Research at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research

The primary goal of research at the Department is to understand the causes and dynamics of peace and conflict. The Department has established itself as a key producer of cutting-edge research and a provider of high-quality data on conflict. The research conducted is mainly theory-based empirical enquiries, while some projects are policy-driven. A range of quantitative and qualitative methods is used, and several projects are multi-method. The Department also houses the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) which provides unique, free and globally accessible data on armed conflict used worldwide for frontline research in the field. An international panel has evaluated the program as world leading and a “flagship” for Uppsala University.

Most research is externally funded and conducted within projects or programs. To learn more about the research conducted at the Department, browse the research themes section. The larger research programmes, as well as the Research School for International Water Cooperation, are presented further below.

Uppsala Conflict Data Program

The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) is the world’s main provider of data on organized violence and the oldest ongoing data collection project for civil war, with a history of almost 40 years. Its definition of armed conflict has become the global standard of how conflicts are systematically defined and studied. Explore and download data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program.

UCDP world map 2018

Resolving Jihadist Conflicts?

One of the most pressing challenges on the contemporary agenda for peace and security is armed conflicts involving militant groups with self-proclaimed Islamist aspirations, such as IS (Islamic State) in Syria and Iraq, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Taliban in Afghanistan. However, we know surprisingly little about the conditions under which jihadist conflicts, partly or completely, may be resolved through peaceful means. In particular, there is a gap in peace and conflict research concerning if, how, and to what extent, our existing theories on conflict resolution are applicable to solve jihadist conflicts. The research project ““Resolving Jihadist Conflicts? Religion, Civil War, and Prospects for Peace” sets out to fill this lacuna. 

Ending Holy Wars, book cover

The Sanctions Program: SPITS

Number of ongoing UN sanctions, per year, 1990-2020. According to the SPITS definition

Sanctions research has long been associated with the Department. SPITS (the Stockholm Process on the Implementation of Targeted Sanctions) was initiated as the "Stockholm Process" by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs together with the Department in November 2001. The report "Making Targeted Sanctions Effective" was delivered to the UN Security Council on February 25, 2003. The work has since then continued by deepening academic research on targeted sanctions, contributing to policy making in the sanctions field, and keeping a website continuously updated on development on sanctions issues in the UN. 

Research School for International Water Cooperation

Since 2014, the Department houses the Research School for International Water Cooperation, which aims to address water cooperation in its broadest sense with a primary focus on water for peace and developmentThe Research School is part of the International Centre for Water Cooperation (ICWC), the first UNESCO Category II Centre in Sweden.

  • UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia Tutorial (

  • Towards a More Peaceful World? Seminar on 8 October 2017

  • How East Asia got out of war (extended version)

  • How East Asia got out of war (short version)

  • East Asian Peace Annual Conference 2015

  • East Asia's Surprising Peace (in Chinese)

  • Japan and East Asia's Surprising Peace (in Japanese)

Last modified: 2022-03-09