Researchers at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research have received several grants for projects stretching over three to five years.
The participants from left to right: Marie Lecomte-Tilouine, CNRS, Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale; Oscar Jansson, Uppsala University; Marco Nilsson, Jönköping University; Jan Willem Honig, King’s College London; Stig Jarle Hansen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences; Christopher Coker, London School of Economics; Antonio Giustozzi, King’s College London; Siniša Malešević, University College, Dublin; Ilmari Käihkö, Swedish Defence University/Uppsala University; Judith Verweijen, Ghent University/Nordic Africa Institute.
Why do men and women risk their lives on battlefields? This is a question of crucial academic and policy relevance that has been written about at least since the sixth century BCE. It has been established that with everything else being equal, the side with more cohesion prevails. It thus wins wars, brings peace and overthrows governments. More recently cohesion has also been connected to the prevalence of atrocities against civilian population.
While much has been written about the concept, the recent academic debate on the subject has become increasingly narrow in its scope. It has almost exclusively focused on Western armed forces, and increasingly only on the professional ones that really only emerged during the recent decades. This narrow focus has meant that the recent theories tell us little about the vast majority of armed groups and state militaries around the world.
This problem was one recognized by all the participants at the conference the Origins of Military Cohesion: Broadening the Perspective, conducted at the Swedish Defence University in Stockholm on December 3-4, 2015. The conference was organized by Ilmari Käihkö, PhD Candidate at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, as a part of a project focusing on the creation of military means financed by the Swedish Armed Forces research grant (FoT). The conference had an ambitious agenda to broaden the ongoing debate on military cohesion in three ways: temporally, spatially and disciplinarily. In order to do so, it brought together ten internationally recognized scholars from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, history, peace and conflict studies, political science, sociology and war studies.
During the two days of the conference, the participants presented papers that focused on both theory and case studies of state and non-state armed groups from around the world. Cohesion was found at different levels of analysis, and was formed in very different ways in different contexts. The findings, which will eventually become chapters in an edited volume on the subject, will no doubt help to broaden the perspective on cohesion as a concept. This in turn will help to understand the dynamics of creating and maintaining cohesion in all military organizations.
The fifth annual conference was hosted by the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore from 6–8 November 2016. Professors Miriam Coronel-Ferrer (Manila) and Dan Slater (Chicago) served as keynote speakers, and altogether papers were presented at panels. You find the conference program here. After the conference the Swedish Vetenskapsjournalisterna produced a short film from the conference, which you can see here. It gives a vivid impression of the vibrant scholarly debates unleashed by the program through its multi-national composition.
Year 2015 in review: peace and conflict: A conversation between professors Peter Wallensteen and Isak Svensson about the major events relating to peace and conflict in the world, during the year of 2015. Listen to the podcast.
The year ahead, 2016: Prospect for peace and conflict in the world during 2016. Listen to the podcast.
Conflict and organized violence in Iraq between 1989-2014 as seen in UCDP GED 3.0. Darker shades indicate more recent events.
The Uppsala Conflict Data Project at the Department launched on 14 December the UCDP Georeferenced Events Dataset release 3 (UCDP GED 3).
The dataset covers individual incidents of armed conflict and organised violence (i.e. clashes, battles and attacks against civilians) in the Middle East, Africa and Asia over a 26-year span covering January 1989 to December 2014.
Thus, scholars can now follow and study local, sub-national or trans-national conflict dynamics across vast areas of the globe over a very long time period. Local-level consistent data on conflicts such as those in Iraq, Israel, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon or Yemen are now available for investigation at a highly detailed level.
Further, unlike existing single-case/single-country subnational data, UCDP GED data is built to be globally consistent and comparable. As such, it opens access to easy investigations, allowing, for example, for local-level analyses of cases and countries as different as Sri Lanka and Iraq or the DRC and Israel/Palestine together.
The data collected for each incident includes:
The dataset now totals approximately 105 000 events of organized violence, and contains the entirety of Africa, Asia and the Middle East with the exception of Syria.
As always, the data are available in several different formats: CSV, KML, Excel, R, SQL, and as shapefiles.
Further, we invite you to our booth at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia between March 16th and March 19th 2016, where we will celebrate the release of the first version of the first global UCDP GED dataset.
