Department of Peace and Conflict Research

News Archive 2015-2016

Strengthened links between Uppsala University and Durham University.

Johan Brosché spent parts of the fall as a guest researcher at Durham University as part of the Uppsala Matariki Fellowship. For more information about the collaboration, see the Matariki Networks news section. The purpose of Uppsala’s Matariki Fellows scheme is to increase the number of research contacts and strengthen international cooperation. For more information about the Fellowship and Matariki Fellows, see the Matariki Network website.  

New report: The Multi-track Water Diplomacy Framework

The Report ‘The Multi-track Water Diplomacy Framework’ is the product of the Department’s Research School of International Water Cooperation’s collaboration with the Hague Institute for Global Justice, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), IUCN, University of Otago, University of College Park, Cork and Tufts University Water Diplomacy Program. This report presents a water diplomacy framework that identifies key factors affecting water cooperation. The report helps to diagnose water problems across sectors, administrative boundaries, and at different levels of governance. To this end, it aims to support identification of intervention points, and to propose sustainable solutions that are sensitive to diverse views and values, while accommodating ambiguity and changing and competing needs.

In the foreword, Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova writes that the framework is “a timely and innovative tool to move [water diplomacy] forward." Knowledge of the key determinants of cooperation not only contributes to the existing body of academic knowledge, but can also help to bolster cooperation over shared waters.

Martin H:son Holmdahl-scholarship awarded to Rotary Peace Fellow 

Lindsey DoyleThe department congratulates Lindsey Doyle (currently a master student and Rotary Peace Fellow) who has been awarded the Martin H:son Holmdahl-scholarship based on her commitment to promote and defend human rights. Lindsey has worked in low-income areas of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Argentina supporting local youth to develop and lead. During her Applied Field Experience (AFE) Lindsey explored the role of the performing arts in post-conflict reconciliation. She has partnered with several local artists, dance companies, and the University of Cape Town (UCT) School of Dance to carry out workshops on how improvisational dance can be used to tell stories and to help process past and current injustices that are otherwise left invisible. 

For more information about the scholarship, see press release (in Swedish).

For more information about the Uppsala Rotary Peace Center, see the center's website. 

UCDP Global GED released 

UCDP GED
Conflict and organized violence in the world between 1989-2015

The Uppsala Conflict Data Project at the Department has released the UCDP Georeferenced Events Dataset (GED) Global version 5.0. The dataset covers individual incidents of armed conflict and organized violence (i.e. clashes, battles and attacks against civilians) globally for the period January 1989 to December 2015.

Thus, scholars can now follow and study local, sub-national or trans-national conflict dynamics across the globe over a long period. 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:

  • 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.).

The dataset now totals approximately 218 000 events of organized violence and the data are available in several different formats: CSV, Excel, R, SQL, and as shapefiles.

Download the dataset

New study on climate-conflict linkages in PNAS

Data image

Severe drought is associated with higher incidence of armed conflict among agriculture-dependent marginalized populations in the least developed states. By strengthening the political status and economic well-being of these groups, conflict risk can be reduced. This is a key finding of a study published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) by a team of DPCR and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) researchers.

Noting that previous studies fail to properly capture the societal context in which such an event would plausibly occur, Nina von Uexkull, Mihai Croicu, Hanne Fjelde, and Halvard Buhaug developed a set of statistical models of climate-security connections that explicitly incorporate affected populations’ specific socioeconomic context. Focusing on Asia and Africa, the researchers utilized new data on armed conflicts since 1989 from the UCDP, ethnic settlement in the region, and high-resolution agricultural land use, and identified a vulnerability specifically to drought among certain populations. While the model reveals that drought-related conflict is limited under most circumstances, the findings indicate that among politically marginalized ethnicities subsisting in rural economies dominated by agriculture, a drought would increase the likelihood that ongoing violence is sustained. Bolstering key agriculturally dependent communities against climate catastrophes may thus help prevent future violent clashes – especially in areas already affected by conflict and instability. Beyond measures to make the agricultural sector more resilient to climatic extremes, this means strengthening the political status and economic well-being of the rural populations.

