lord Mayor Carl Lindberg and other representatives of the City.

Professor Peter Wallensteen explains Alva Myrdals significance for this Department:

Nobel peace prize laureate Alva Myrdal (1902-1986) was not only favoring women’s role in society and worked for nuclear disarmament. She also was instrumental in the creation of SIPRI, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, and was the first Chair of the Board. At the same time Alva Myrdal emphasized the role of the universities in peace studies, and encouraged those involved in building peace research at Uppsala University, what today is the Department. Thus, one of the Department’s meeting rooms is named after her. 


Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA) seminar on peace

On Wednesday 6 September, Emma Elfversson and Mathilda Lindgren presented the findings of their respective dissertations in a seminar arranged by EBA (Expertgruppen för Biståndsanalys) at the Royal Coin Cabinet in Stockholm. The purpose of the seminar was to highlight implications of the dissertations for policymakers and aid agencies. In connection to the seminar, the dissertation summaries were also published as EBA reports, available here. Mathilda Lindgren (who now works at Human Dignity) defended her dissertation “Peacemaking Up Close: Explaining mediator styles of international mediators” in October 2016. Emma Elfversson will defend her dissertation, “Central Politics and Local Peacemaking: The conditions for peace after communal conflict” on October 6, 2017.


Håvard Hegre receives the Lilly and Sven Thuréus award

HÃ¥vard Hegre

The Department congratulates Håvard Hegre who received the Lilly and Sven Thuréus award, the technical-economic class, on 29 August. The prize is awarded by the Royal Society of Sciences at Uppsala. Hegre receives the award for his distinguished research of great importance for peace and development in the world. During the ceremony, held in Gustavianum, Uppsala, Hegre gave a speech entitled ’The world has become more peaceful – will this trend continue in the future?’

For more information, see the Royal Society of Sciences website.


New edition of introductory text book

How can we understand the causes and consequences of contemporary conflict? What can be done to prevent the outbreak of new conflicts? The second edition of Krig och fred: En introduktion till freds- och konfliktstudier (Studentlitteratur, 2017, in Swedish only) provides a broad introduction to peace and conflict studies. The book brings together some of the most prominent researchers in Sweden to present analytical perspectives on war and conflict, conflict resolution, peace building and development.

Uppsala University has contributed to the book in several ways. Kristine Höglund has, together with Karin Aggestam (Lund University) edited the book and authored two of the introductory chapters. Hanne Fjelde, Roland Kostic, Anders Themnér, and Louise Olsson have also contributed with chapters on issues such as the causes of war; negotiation and mediation; demobilization and security sector reform; gender equality and peace; and reconciliation in Bosnia-Hercegovina. For more information, see https://www.studentlitteratur.se/#9789144115740/Om+krig+och+fred


International Training on Dialogue and Mediation (ITDM) 2017 

Photo:Kristin Blom 

The first International Training on Dialogue and Mediation (ITDM) 2017 organized in collaboration with the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Uppsala June 7-17 was completed with success.

The training brought to Uppsala a qualified group of practicioners, policymakers and researchers working in the field of dialogue and mediation from a range of inter- and non-governmental organizations working both regionally and nationally as well as universities and research institutes from a total of 17 different countries.* Topics such as conflict trends and actors, inclusivity, gender and peace operations, peace agreements, mediation and leadership, DDR, bridging policy and research, sustainable peace, international mediation and reconciliation were discussed. The group is now part of the Department’s alumni of 750 participants who have attended International Training Programmes (ITPs) at the Department since 1988 and the discussions on sustainable peace will continue in different alumni settings and on social media.

*Specifically the participants represented the UN Missions in Colombia, DR Congo and Darfur, UNDP in Ukraine, ACCORD in South Africa, COMESA in Zambia, WANEP in Ghana, Rema Institute in Burundi, Life and Peace Institute in Kenya, Heal Zimbabwe Trust, EVE Organization for Women Development in South Sudan, MEDNET in the Philippines, Ir-Amin in Palestine/Israel, Ba-Futuru in East Timor, Center for Civic Collaboration in Mexico, Pro Public in Nepal, MUD in Venezuela, High Commissioner of Peace in Colombia, CEPAD in East Timor and Mindanau State University in the Philippines.

