Peter Wallensteen and Anders Bjurner (eds) 2015. Regional Organisations in Peacemaking: Challengers to the UN?, London: Routledge (275 pages) was published, August 2014. With a preface by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.
Regional organizations have taken an increasingly prominent role in international efforts to deal with international security. This book highlights the complex interaction between the regional and sub-regional organizations, and their relations to the United Nations. Thus, general issues of UN authority are scrutinized from legal, practical and geopolitical perspectives. Taking on a broad geographical focus the book also provides an extensive range of case studies, with detailed analysis of particular situations, such as the ones following the Arab Spring; of organizations, such as EU, OSCE and the League of Arab States; and of special armed conflicts, notably in Somalia and Ivory Coast.
This book is written by established scholars, diplomats and high-level policymakers, all with a basis in Sweden, but does not necessarily reflect Swedish foreign policy. It ends with 12 conclusions, where one concerns the complementary of the regional organizations to the UN. The editors expect this work to stimulate more study of regional bodies and their addition to the international community in dealing with armed conflicts.
Peter Wallensteen is Senior Professor of the Department for Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, and Ambassador Anders Bjurner has worked on this project as Visiting Researcher at the same Department. The project was also funded by the Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace, and Justice.
In a speech before the U.S. House of Representatives in early June, Rep. David Price, defended federally funded social science research and mentioned research on third-party peacemaking. The mentioned research project is led by Erik Melander, the late John Darby, and Peter Wallensteen. Professor Erik Melander gives the following comment:
"The funding for this project by the National Science Foundation allowed us to carry out important cooperative work involving the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden, and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA. In my view, it should be easy to see to value of funding this kind of research. A key outcome of the project was the completion of the UCDP Managing Intrastate Armed Conflict (MIC) Africa Dataset, which covers third-party peace-making in armed conflicts in Africa in the period 1993-2007. This extremely detailed dataset is freely available and will likely be used in many future studies. The project also brought together a large group of researchers to present and discuss research on various dimensions of the quality of the peace following the conclusion of civil war, and how third parties can strengthen the quality of peace beyond and above the absence of open fighting. The concern about the quality of peace was a special interest of the late John Darby, who was a co-Principal Investigator of the project. This stream of research about quality peace that was initiated with the help of the NSF funding at a strategic point in time continues to be developed in several spin-offs from the project. Third party peacemaking and quality peace are research topics of immense practical relevance, and the funding by NSF for this kind of research is thus very important."
The data on armed conflicts 1946-2013 will be presented in an article by Lotta Themnér and Peter Wallensteen in the July issue of Journal of Peace Research (JPR).
In 2013, UCDP recorded 33 active conflicts in the world, which is an increase by one since 2012. The number has remained relatively stable over the past decade and is substantially lower than in the peak year after the end of the Cold War. 2012 saw an increase in the number of battle-related deaths with the number of casualties in Syria completely overshadowing any other ongoing conflict. In 2012, two out of five people dying in battles, died in Syria. In 2013, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program has, for the very first time, refrained from publishing any numbers, due to the shortage of reliable information.
Press release (in Swedish)
Press release (in English)
On June 5, a ceremony was arranged for the students that concluded their Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies. The event was held in Helga Trefaldighets kyrka in the presence of their friends and families. On the occasion, Philipp Schulz was awarded the Mats Hammarström prize for his outstanding master thesis entitled "Justice Seen is Justice Done? Assessing the Impact of Outreach Activities by International Criminal Tribunals on Reconciliation". The department congratulates him and the rest of the students for their excellent achievements during the programme. During the ceremony, masters student David Ermes gave a speech with the title “The Times Are Changing” which can be read in full here.
The first editorial board of the PAX et BELLUM Journal consists of (from left): Elizabeth Tompkins, Katariina Mustasilta, Svenja Wolter, Ulrika Nilsson, Erik Runn, Lauren Schorr, Reint-Jan Groot Nuelend and Linn Haggqvist.