PNAS is among the top general science journals making this an important success and a further example of a long tradition of fruitful cooperation between DPCR and PRIO.  

von Uexkull, Nina, Mihai Croicu, Hanne Fjelde, and Halvard Buhaug. 2016. ”Civil conflict sensitivity to growing-season drought.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, published online ahead of print. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1607542113. (open access).

DPCR congratulates new doctor in peace research

Mathilda Lindgren

On 7 October, Mathilda Lindgren successfully defended her thesis Peacemaking Up Close: Expanding Mediator Styles of International Mediators. Faculty opponent at the defense was Associate Professor Kyle Beardsley, Duke University. Professor Isak Svensson chaired the disputation.

Matariki network-meeting

Matariki network

A meeting with University of Tuebingen, Germany, a partner University within the international Matariki-network of Universities, was held on 4 October. Uppsala University and the Department is a coordinator for the Peace and Conflict group within the Matariki network. On the picture: professor Andreas Hasenclever from University of Tuebingen, flanked by Håvard Hegre, Karen Brounéus, Kristine Höglund and Isak Svensson, from the Department.  

DPCR congratulates new doctor in peace research

Nina von Uexkull

On 23 September, Nina von Uexkull successfully defended her thesis Climate, Conflict and Coping Capacity - The Impact of Climate Variability on Organized Violence. Faculty opponent at the defense was Professor Jack A. Goldstone, George Mason University. Professor Kristine Höglund chaired the disputation.

"Resolving Jihadist Conflicts? Religion, Civil War, and Prospects for Peace": 1st International Working Group Conference

Panel photo

The research project "Resolving Jihadist Conflicts? Religion, Civil War, and Prospects for Peace" held its 1st International Working Group Conference in Uppsala 5-8 September. The conference gathered around 30 scholars and professionals from multiple disciplines to discuss the concept of 'jihadist conflict' and revise the analytical framework of the project. As a part of the conference, a public seminar, Resolving Jihadist Wars: Prospects and Challenges, was organized on Tuesday 6 September together with the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA). Prof. Monica Toft (University of Oxford) delivered the keynote address before a panel discussion also including project leader Prof. Isak Svensson (Uppsala University), Prof. I William Zartman (Johns Hopkins University), Prof. Mark Juergensmeyer (University of California Santa Barbara), Joel Ahlberg (FBA), and Dr. Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs (FBA) as the moderator. Drawing a large audience, the panel (pictured above) debated a number of key questions related to the conditions under which jihadist armed conflicts can be resolved.

DPCR congratulates new doctor in peace research

Florian Krampe

On 10 September, Florian Krampe successfully defended his thesis Building Sustainable Peace - Understanding the Linkages between Social, Political, and Ecological Processes in Post-War Countries. Faculty opponent at the defense was Associate Professor Larry Swatuk, University of Waterloo. Associate Professor Magnus Öberg chaired the disputation.

The department welcomes all new and old students

Master students
The new Master students (class of 2016-2018)

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 55 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 277 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!

Research School presented ongoing projects at World Water Week in Stockholm 

Panel photo

On September 1, the Department's Research School for International Water Cooperation hosted an event at the World Water Week. Prof. Ashok Swain together with Charlotte Grech-Madin, Kyungmee Kim, Stefan Döring, and Yumiko Yasuda presented ongoing research projects. The work was later discussed with scholars and international policy experts. The Research School is part of the ICWC, an independent research institute hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and delivered in partnership with the Swedish Government and SIWI, under the auspices of UNESCO. 