In the picture: Lisa Karlborg and Robert Egnell
On 12 December Lisa Karlborg successfully defended her thesis Enforcing Legitimacy - Perspectives on the Relationship between Intervening Armed Forces and the Local Population in Afghanistan. Faculty opponent at the defense was Professor Robert Egnell, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership, Swedish Defence University. Professor Kristine Höglund chaired the disputation.
On 9 December, in the Uppsala University Main Building, this year’s holder of the Claude Ake Visiting Chair, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, held the annual Claude Ake Memorial Lecture. The title of lecture was “What Does it Mean to be Human After Historical Trauma? Re-visioning The Sunflower and Why Hannah Arendt Was Wrong”.
Professor Gobodo-Madikizela is a clinical psychologist and Senior Research Professor at the University of the Free State in South Africa. She served on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as coordinator of victims’ public hearings in the Western Cape. She has a very impressive scholarly record in her field of study, where she has focused on issues relating to the process of forgiveness and its relation to past trauma in encounters between survivors/victims of gross human rights violations and perpetrators.
For more information see the Claude Ake Visiting Chair webpage.
Professor Peter Wallensteen's latest book on Quality Peace: Peacebuilding, Victory and World Order (Oxford University Press) has generated international interest. On November 21, 2015 the New Zealand-based Scholars' Circle aired an interview with Peter Wallensteen, covering both the book and some ongoing conflicts around the world. This radio program is broadcast by radio stations around the world and is led by Maria Armoudian, lecturer at the University of Auckland.
Professor Kristine Höglund was installed as new Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research on 13 November during the professors’ inauguration ceremony in the Uppsala University Grand Auditorium. The inaugural lecture was held during the inauguration ceremony and was titled "Democracy in the shadow of violence".
Professor Kristine Höglund received her PhD in Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University in 2004. She is currently Director of Studies of the PhD Program at the Department. Her research focuses on peace processes and peacebuilding, electoral violence, and transitional justice. Her work has been published in journals such as British Journal of Political Science, Democratization, Review of International Studies, Negotiation Journal, Peacebuilding, International Negotiation and International Peacekeeping. She is the author of Peace Negotiations in the Shadow of Violence (2008, Martinus Nijhoff) and co-editor of Understanding Peace Research: Methods and Challenges (2011, Routledge).
Photo: Bimal Chandra Sharma
A new research collaboration between peace researchers in Uppsala and Nepal (headed by Dr Prakash Bhattarai) has been established. In a joint research- and exchange project, funded by the Swedish Research Council, the nonviolent revolution of Nepal in 2006 will be examined. Through survey analysis the project will try to explain why some choose to participate but not others. The research team consists of Professor Isak Svensson (project-leader), Assistant Professor Karen Brounéus, Assistant Professor Charles Butcher (Otago), PhD candidate Susanne Schaftenaar, and Dr Prakash Bhattarai from Nepal.
Nobel Peace Prize winner 2011 Leymah Gbowee visited Uppsala on October 22 to hold a seminar on "Women, Religion, and Peace”, arranged by the Church of Sweden. Karen Brounéus of the Department was honored to facilitate the conversation, which was attended by several of our Masters students. Ms Gbowee spoke of her work with the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace, a movement pivotal to ending Liberia’s devastating civil war in 2003. She also spoke of her ongoing, post-conflict work with women and war-trauma, and women and religion. Ms Gbowee’s work has been captured in the highly acclaimed film ”Pray the devil back to hell”.
Today, 21st October, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program officially releases its latest major dataset update: the UCDP GED version 2.0.
The UCDP GED is an event-based and georeferenced dataset on organized violence, with the latest update making data available for the African and Asian continents, from 1989-2014.
This release contains a major update to our African data, expanding the time series from 2010 to 2014.The biggest innovation is, however, the inclusion in the dataset of the entirety of Asia (the previous release contained only East Asia) from 1989-2014. This release includes organized violence in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka.
The dataset now totals approximately 90 000 events of organized violence.
Some changes have also been made to the codebook, to allow for a better and easier user experience. As always, the data are available in several different formats: CSV, KML, Excel, R, SQL, and as shapefiles.
Our next release, coming soon, covers the Middle East from 1989 to 2014.
The UCDP GED contains data on all types of organized violence, disaggregated spatially and temporally down to the level of the individual incidents of fatal violence. Each event comes complete with date of the event, place of the event (with coordinates), actors participating in the event, estimates of fatalities, as well as variables that denote the certainty with which these data are known. The dataset allows for the analysis of the causes, dynamics and resolution of organized violence at a level of analysis below the state system. The data can be conjoined with other sub-state data, such as disaggregated information on population, economy and the environment to allow for types of analyses and answer questions that country-level cannot address.
