The first part of the Peace and Security in Africa (PASA) programme year 2015–2016 has just been completed. PASA is carried out by the Department of Peace and Conflict Research in cooperation with the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and the Swedish consultancy firm Indevelop, and is financially supported by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). This is the fifth year the programme is given and it has brought a qualified group of participants from a range of inter-governmental and non-governmental regional organisations working in the field of peace and security on the African continent, such as the AU, IGAD, COMESA, EAC, Goree Institute, ICGLR, KAIPTC, Rema Ministries, ECOWAS, SADC, SACCORD, and WANEP, to Uppsala during the month of May. Topics such as electoral violence, conflict resolution, mediation, women in peace processes and the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) have been discussed. The group will meet again, to follow up and continue the discussions in South Africa in November 2015.
The new Alumni board of 2015-2016 was elected during the annual DPCR Alumni Association General meeting on 2 June. The new board consists of Marie Allansson (President), Bea Schönning (Vice-President), Henrik Persson (Secretary), Magnus Öberg (Treasurer) and Christofer Hägg (Department Liaison).
The DPCR Alumni Association was founded in June 2013 with the aim of strengthening and fostering contacts and networks between former and current student of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research. Membership is open for anyone who has a) obtained credits in at least one course taught at the Department, b) have worked, taught or carried out research at the Department, c) been recommended for membership by the Board of the Association. The membership is free of charge. Become a member by signing up through the Uppsala University Alumni Network or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, see the DPCR Alumni Association webpage.
The Department congratulates Doctor Angela Muvumba-Sellström who was conferred as Ph.D. at the University's Spring Conferment Ceremony, Vårpromotionen, May 29, 2015. Angela Muvumba-Sellström defended her dissertation: "Stronger than Justice - Armed Group Impunity for Sexual Violence" on 17 January, in Auditoriet, Muesum Gustavianum. The opponent was Professor Chandra Lekha Sriram, University of East London. Professor Erik Melander, Associate Professor Mimmi Söderberg-Kovacs both at the Department, and Associate Professor Mats Utas, Nordic Africa Institute and Department of Cultural Anthropology have been her supervisors.
During the spring, five new PhD candidates have begun their doctoral studies at the department. They will be working on issues of key relevance for contemporary peace and conflict research, including the economics of peace and conflict, transboundary water cooperation and environmental negotiations. We welcome Eric Skoog, Stefan Döring, Charlotte Grech-Madin, Kyungmee Kim and Annkatrin Tritschoks to the department.
Professor Kristine Höglund and Associate Professor Isak Svensson participated in a roundtable on Nordic Peace Research, arranged at the 50th Anniversary Symposium for the journal Cooperation and Conflict in Lund on the 7th and 8th of May. The roundtable focused the trajectory of Nordic peace research, its aim and contribution, as well as the future for Nordic peace research.
The Department's Professor Peter Wallensteen participated in an event in New York on May 4, 2015 organized by the International Peace Institute (IPI), the African Union Commission and Sweden's Permanent Mission to the UN. The focus was on regional organization and the UN, building on the volume edited by him and Ambassador Anders Bjurner (Regional Organizations in Peacemaking: Challengers to the UN? Routledge 2014). The speakers included, from the left in the picture, Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chair of the AU Commission, Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN (former Visiting Professor of the Department), the Chair of the discussion Hardeep Singh Puri, IPI Vice President, Professor Wallensteen, and Ms Annika Söder, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden. The full discussion can be followed on http://www.ipinst.org/2015/05/advancing-chapter-viii-the-au-un-experience-2#1.
Associate Professor Lisa Hultman, Professor Håvard Hegre and Associate Professor Isak Svensson, faculty at the Department, have published two recent policy briefs, one on peacekeeping and one on mediation. These are published by the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) and are part of their Conflict Trends. The aim of these briefs, and seminars held at the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, is to communicate insights from empirical peace research to a wider audience including policy makers.
On 23 March 2015, an introductory event of Sweden’s first UNESCO Category II Centre, the International Centre for Water Cooperation (ICWC) was organized at SIWI, Stockholm. The ICWC is the first Category II Centre in the world to focus on the relationship between transboundary water and peace, conflict and development. In collaboration with the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, the ICWC has set up the Research School for International Water Cooperation at Uppsala. Three PhD candidates, Stefan Döring, Charlotte Grech-Madin and Kyungmee Kim are now conducting water cooperation-related research through the School. A post-doc is also being recruited to join soon. Swedish Minister for Education, Gustav Fridolin and representatives from UNESCO, Uppsala University and Gothenburg University attended the introductory event on 23rd March. Minister Fridolin reiterated the government’s commitment to working with water cooperation issues, in particular cooperation over transboundary waters. In the event, Professor Ashok Swain gave a presentation of the Research School.