New Peace Studies Center at Rosario University, Colombia, aims to assist Colombian peace process ahead

Karen Brounéus

On August 30, Associate Professor Karen Brounéus held a keynote lecture at Rosario University, Bogotá, Colombia, entitled ”The Complexities of Truth Telling for Trust, Reintegration and Peace: Promises and Pitfalls of TRC processes”. After more than 50 years of armed conflict, Colombia has entered a new historical phase with the recent signing of a ceasefire agreement between the government and the FARC guerilla. JANUS – the new Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies on Conflict and Peace — at Rosario brings together scholars from across the University with the aim to assist the peace process ahead. 

International Water Resources Book of the Year 2015

Book coverTransboundary Water Management and the Climate Change Debate, the book co-authored by Professor Ashok Swain has been selected as the International Water Resources Book of the Year 2015. After careful scrutiny of more than 100 books about international hydrology and water resources, Hydrology.nl has declared the book as the winner during the World Water Week in Stockholm. This jointly authored book is a product of collaboration with colleagues at SIWI and Gothenburg University within the institutional framework of International Center for Water Cooperation.

Almedalen 2016

Panel photo

On 6 July Professor Peter Wallensteen moderated a panel debate titled “Kärnvapennedrustning genom avtal – problem och möjlgiheter” (Nuclear disarmament through agreements – problems and possibilities). The panel debate was held in Visby as part of the annual Almedalsveckan. For more information about the seminar, see the seminar webpage

Watch the seminar.

Almedalen 2016

Panel photo

On 4 July Professor Isak Svensson and Assistant Professor Joakim Kreutz, both members of the East Asian Peace Program’s core group, participated in a panel debate titled “Är freden i Östasien hotad?” (Is the peace in East Asia threatened?). Advisory Board Member Börje Ljunggren also participated in the panel. The debate was moderated by Ulf Mårtensson. The panel debate was held in Visby as part of the annual Almedalsveckan. For more information about the seminar, see the seminar webpage. For more information about the East Asian Peace Program, see the program website.

Professor Peter Wallensteen moderated a panel debate, also on 4 July, titled "Vad hände inom global säkerhetspolitik under året som gick?" (What happened within global security politics during the past year?). For more information about the seminar, see the seminar webpage

Advisory board meeting for the project Women, war trauma and peace building

Group photo

The first Advisory board meeting of the Women, war trauma and peace building project is taking place on June 30-July 1 at the Department. The aim of the project is to study the complex and possibly gendered links between war trauma, psychological health and attitudes towards peace, to better understand the challenges women and men face in the aftermath of war. The first country of study will be Sri Lanka, from where project leader Karen Brounéus and co-investigator Erika Forsberg recently returned from a planning visit with research partners at the University of Colombo. The Advisory board consists of Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (South Africa), Dr Emma Fulu (Australia), Dr Henrik Urdal (Norway) and our own Professor Peter Wallensteen. Also in the picture research assistant Simon Pierre Boulanger Martel and Karin Dyrstad (Norway) with whom the project team collaborates.

Launch of film about East Asian Peace

The Swedish TV journalists Thomas Heldmark and Rolf Wrangnert have produced a film for Uppsala University about the East Asian Peace. It seeks to explain how a whole region with more than 30 per cent of mankind, could make a transition from widespread warfare to what some call a "surprising peace". The film features conflicting views as to how deep or sustainable the regional peace has become. See the film here or find it on YouTube! There is also a Chinese version of this film.

Want to learn more? See the longer version of this film in English or Chinese!

New data from the Department highlighted by Swedish media

New data from the UCDP and studies from researchers within the “Resolving Jihadist Conflicts?” program is highlighted by Swedish media. The data show that more than half of the total amount of people killed in battle-related violence in 2015 were killed in armed conflict associated with jihadism. The data also show that the upward trend in fatalities in organized violence was broken in 2015. For more information, see the press release (in Swedish).