How do students prepare themselves for the practicalities of being an academic? The platforms related to peace and conflict studies that expose students to a thorough peer review and publication process are limited. Eight bachelor- and master students from the Department of Peace and Conflict Research (DPCR) detected this room for improvement and established the first DPCR student journal: the PAX et BELLUM Journal.
The founding group of students, forming the editorial board, aims at providing a platform for student researchers to contribute to interdisciplinary peace and conflict discourse and to share their perspectives on a wide-ranging scope of topics related to the field. The journal will be published biannually and is supported by an advisory board consisting of Peter Wallensteen (Senior Professor at the DPCR) and Henning Melber (Senior Adviser and Director Emeritus Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation). The submitted work of students is subject to an anonymous peer review process, carried out by staff members of DPCR. The first issue deals with papers on civilian victimization, spoiler management, indivisibility and the micro dynamics of war.
The editorial board announced during the official launch party on May 21nd that they encourage both Master and Bachelor students to submit their papers in the coming months, since the planning is already underway for the Fall 2014 issue.
Picture from left: Victor Sundman, Lovisa Mickelsson, David Ermes, Magnus Öberg and Sayra van den Berg
The new Alumni board of 2014-2015 was elected during the annual DPCR Alumni Association General meeting on 2 June. The board consist of: David Ermes (President), Lovisa Mickelsson (Vice-President), Victor Sundman (Secretary), Magnus Öberg (Treasurer) and Sayra van den Berg (Department Liaison). A presentation of the new board members can be found on the department’s Alumni webpage. To become a member register through the Uppsala Univerisity Alumni Network or contact email@example.com for further information.
The Department congratulates Doctor Johan Brosché who participated in the Promotion ceremony, in the Uppsala Main University Building, Wednesday May 28, 2014. The new doctor is seen here together with Peter Wallensteen, Senior Professor of Peace and Conflict Research. Johan Brosché defended his dissertation: "Masters of War - The Role of Elites in Sudan's Communal Conflicts" on 7 February, 13:15, in Hörsal Gunnar Johansson in Blåsenhus. The opponent was Professor Catherine Boone, Department of International Relations, London School of Economics.
The research project "Demagogues of Hate or Shepherds of Peace? Why 'Warlord Democrats' (Re)securitize Wartime Identities" has received 3-year funding from the Stiftelsen Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs Minnesfond. It seeks to explain why some military-leaders turned politicians ('warlord democrats') - who are taking part in national elections - seek to (re)securitize wartime identifies, while others do not. It focuses on warlord democrats in Nigeria and South Sudan. The project team is comprised of Johan Brosché, Hanne Fjelde, Roxanna Sjöstedt and Anders Themnér. Anders Themnér is the project leader.
Peace and Security in Africa (PASA) for programme year 2014–2015 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 fourth 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, APFO, IGAD, CEWARN-IGAD, ECOWAS, NPI-Africa, KAIPTC, Rema Ministries, SADC, SACCORD, Tostan and WANEP, to Uppsala during the month of May. Topics such as conflict resolution, mediation, DDR processes, the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), and state building have been discussed. The group will meet again, to follow up and continue the discussions in South Africa in November 2014
As part of a collaborative internationalization project, supported by the Swedish Board of Internationalization of Higher Education (STINT), the Department has organized a set of faculty- and PhD students exchanges between the Department of Peace and Conflict Research and the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand. In the picture are some of the persons who have participated in the exchange: Isak Svensson, Ralph Sundberg, Erika Forsberg, Stina Högblad, Karen Brounéus, and Charles Butcher (University of Otago). For more information, please contact: Isak Svensson or Karen Brounéus.
Picture from left: Peter Wallensteen, Magnus Öberg, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and Karen Brounéus.
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel participated in an informal lunch seminar at the Department on May 8, 2014. Crown Princess Victoria is an alumna of the Department and this was an opportunity to inform her and Prince Daniel on recent activities at the Department and to discuss issues and developments around the world. During the lunch Head of Department Magnus Öberg gave an overview of recent developments in the educational programs and research at the Department. Professor Peter Wallensteen followed with a presentation and discussion of UCDP and research on Nordic mediation and new mediation initiatives. Finally, Dr. Karen Brounéus informed the Royal couple on psychological aspects in peace research, including her research on the effects of the Rwandan Gacaca process on victim witnesses, as well as the psychological health of soldiers returning from peace keeping operations. After a lively and cordial seminar the Royal Couple met briefly with the Rotary Peace Fellows.