See also: http://www.daghammarskjold.se/pursuit-peace-progress/


New UNESCO Chair on International Water Cooperation

The Department congratulates Ashok Swain, Professor at the Department and Director of the Research School on International Water Cooperation, who has been appointed a UNESCO Chair on International Water Cooperation. This is the first UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Chair at Uppsala University.

Uppsala University has signed an agreement with UNESCO about establishing a chair at Uppsala University focused on research about international water issues - the UNESCO Chair on International Water Cooperation. The task of the chair holder is to promote research and teaching on international water management and water governance issues and to facilitate collaboration within and outside Uppsala University.  

 “Naturally I am very honoured to be appointed UNESCO Chair,” says Ashok Swain. “A large part of my research deals with water, climate change, peace and conflict, and my work will be carried out within the framework of the Research School on International Cooperation which was established in 2014 in collaboration with Sweden’s first UNESCO centre, the International Water Cooperation at Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).”

Read more:

UU News: First UNESCO Chair at Uppsala University


The Department congratulates its successful masters students

On 2 June, a graduation ceremony was held for the students that concluded their Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies. The event was held in Uppsala domkyrka in the presence of their friends and families. On the occasion, Lindsey Doyle was awarded the Mats Hammarström Prize for Outstanding Student Essay in Peace and Conflict Studies for her thesis entitled “The Talks Before the Talks: Effects of Pre-Negotiation on Reaching Peace Agreements in Intra-State Armed Conflict”. The department congratulates her and the rest of the students for their excellent achievements during the programme.


Former South African President Thabo Mbeki visited the Department

On May 16, 2017 the Department hosted a visit to Uppsala University by Dr. Thabo Mbeki, former President of the Republic of South Africa, now Chancellor of the University of South Africa. He participated in a seminar at the Department on 'Mediation, Mediation Research and the Case of Southern Sudan' with researchers from the Department as well the Nordic Africa Institute. President Mbeki shared insights from his experiences of mediation throughout the African continent. Prior to the seminar he had a meeting with Uppsala University Vice Chancellor Eva Åkesson on continued cooperation with universities of Southern Africa. President Mbeki also paid his respect to former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld at the Uppsala Old Cemetery. The photo taken in the Dag Hammarskjöld room shows (from left to right): Dr. Johan Brosché, Senior Professor Peter Wallensteen, President Thabo Mbeki, Professor Isak Svensson, Professor Erik Melander, and Associate Professor Desirée Nilsson.


Håvard Hegre elected member of the Norwegian Academy of Science Letters

Dag Hammarskjöld Professor Håvard Hegre was elected into the Norwegian Academy of Science Letters in March 2017. The Academy is a non-governmental, nationwide body which embraces all fields of learning. Its main purpose is to support the advancement of science and scholarship in Norway. The picture shows Håvard Hegre and Academy President Ole M. Sejersted during the ceremony accepting the new members at the Academy annual meeting 3 May 2017.


Warlord Democrats in Africa

Anders Themnér, researcher at the department, has recently edited and published the book Warlord Democrats in Africa: Ex-military Leaders and Electoral Politics (2017, Zed Books). The book include contributions from Ibrahim Bangura, Johan Brosché, Kristine Stina Höglund, Carrie Manning, Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs, Judith Verweijen, Henrik Vigh, Alex Vines and Lars Waldorf.

Post-war democratization has been identified as a crucial mechanism to build peace in war-ridden societies, supposedly allowing belligerents to compete through ballots rather than bullets. A byproduct of this process, however, is that military leaders often become an integral part of the new democratic system, using resources and networks generated from the previous war to dominate the emerging political landscape.