News article in English

News articles in Swedish

The Department congratulates its successful masters students

Graduation photo
Photo: Marta Gaspar Carpinteiro

On 3 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, Kate Lonergan was awarded the Mats Hammarström Prize for Outstanding Student Essay in Peace and Conflict Studies for her thesis entitled "Atrocity Prevention through Reconciliation? Testing the Impact of Interpersonal Reconiciliation in Sri Lanka". The committee's motivation was to award Kate the prize "For an original and ambitious essay which marries two important research fields with a mixed methods design, employing both a randomized field experiment and purposive interviews". The department congratulates her and the rest of the students for their excellent achievements during the programme.

DPCR congratulates new doctor in peace research

Ilmari Käihkö

On 3 June Ilmari Käihkö successfully defended his thesis Bush Generals and Small Boy Battalions - Military Cohesion in Liberia and Beyond. Faculty opponent at the defense was Professor Koen Vlassenroot (Ghent University). Professor Kristine Höglund chaired the disputation.

New Doctors in Peace and Conflict Research 

Walch and Karlborg

The Department congratulates Doctor Colin Walch and Doctor Lisa Karlborg who both were conferred as Ph.D. at the University's Spring Conferment Ceremony, "Vårpromotionen", 27 May, 2016. Lisa Karlborg defended her dissertation: "Enforcing Legitimacy - Perspectives on the Relationship between Intervening Armed Forces and the Local Population in Afghanistan." on 12 December 2015, in Auditoriet, Museum Gustavianum. The opponent was Professor Robert Egnell, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership, Swedish Defence University. Colin Walch defended his dissertation: "Conflict in the Eye of the Storm - Micro-dynamics of Natural Disasters, Cooperation and Armed Conflict." on 20 February this year, in Auditoriet, Museum Gustavianum. The opponent was Professor Richard Matthew, University of California Irvineö.

Reflecting on Peace: Experiences of Rotary Peace Fellows

Group photo

The 2016 Annual Seminar of the Uppsala Rotary Peace Center, hosted by the Department, was held in Uppsala on 7 May. The Rotary Peace Fellows from Class XIII presented their research and shared experiences of peace work from around the world. In addition conference participants got the opportunity to hear from our keynote speaker Martin Schibbye. The seminar was followed by a dinner arranged by the Host Area Coordinator of the Rotary Peace Center Magnus Elfwendahl. For more information about the Uppsala Rotary Peace Center, visit the Center’s webpage or contact the center’s staff at rotarypeace@pcr.uu.se.

Rotary Annual Seminar Program 2016

Alumni Talks: Democracy from Below or Above? Prospects and Challenges for Peace

Panel photo
In the photo: Peter Wallensteen, Isak Svensson and Kristine Höglund

The DPCR Alumni Association held its second Alumni Talks on 28 April, this year with the theme “Democracy from Below or Above? Prospects and Challenges for Peace”. The two main speakers were Professor Kristine Höglund and Professor Isak Svensson, who both took up the positions as Professors at the Department last year. Isak Svensson's research focuses on international mediation in civil wars, religious aspects of conflict resolution processes, and dynamics of strategic nonviolent conflicts. Kristine Höglund's areas of expertise are peace processes and peacebuilding, electoral violence, and transitional justice. The talk was moderated by Professor Peter Wallensteen. An informal reception was held afterwards.

The Alumni Talks event was filmed and can be viewed here. For more information about the DPCR Alumni Association and previous events, please visit the Alumni webpage.

ERC Advanced Grant to the Department to fund the development of ViEWS – a political Violence Early Warning System

Data image

The project, directed by Håvard Hegre and involving Hanne Fjelde, Lisa Hultman, Desiree Nilsson, as well as an international team of researchers, will develop, test, and iteratively improve a pilot Violence Early-Warning System (ViEWS) that is rigorous, data-based, and publicly available to researchers and the international community. The ultimate goal is to build an early-warning system of sufficient quality and transparency to enable the international community to effectively assist conflict-affected populations.