Photo: Emil Planting Mollaoglu
On April 25th the Department’s Annual Peace Gasque was held at Västmanlands-Dala Nation in Uppsala. For many years now this has been a proud tradition of the department to gather its students, researchers and employees for an evening of good food and entertainment. This year’s Peace Gasque had 122 people attending on the theme of “Pax Svea: 200 years of Sweden at Peace”.
The 2014 Annual Seminar of the Uppsala Rotary Peace Center, hosted by the Department, was held in Uppsala on 3 May. The seminar was the first in what will be an annual tradition. The Rotary Peace Fellows from Class XI presented their research and shared experiences of peace work from around the world. In addition conference participants got the opportunity to hear from a Rotary Peace Fellow alumna and keynote speaker Hans Corell on ”Rule of law – a prerequisite for global governance”. The seminar was followed by a dinner arranged bythe Host Area Coordinator of the Rotary Peace Center Suzanne Brenning. For more information about the Uppsala Rotary Peace Center, visit the Center's webpage or contact the center's co-directors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department has received a grant by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for a project that seeks to identify conflicts (armed, unarmed and frozen) where the newly created European Institute of Peace (EIP) can play a constructive role as mediator. The EU-related EIP will be operative later this year and one of the institute's main tasks will be to enhance EU's foreign policy role by providing mediation services. Sweden and Finland took the initiative for EIP and remain its major supporters, together with five other European countries. The grant will be used to survey available data resources (including UCDP) to identify possible situations for European mediation.
The project team consists currently of Associate Professor Isak Svensson, Professor Peter Wallensteen and Research Associate Anna Brandt. For more information, contact Isak Svensson.
In the photo: Erik Melander, Peter Wallensteen and Håvard Hegre
The Department of Peace and Conflict Research and the DPCR Alumni Association on 26 February brought together the most recent Dag Hammarskjöld Professors to talk about their views on the emerging trends in peace throughout the world. In the well-attended alumni event, Professor Peter Wallensteen and Professor Håvard Hegre presented historic trends and predictions on conflict and peace in the world. Departure for the discussion were two articles by the professors, recently published in the Journal of Peace Research. The event was moderated by Professor Erik Melander. After interesting presentations and discussions the speakers mingled with the alumnis at the following reception.
On February 7th Johan Brosché successfully defended his thesis Masters of War: The Role of Elites in Sudan’s Communal Conflicts. The thesis addresses the causes of communal conflict, draws on extensive field work in Sudan and entails a comparison of two conflict-ridden regions (Darfur and Greater Upper Nile), with a more peaceful one (Eastern Sudan). To explain the prevalence of communal conflict the study explores how government bias entices conflict, and engages with theories related to common pool resources as well as more actor-oriented perspectives from the study of civil wars. Faculty opponent at the defense was Professor Catherine Boone, London School of Economics.
The Swedish Research Council (U-forsk) has awarded the department a research grant to study the causes of peace. Botswana, Malawi and Zambia constitute a ‘Zone of Peace’ spared from violent conflict since independence. The project aims to explain why peace has prevailed in these countries, despite being located in the world’s most volatile continent and with all their neighbors struck by conflict. For more information, contact Kristine Höglund (project leader) or Johan Brosché.
After the international application round that just closed, the department's master programme received the most first-hand applicants of all master programmes offered at Uppsala University. See the official announcement for more details.
- We are of course proud to offer an attractive programme that brings brilliant students from around the world to Uppsala. At the same time, the international interest is partly what makes it such a high-quality programme. The diverse backgrounds of students bring interesting perspectives into the classroom and the students enjoy the international atmosphere, says Lisa Hultman, Director of Studies at the department.
For Swedish students interested in applying to the programme, the deadline is 15 April (see http://www.pcr.uu.se/education/master_programme/).