Isak Svensson was appointed Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, on 15 October. His areas of expertise are international mediation in civil wars, religious aspects of conflict resolution processes, and dynamics of strategic nonviolent conflicts. He has published in journals such as Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution, European Journal of International Relations, and International Negotiation. His latest books are The Go-Between: Ambassador Jan Eliasson and the Styles of International Mediation, (co-authored with Peter Wallensteen) United Institute of Peace Press (2010), and Ending Holy Wars: Religion and Conflict Resolution in Civil Wars, University of Queensland Press (2012), and International Mediation Bias and Peacemaking: Taking sides in civil wars (2015) (Routledge).
Last Thursday, two of the Department’s researchers participated in the seminar Conflict, sexual violence and statebuilding in Sweden´s development cooperation at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Stockholm. Johan Brosché presented the report Causes of Communal Conflicts – Government Bias, Elites and Conditions for Cooperation and Angela Muvumba Sellström presented the report Stronger than Justice: Armed Group Impunity for Sexual Violence.
The seminar was organized by the Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA), which is a government committee with a mandate to evaluate and analyse Sweden’s international development assistance. At the seminar four new PhDs (in addition to the two DPCR researchers, Michael Jonsson from Department of Government, Uppsala University and Abrak Saati, Department of Government, Umeå University) presented a summary of their dissertations with a focus on the policy implications of their research. This formed the basis for an open discussion with Annika Sundén, chief economist, Sida, and Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs, Head of Research, the Folke Bernadotte Academy. The reports are part of EBA’s Dissertation Brief Series, and can be downloaded at http://eba.se/.
In June, UCDP reported that the number of fatalities in armed conflict has increased substantially in recent years, and that 2014 was the most lethal year since the end of the Cold War for this category of violence. New data show that also the other two types of violence analyzed by the UCDP – conflict between non-state actors and violence targeting civilians – increased substantially in 2014.
The data released by UCDP 12 October confirm that 2014 witnessed a large number of fatalities in organized violence – the highest in two decades. Well over 100.000 people were killed during the year. The death count in organized violence has not exceeded 100.000 since 1994, when the Rwandan genocide took place. In the new report, the UCDP for the first time reports on patterns in all three categories of organized violence – state-based conflict, conflict between non-state actors, and one-sided killings of civilians – for the quarter century 1989-2014.
This is a peace prize for the work of civil society in mediating in a national crisis. The events in Tunisia in late 2010 and early 2011 unleashed the Arab Spring. In Tunisia the developments became less violent than in the others. Still, several hundred people have died. The national dialogue has played an important role in this regard.
The Tunisian developments have been followed closely by different projects at the Department, associated with the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. In 2015 there have been worrying signs in this country, with attacks on tourists and on a national museum. The prize may help those civil society groups that work to maintain a steady course towards further democratization of the country.
It is a surprising choice as the Nobel committee has had a tradition of highlighting work on nuclear disarmament on the decennials of the use of nuclear weapons in 1945. Thus in 2005, 1995 and 1985 the prize went to organizations, individuals or movements working for the reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons. There were similar nominations and worthy candidates this year.
The quartet consists of the Tunisian General Labour Union, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Human Rights League and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers. It was formed in 2013, two years into the revolution, which the Tunisians themselves prefer to call the Dignity Revolution. At that time, several prominent human rights advocates had been assassinated and tensions were on the rise. With its broad base it is likely that the quartet has contributed to reduce violence and assist in the promotion of democracy.
In 2011 the prize was given to a non-violent activists from Yemen, Ms. Tawakkol Karman, in 2013 to the organization that was involved in chemical weapons disarmament in Syria, OPCW, so this is the third time that it highlights positive developments in the otherwise depressive currents in the Middle East after the first promising changes of the Arab Spring.
A radio interview with Professor Wallensteen on the topic of the Nobel Peace Prize 2015 can be found on the Swedish Radio's news section (in Swedish).
Associate Professor Isak Svensson has also commented on the Nobel Peace Prize 2015. The text was published 9 October in Mänsklig Säkerhet with the title "Nobels fredspris: En viktig och värdig vinnare". A radio interview with Svensson can be found on the Swedish Radio's news section (in Swedish).