The crucial and thus-far overlooked question to be addressed, therefore, is what effect the inclusion of ex-militaries into electoral politics has on post-war security. Can 'warlord democrats' make a positive contribution by shepherding their wartime constituencies to support the building of peace and democracy, or are they likely to use their electoral platforms to sponsor political violence and keep war-affected communities mobilized through aggressive discourses?

This important volume, containing a wealth of fresh empirical detail and theoretical insight, and focussing on some of Africa's most high-profile political figures – from Paul Kagame to Riek Machar to Afonso Dhlakama – represents a crucial intervention in the literature of post-war democratization.


”Resolving Jihadist Conflicts?” at Nordic conference on violent extremism 

In the photo, from the left: Isak Svensson, Desirée Nilsson, Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs and Daniel Finnbogason

On Tuesday 25 April, the Swedish Core Group of “Resolving Jihadist Conflicts” arranged a panel and presented ongoing research within the framework of the project, at the conference “Risks, roots and responses: Nordic conference on research on violent extremism”, organised by the Segerstedt Institute at the University of Gothenburg. The aim of the conference was to present research and concrete initiatives currently ongoing on in the Nordic countries and in other parts of the world, on the topic of violent extremism.

For more information on the conference, please visit: http://segerstedtinstitutet.gu.se/…/c…/risks-roots-responses.


Support for the event was provided by the German Embassy - Stockholm and the US Embassy - Stockholm.


Lisa Hultman awarded the 2016 Glenn Palmer Prize for best publication in Conflict Management and Peace Science

Congratulations to Lisa Hultman, Associate Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, and her co-authors Jacob Kathan and Megan Shannon, for winning the 2016 Glenn Palmer Prize, awarded to the best publication in Conflict Management and Peace Science! The authors won the award for their article "United Nations peacekeeping dynamics and the duration of post-civil conflict peace". In the article, Hultman, Kathan, and Megan construct a fine-grained dataset regarding the types of deployment and personnel strength of UN peacekeepers. The authors show that the deployment of armed troops is effective in increasing the durability of post-conflict settlements. In contrast, utilizing unarmed observers appears to have no effect on extending the durability of peace.


Ida Rudolfsen wins award for best paper in ISA PDG section

Congratulations to Ida Rudolfsen, Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, for winning the 2017 Jacek Kugler Political Demography and Geography Student Paper Award! Rudolfsen received the award in the International Studies Association's Political Demography and Geography section, for her paper "Igniting the Fire? State Institutions, Food Price Shocks and Urban Unrest". Runner-up was Jonas Nordkvelle with his paper "Randomized Rain Falls on Political Groups:Discovering an Average Causal Effect of Climate Variability on Armed Conflict Onsets".


Book Release: Fredens Diplomater

On Friday 3 February 2017, Professors Peter Wallensteen and Isak Svensson presented their new book "Fredens Diplomater: Nordisk medling från Bernadotte till Ahtisaari" [The Diplomats of Peace. Nordic Mediation from Bernadotte to Ahtisaari], in a book release event in Stockholm organized by the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) at the Medelshavsmuseet [The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities]. The book highlights Nordic mediators on the international scene, and describes efforts of mediators from Finland, Norway and Sweden in contributing to the peaceful resolution of armed conflicts around the world. Sven-Eric Söder, Director-General of FBA, welcomed the large audience and the authors then gave an overview of the book's main themes. This was followed by a panel discussion on the topic of Nordic mediation. It consisted of (from left in the picture) Dr. Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs (Head of Research, FBA), Kai Eide (Ambassador of Norway to Sweden), Birgitta Holst Alani (Ambassador, working with Syrian crisis), the two authors, and Dr. Chris Coulter (Head of Conflict Prevention Program, FBA).


International Training on Dialogue and Mediation (ITDM)

From 2017 the Department has initiated a collaboration on Dialogue for Sustaining Peace with the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Uppsala.

Within this collaboration an International Training on Dialogue and Mediation is jointly organised. The training is to be held in Uppsala on 7-17 June 2017 and will provide a unique opportunity for practitioners, policymakers and researchers to explore and interact on topics related to dialogue and mediation in the context of sustaining peace. The training builds on 45 years of peace and conflict research and education at Uppsala University, combined with insights from the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation’s ongoing engagement in international policy discussions in the peacebuilding field.

