Political institutions and conflict

Research at the Department related to the topic of political institutions and conflict.


Project leader: Emma Elfversson 

Urbanisation simultaneously holds a strong potential for progress and democracy-enhancement, and for destructive and violence-inducing dynamics, a fact encapsulated in the notion of an “urban dilemma”. This project seeks to advance knowledge on why urbanisation brings with it intensified ethnic grievances and increasing levels of inter-group violence in the cities in some cases, but not in others, combining quantitative methods with in-depth field research in Addis Abeba, Kampala, and Nairobi.

Read more about the project "The urban dilemma: urbanisation and ethnocommunal conflict"

Political legacies of electoral violence: Understanding challenges for democratic transition

Project leader: Hanne Fjelde

Read more about the project "Political legacies of electoral violence: understanding challenges for democratic transition"


Project leader: Espen Geelmuyden Rød

Read more about the project "Protest, democratisation, and escalation to large-scale political violence"

Politics of Protection: Explaining International Responses to Atrocities

Project leader: Lisa Hultman

The recent decades have witnessed a normative change in the debate about international intervention in addressing war crimes and violence against civilians. There is often an expectation that the UN or other international actors should react when civilians are being harmed. This project focuses on these politics of protection. It explores the factors that determine when the international community decides to intervene to stop civilians from being harmed, and what form such interventions take.

Read more about the project "Politics of Protection: Explaining International Responses to Atrocities"

Alliances of Anarchy: Actor Constellations and Patterns of Electoral Violence

Project leader: Kristine Höglund

This project uncovers the determinants of electoral violence patterns over time and space, focusing in particular on the actors involved in the violence.

Read more about the project "Alliances of Anarchy: Actor Constellations and Patterns of Electoral Violence"

The Institutional Roots of Electoral Violence

Project leader: Kristine Höglund

How is the risk of election-induced violence influenced by institutional developments before, during and after the transition from authoritarian to democratic rule? This project advances the knowledge about electoral violence and its institutional roots by combining qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Read more about the project "The institutional roots of electoral violence"

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"


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"