In 2015, Professor Peter Wallensteen published two books on the themes of Conflict Resolution and Peace. 'These two books actually complement each other', says Wallensteen. Understanding Conflict Resolution, which is now out in its 4th revised edition and also available in Korean, 'is about settling the conflicts: solutions and processes'. Quality Peace. Peace building, Victory, and World Order, 'is about what happens after that: will the settlements hold, and would victories have produced better outcomes, that is, more quality peace?' By systematically contrasting negotiated endings and victories, he finds that the former, on the whole, results in a peace with more quality and less likelihood of recurrence. A teachers' website is available for the book Understanding Conflict Resolution.
Researchers at the Department argued in Uppsala Nya Tidning (UNT) 25 September that the efforts for global peace must be strengthened. The article was written in relation to the UN meeting in New York the same day where world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For the first time, the Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a goal about promoting peace. In the article, the researchers present nine recommendations for strengthening the efforts for achieving global peace. The recommendations were selected after extensive discussions within the Department where a large number of faculty and staff was involved. Read the full article.
In the fourth and final year of the Department's STINT-funded exchange with the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand, PhD candidate AJ Pienkhuntod (centre) is visiting Uppsala for three weeks. AJ is studying peace building by religious leaders in the Deep South of Thailand, with particular focus on the role of social networks within and between religious groups, as well as with other actors in society. (AJ is standing with Isak Svensson and Karen Brounéus.)
Picture from left: Magnus Öberg (Head of Department of Peace and Conflict Research), Liana Lopes (Uppsala RPC), Görel Byström Janarv (Equmeniakyrkan), Benyam Getaneh (Life & Peace Institute), and Tore Samuelsson (Life & Peace Institute).
To celebrate the International Day of Peace 2015, Uppsala Rotary Peace Center, the Department of Peace and Conflict Research (Uppsala University) and the Life & Peace Institute hosted a seminar about “Universities as Peacebuilding Arenas: reflections and lessons learned, three voices and three continents”. Görel Byström Janarv spoke from the Myanmar context and her engagement with a Theological university; Benyam Getaneh presented the method Sustainable Dialogue and the collaboration between the Life & Peace Institute and Ethiopian Universities; and Liana Lopes talked about University Extension Programs in Brazil.
Dr. Scott Atran gave a public lecture at the department on 21 September on the topic of "Sacred Values and Violent Political Action". In his lecture, Dr. Scott Atran focused on the current situation in Iraq and Syria, and more specifically the role of the Islamic State, from the perspective of the constituents of sacred values, and the complexities of the willingness of foreign fighters to fight and die for a seemingly abstract cause. The lecture was arranged in cooperation with the Brahe Educational Foundation. The financial sponsors of Dr. Scott Atran’s lecture were the US Embassy - Stockholm, The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation and D. Carnegie & Co.
Photo: Moa Karlberg
The Department has participated in a seminar on "International mediation - Swedish experiences and future role”, arranged by the Folke Bernadotte Academy, on the 17 of September, in Stockholm, in the presence of, amongst others, Crown Princess Victoria. Associate Professor Isak Svensson participated in a panel discussion on mediation and experiences from research on mediation. Students from the Department’s A-course also participated in the seminar.
In the picture (from left): Christopher Cohrs and Ralph Sundberg
On 12 September Ralph Sundberg successfully defended his thesis Values and Attitudes across Peace Operations - Change and Stability in the Political Psychology of Swedish ISAF Soldiers. Faculty opponent at the defense was Professor Christopher Cohrs, Jacobs University Bremen. Associate Professor and Head of the Department Magnus Öberg chaired the disputation.
The new Master students (class of 2015-2017)
Welcome to the new academic year! The fall semester has just begun and the new Master students will be studying a course on the Causes of Armed Conflict over the next ten weeks. Our Master program in Peace and Conflict Studies has a strong international profile and attracts students from all around the world. Through elective courses, the program provides an opportunity to obtain an individual profile by specializing in areas such as conflict resolution or security challenges. The program also prepares students for a future career as practitioners. Many of our second-year students are now doing internships with various international organizations, government agencies, NGOs, think tanks, and other relevant employers.
Our Bachelor program in Peace and Development is one of the most popular programs at Uppsala University and the admission is highly competitive. The new students begin the program by taking the A-course in Peace and Conflict Studies together with 65 other Swedish and international students. The third-year program students are now taking a course in methods to prepare them for their Bachelor theses later this semester.
We currently have a total of 272 students enrolled in our undergraduate and master courses. The Department welcomes all new and old students to what we hope will be a challenging and exciting academic year!