For more information and link to application form, please see the ITDM webpage.


New Doctors in Peace and Conflict Research 

The Department congratulates Doctor Florian Krampe, Doctor Nina von Uexkull, Doctor Mathilda Lindgren and Doctor Ilmari Käihkö who were conferred as Ph.D. at the University's Winter Conferment Ceremony, 27 January, 2017. Florian Krampe defended his dissertation: "Building Sustainable Peace - Understanding the Linkages between Social, Political, and Ecological Processes in Post-War Countries" on 10 September 2016. Nina von Uexkull defended her dissertation: "Climate, Conflict and Coping Capacity - The Impact of Climate Variability on Organized Violence" on 23 September 2016. Mathilda Lindgren defended her dissertation: "Peacemaking Up Close: Expanding Mediator Styles of International Mediators" on 7 October 2016. Ilmari Käihkö defended his dissertation: "Bush Generals and Small Boy Battalions - Military Cohesion in Liberia and Beyond" on 3 June 2016.     


Sustainable Peace discussed a High-Level Meeting in New York

On January 24, 2017, the President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, arranged a high-level dialogue on ‘Building Sustainable Peace for All’. The one-day meeting took place in the Trusteeship Council in the UN building in New York. Professor Peter Wallensteen participated in the expert panel of the plenary meeting. His interventions highlighted the importance of academia for sustainable peace, citing the work of UCDP on conflict trends, Uppsala work on gender equality and the Kroc Institute PAM project’s role in the Colombia peace process.

The panel discussion was led by Elizabeth Cousins, UN Foundation (to the very right on the picture). Next to her is Jan Kubis, SRSG for Iraq, followed by Macharia Kamau, Kenya, Chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission. To the left of Professor Wallensteen is Joy Onyesoh, WILPF, Nigeria and Juan Jose Gomez Camacho, Mexico, Chair of the UN Group of Friends of Sustaining Peace.

The day-long meeting began with introductory speech not only of the President of the General Assembly, but also the new UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and the President of the Security Council, Margot Wallström, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs. It is rare that the three institutions of the UN appear at the same event.


New Institutional Peace Research Project with Nepal

Dr Prakash Bhattarai (centre) is visiting the Department this week to plan the new institutional peace research project ”Why join the protests?” Together with Isak Svensson, Karen Brounéus and Charles Butcher (NTNU, Trondheim) the project will examine the driving forces behind participation in nonviolent uprisings in Nepal.


Kick-off meeting for the ViEWS project

In the photo from the left: Lisa Hultman, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, Desirée Nilsson, Jonas Nordkvelle, Hanne Fjelde, Stina Högbladh, Nina von Uexkull, David Randahl, Mihai Croicu, Håvard Hegre, Frederick Hoyles, Halvard Buhaug, Sayeed Auwn Muhammed

The ViEWS project started up with a kick-off meeting on 17–18 January. The project, directed by Håvard Hegre and involving Hanne FjeldeLisa HultmanDesiree Nilsson, as well as an international team of researchers, will develop, test, and iteratively improve a pilot Violence Early-Warning System (ViEWS). It will provide early warnings for four forms of political violence: armed conflict involving states and rebel groups, armed conflict between non-state actors, violence against civilians, and forced population displacement, and apply these to specific actors, sub-national geographical units, and countries. The system will leverage the data resources of the UCDP and other data sources developed by the Department and the project’s international partners.

The project has five years of funding from the European Research Council and involves collaboration with the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)


Håvard Hegre elected Vice-President of the International Studies Association

In the recent elections in the International Studies Association, Håvard Hegre, Dag Hammarskjöld Professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University was elected Vice-President for the 2018-19 term. Patrick James, Professor of Political Science at University of Southern California, will be President 2018-19. With more than 7,000 members, International Studies Association is the most important scholarly association for international studies.