Peace, peacebuilding and reconciliation

Research at the Department related to the topic of peace, peacebuilding and reconciliation.

The Responsiveness of Rebel Governance

Project leader: Sebastian van Baalen 

Why is rebel governance more responsive to the preferences of the civilian population in some areas that in others? This dissertation project explores the degree to which rebels are responsive to civilian preferences in civil war, focusing on their efforts to consult civilians and invest in civilian protection and welfare. The overarching theoretical framework focuses on the conditions under which civilians, and more specifically, local elites, successfully demand a greater say in rebel governance and greater investments in security and services. The main case of the dissertation is Côte d’Ivoire between 2002 and 2010. The project employs both qualitative (process tracing and structured focused comparison) and quantitative methods, including original data collected through fieldwork.

Read more about the project "The responsiveness of rebel governance"


Project leader: Corinne Bara

How do ceasefire agreements shape the trajectory of violence in civil war zones? Under what conditions do they stop the killing, and when do they open up new front lines and trigger shifts in the actors, forms, and locations of violence instead? In this project we create a global dataset of all ceasefires in civil wars between 1989 and 2020 to investigates these questions.

Read more about the project "Ceasefires and the dynamics of violence in war zones"

Gender, war trauma and peacebuilding

Project leader: Karen Brounéus

In this project, we seek to investigate the challenges of post-conflict peace-building processes by studying the complex (and possibly gendered) relationships between war-related trauma and attitudes towards peace-building, trust and co-existence after war. More specifically, the project investigates whether gendered differences in war trauma may have a direct link to the prevalence of psychological health problems such as PTSD and depression, which – in turn – may become significant hurdles to peacebuilding in the post-conflict phase.

Read more about the project on "Gender, war trauma and peacebuilding"

Durable Resolution of Communal Conflicts

Project leader: Emma Elfversson 

How is sustainable peace achieved in situations of local communal conflict? This project explores the role of the state and non-state actors in addressing such conflicts, focusing on cases in Africa. It investigates the dynamics between local conflict resolution processes and central government strategies, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods. Case studies focus on communal conflicts in Kenya.

Read more about the project "Durable resolution of communal conflicts"

Ending Atrocities: Third Party Interventions into Civil Wars

Project leader: Lisa Hultman

This project aims to explore the role of third parties in civil war, with a particular emphasis on evaluating a broad set of measures to end atrocities and violent conflicts with disastrous consequences for the civilian population. 

Read more about the project "Ending atrocities: third party interventions into civil wars"

Causes of Peace – The Botswana, Zambia and Malawi “Zone of Peace”

Project leader: Kristine Höglund 

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 neighbours struck by conflict. For more information, contact Kristine Höglund or Johan Brosché.

Read more about the project "Causes of peace – the Botswana, Zambia and Malawi “zone of peace”

Urban-rural dynamics of community-based conflict management

Project leader: Kristine Höglund

How does the rural versus urban context impact on community policing as a strategy for conflict management and violence prevention? Using both qualitative and quantitative methods the project will compare rural and urban sites of conflict in Kenya to investigate if, why and how the dynamics may differ.

Read more about the project "Urban-rural dynamics of community-based conflict management"

Vulnerable Cities: Conflict Prevention in Urban Planning, Urban Regeneration & Urban Governance

Project contact: Kristine Höglund 

This project seeks to deepen our understanding of urban violence and its links to armed conflict. It will analyse various conflict preventive strategies used in vulnerable cities and assess whether they can prevent the outbreak of armed conflict. The project will focus on four vulnerable cities: Nairobi (Kenya), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Jerusalem (Israel/Palestine) and Mitrovica (Kosovo). 

Read more about the project "Vulnerable cities: conflict prevention in urban planning, urban regeneration & urban governance"

Understanding Environmental Peacebuilding

Project leader: Florian Krampe

This project is focusing on environmental peacebuilding, as the link between post-conflict peacebuilding and environmental governance and natural resource management.