The Uppsala city theater, in cooperation with the Department, will hold a series of popular science panel discussions on the theme of “Open talks about power – what drives us?”. Researchers from the fields of peace and conflict, gender and political science, as well as journalists, directors of current shows and the Uppsala city theater director, will participate in the discussions. The audience is invited to participate and ask questions. The panel discussions are free of charge, but tickets need to be collected at the theater.
Magnus Öberg and Karen Brounéus participated in the first panel discussion which was held on 27 August, 18-20, at the theater’s “Lilla scenen”, and built on Michail Bulgakov’s book The Heart of a Dog. The play, directed by Yana Ross, has premier at the Uppsala city theater on 17 September and poses the question of what are we prepared to do to satisfy our own needs.
The panel discussion was filmed by 24UNT and is available at the 24UNT's website (two parts).
For more information, see the event flyer (in Swedish).
The next holder of the Claude Ake Visiting Chair, Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, has arrived in Uppsala and will be with the Department until 15 December. Professor Gobodo-Madikizela is a clinical psychologist and Senior Research Professor at the University of the Free State in South Africa. She served on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as coordinator of victims’ public hearings in the Western Cape. She has a very impressive scholarly record in her field of study, where she has focused on issues relating to the process of forgiveness and its relation to past trauma in encounters between survivors/victims of gross human rights violations and perpetrators.
For more information see the Claude Ake Visiting Chair webpage.
On 3 July Professor Peter Wallensteen discussed the recent UCDP report on armed conflicts in 2014 with Stig-Björn Ljunggren. The discussion was part of the Uppsala University's morning discussion series in Visby during the annual Almedalsveckan. For more information about the discussion, see the seminar webpage. The discussion can also be viewed online (in Swedish).
Associate Professor Isak Svensson participated on 29 June in a panel debate titled “Våld i Guds namn – hur kan vi bemöta och förebygga religiöst motiverat våld?” (”Violence in God’s name – how can we react to and prevent religious motivated violence?”). The panel debate was held in Visby as part of the annual Almedalsveckan. For more information about the seminar, see the seminar webpage.
The Uppsala Conflict Data Project at the Department launched on 11 June the UCDP Georeferenced Events Dataset release 1.9 (UCDP GED 1.9). The dataset covers individual incidents of armed conflict and organised violence (i.e. clashes, battles and attacks against civilians) in East and Southeastern Asia over a 26-year span covering January 1989 to December 2014. The data collected for each incident includes:
- location (latitude, longitude, administrative division) down to day and village level; completely geocoded;
- date of event start and end; precision score
- three fatality estimates, broken up by who died (civilian, military, rebel, other)
- reference to source material and material originator (who made the first statement about the event, i.e. police, eye-witnesses etc.).
In total, this extends the UCDP GED by over 10.000 events.
The dataset is the second released subset of the UCDP GED after Africa (1989-2010). The next subset of GED will be released in early October
2015 and will contain the remainder of Asia as well as updated data for Africa until 2014.
On 4 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, Sebastian van Baalen was awarded the Mats Hammarström Prize for Outstanding Student Essay in Peace and Conflict Studies for his thesis entitled "'So the Killings Continued': Wartime Mobilisation and Post-war Violence in KawZulu-Natal, South Africa". The committee's motivation was to award Sebastian the prize "for a theoretically creative, empirically sophisticated essay which blends rigorous analysis with a compassionate interest in the lives of the people with whom it engages.". The department congratulates him and the rest of the students for their excellent achievements during the programme.
The Folke Bernadotte Academy is arranging a conference in Stockholm on 7-9 June in order to highlight the Academy’s work to support research within the fields of peace, security, and development. Professor Peter Wallensteen at the Department is chairing the panel “Feminist Foreign Policy in Practice” on 9 June 10.55-11.55.
When becoming Foreign Minister in 2014, Margot Wallström proclaimed that she intended to pursue a Feminist Foreign Policy. This would be a policy built on the reality of both women and men and aiming to address systematic gender inequality in terms of representation, rights and resources. The panel focuses on what Feminist Foreign Policy could mean for a small country working in the United Nations. Three themes are highlighted: a) a broader understanding of security in conflict situations for men and women, b) the problem of sexual violence in conflict and c) the issue of participation, as expressed in UN Security Council resolution 1325, from year 2000.
The conference can be followed online via Folke Bernadotte Academy’s website.
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.