Dr Katerina Standish, lecturer from the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, is visiting the Department as part of the STINT-funded collaboration between Uppsala and Otago. Dr Standish focuses her work on peace education. She is flanked on the picture with Karen Brounéus and Isak Svensson, from the Department. Uppsala University and University of Otago are part of the international Matariki-network.
On Wednesday, March 11 2015, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program was presented at the Diplomatic Forum under the auspices of Uppsala University, at the International Press Centre at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Stockholm. The presentation focused on trends in armed conflicts, UCDP’s new georeferenced event data (UCDP GED), and the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia. In the picture Research Coordinator Stina Högbladh discusses UCDP data with the Ambassador of Armenia, Artak Apitonian, UCDP Director Peter Wallensteen, and Research Coordinator Samuel Taub.
In mid-February Kunskapskanalen, the Science Channel of the Swedish Public Television (SVT), broadcasted a program on Swedish researchers, primarily in social science and the humanities. Peter Wallensteen and Karen Brounéus appear in longer segments presenting topics of mediation and reconciliation. The program is called "Forska för livet", Researching for Life, and is now available on SVT Play (in Swedish).
Professor Peter Wallensteen discusses with Associate Professor Isak Svensson about the contemporary conditions for international mediation in light of the current crises in Ukraine and Syria. Listen to the Podcast.
The European Institute of Peace (EIP) began its work in mid-2014. It is the outcome of a joint Swedish-Finnish initiative. EIP is an independent foundation led by a board of Governors, drawn from European EU and non-EU member states, based in Brussels. The mandate of EIP concerns mediation. As part of the preparations the Department was given the task of identifying situations in which EIP might be relevant. Results from the project done by Associate Professor Isak Svensson, Professor Peter Wallensteen and Ms. Anna Brandt were presented to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in November 2013 and April 2014. Peter Wallensteen has now been appointed to the Advisory Council of EIP for the years 2015 and 2016. Visit EIP website for more information.
Switzerland-based Interpeace arranges regular meetings, normally in Geneva. On January 29, 2015 it organized the Stockholm Peace Talks, with short interventions reflecting personal experiences in mediation. It was held in the Parliament building in Stockholm starting with personal reflections of The Speaker. Talks were also given by Professor Peter Wallensteen (with the latest results from UCDP) as well as Jason 'Timbuktu' Diakité and the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN Jan Eliasson (honorary doctor and visiting professor of Uppsala University). Adam Tensta performed. Crown Princess Victoria was in the audience which also included Princess Christina, Members of Parliament, activists and media. Read more about the event.
The Department congratulates Doctor Daniel Strandow who was awarded his insignia as a new Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Research at the Winter Promotion (Conferment) ceremony, Uppsala University Aula Magna, January 30, 2015. Here he is surrounded by his supervisor and Head of Department, Dr Magnus Öberg (on his left) and Senior Professor Peter Wallensteen (on his right). Daniel Strandow defended his dissertation: "Fighting for Aid - Foreign Funding and Civil Conflict Intensity" on October 18, 2014, in Sal IX in the University Main Building. The opponent was Professor Kristian Gleditsch, University of Essex.
How can one promote democratisation without also increasing the risk of violent conflicts? A new research project headed by Professor Jørgen Møller seeks to find the answer to this question. The CODE project is based at Aarhus University but involves an international team of researchers, including Professors Håvard Hegre and Kristine Höglund at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University.
Two of the most important objectives in Western foreign policy is to promote democratisation and prevent violent conflict. Earlier research has shown that democratisation processes tend to trigger conflict – sometimes even civil wars. But how should this dilemma be tackled? Is it possible to establish both peace and freedom at the same time? And how can Western governments and NGOs contribute to preventing or resolving conflict without setting aside the democratic ideals? On an interdisciplinary basis, the researchers seek to understand the correlation between democratisation and conflict and how it plays out on different levels – from an international level to the level of the individual. This is done by combining historical and contemporary case studies and global statistical analyses with various forms of experiments.
More information on the project can be found at http://ps.au.dk/en/research/research-projects/code/
In the picture (from left): Chandra Lekha Sriram and Angela Muvumba Sellström
On 17 January Angela Muvumba Sellström successfully defended her thesis Stronger than Justice - Armed Group Impunity for Sexual Violence. Faculty opponent at the defense was Professor Chandra Lekha Sriram, University of East London. Professor Peter Wallensteen chaired the disputation.