Read more about the project "Understanding environmental peacebuilding"

Arrested Development: The Dangerous Mix of Patronage and Justice in Post-Conflict Countries

Project leader: Joakim Kreutz 

The arrest of former wartime leaders for crimes committed during the conflict often lead to instability in a post-conflict society. This projects explores whether violent reactions to such arrests are caused by the destruction of  patronage networks that offer security, economic support, and organisational structures for demobilised ex-combatants. The project combine global analysis with in-depth case studies of Colombia, Liberia and Serbia.  

Read more about the project "Arrested development: the dangerous mix of patronage and justice in post-conflict countries"

Paths to Peace in Complex Conflict Systems: Lessons from Global Data and an In-depth Study of Myanmar

Project Leader: Erik Melander

Transitions from war to peace in countries with internal armed conflict may require several conflict terminations. This has three reasons: (1) The government may be fighting several armed groups at the same time; (2) New armed groups may emerge during the transition; (3) Armed conflicts having ended may become active again. The project will study processes by which several armed conflicts are terminated in one country, with emphasis on the impact conflict terminations have on other conflicts in the same country. The project combines statistical analysis of global data with an in-depth study of Myanmar.

Read more about the project "Paths to peace in complex conflict systems: lessons from global data and an in-depth study of Myanmar"

An Impediment or Inducement to Peace? The Inclusion of Civil Society Actors in Peace Processes

Project leader: Desirée Nilsson

Does the involvement of civil society actors in civil war peace processes affect the success or failure of the peace negotiations, and does it affect the long-term prospects for sustainable peace in developing post-war societies? In addressing these important questions, this project focuses on the relevance of the number of civil society actors involved, the type of actors, and their various roles and function during the process.

Read more about the project "An impediment or inducement to peace? The inclusion of civil society actors in peace processes"


Project leader: Sabine Otto 

United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations have become one of the most prominent responses to civil wars around the world. The role of civilian personnel and their activities have proliferated during the last two decades and become increasingly central, whereby the promotion of human rights is one of the core function of UN peacekeeping operations. Our knowledge, however, about the impact of civilian staff and activities on protecting human rights standards is inconclusive and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We explore whether and how the civilian components of UN peacekeeping operations improve human rights standards. 

Read more about the project "The civilian dimension of peacekeeping operations and human rights promotion"

Intergroup Trust After War: The Effects of Migration

Project leader: Ashok Swain

This project will examine a key assumption in the literature: that migrants from war torn countries harbour more conflictive attitudes than the local population back home. Going beyond the single country approach of previous studies, we will conduct simultaneous surveys and fieldwork among Iraqis in two settlement countries – Sweden and Jordan. To analyse the multi-sited data, we will apply a novel social-psychological framework that explains how settlement country conditions shape societal beliefs that arise in the context of ethnic mobilisation and war.

Read more about the project "Intergroup trust after war: the effects of migration"

Demagogues of Hate or Shepherds of Peace? Why 'Warlord Democrats' (Re)securitise Wartime Identities

Project leader: Anders Themnér

This project seeks to explain why some military-leaders turned politicians ('warlord democrats') - who are taking part in national elections - seek to (re)securitise wartime identifies, while others do not. It focuses on warlord democrats in Nigeria and South Sudan.

Read more about the project "Demagogues of hate or shepherds of peace? Why 'warlord democrats' (re)securitise wartime identities"

UN in Armed Conflict

Project leader: Peter Wallensteen 

The UN has been activated in the management and resolution of armed conflict since the end of the Cold War. UN actions since 1946 are continuously analysed. This project has studied the decisions in the Security Council in a series of publications. The project also has an ongoing interest in UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld and his performance in international conflict prevention. This work relates to other Department projects on mediation, conflict prevention, UCDP, and to the work of targeted sanctions, see SPITS project page.

Read more about the project "UN in armed conflict"