Developing ViEWS is challenging, but feasible. The conflict research community has laid the ground for such a system through careful isolation of theoretically manageable sub-components of complex phenomena, and concomitant systematic, disaggregated data collection efforts. A major innovation in the project is to integrate these isolated research programs into a theoretically and methodologically consistent forecasting system, guided by continuous out-of-sample evaluation. This integration effort will not only allow an early-warning system of unprecedented scope and performance, but also build theoretically informative bridges between numerous compartmentalized conflict research programs.

ViEWS will provide early warnings for four forms of political violence: armed conflict involving states and rebel groups, armed conflict between non-state actors, violence against civilians, and forced population displacement, and apply these to specific actors, sub-national geographical units, and countries. The system will leverage the data resources of the UCDP and other data sources developed by the Department and the project’s international partners.

ERC Press Release

For information on Hegre's earlier work on conflict forecasting, see Håvard Hegre´s blog.

The ISA Peace Studies Section’s Distinguished Scholars Award

Peter Wallensteen
In the photo from the left: Landon Hancock and Peter Wallensteen

The Department congratulates Professor Peter Wallensteen, who received the ISA Peace Studies Section’s “Distinguished Scholar Award”. The award ceremony was held on 16 March, at the Annual ISA Conference, this year in Atlanta, USA. The Chair of the ISA Peace Section, Landon Hancock, Associate Professor, Center for Applied Conflict Management, Department of Political Science, Kent State University, led the event. He commented on Wallensteen’s award by stating “In giving you this award we would like to pay tribute to your many years of work in the field of peace and conflict studies and to your many contributions to theory, research and practice.” He also said that Peace Studies is now the third largest among ISA’s many sections, with 875 members.

The other laureates were Galia Golan, Professor Emerita from Hebrew University now at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, and Professor Nils Petter Gleditsch from Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) and former editor of Journal of Peace Research. The three participated in a two-hour long conversation with the audience on peace research and its contemporary challenges.

International Relations and Religion

Book coversIsak Svensson, professor at the department, and Ron E Hessner, have recently published the four-volume set International Relations and Religion (2016, SAGE Library of Interantional Relations), consisting of: Vol I: Religion and International Relations, Vol II: Religion and War, Vol III: Religion and Peace, and Vol IV: Religion, IR and Methodologies

The study of religion and international relations has been gathering pace over the past few decades, and has intensified since the start of the new millennium, when the discipline experienced a sudden surge of interest attributable to world events, starting with the Iranian Revolution and culminating with U.S. incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq. 

This four-volume set organizes and contextualizes this burgeoning literature and its contribution to the study of international theory, focusing in particular on its influence in the subfield of war and peace studies. 

The four volumes are arranged thematically, including papers which offer a range of answers to key questions such as:

  • How has religion shaped the structure of international system?
  • How do we define the relationship between religion and war?
  • In what ways has religion prevented, constrained or resolved conflict?
  • How do we approach the methodological, ontological and epistemological challenges raised by the interdisciplinary study of religion and international relations?

For more information, see also the new project Resolving Jihadist Conflict?

Philosophy Tea

Ogden and Wallensteen
Photo: Per Torsner 

For the fifth season, the Regina Theatre has pursued discussions on the topics of peace and justice under the heading of 'Philosophy Tea'. Professor Peter Wallensteen has been involved from the Department. The discussions in February 2016 has focused on issues related to Africa. It coincides with the Black History Month in the US. The session on February 22 dealt with William Wilberforce and the abolition of slave trade and slavery. Wallensteen discussed with foreign lecturer Daniel Ogden (to the left in the picture). 

Listen to the discussion.

DPCR congratulates new doctor in peace research

Colín Walch
In the photo: Colin Walch and Richard Matthew

On 20 February Colin Walch successfully defended his thesis Conflict in the Eye of the Storm - Micro-dynamics of Natural Disasters, Cooperation and Armed Conflict. Faculty opponent at the defense was Professor Richard Matthew, University of California Irvine. Professor Kristine Höglund chaired the disputation.

Visit by Professor Kevin Clements to Uppsala

Group photo
In the photo: Karen Brounéus, Kevin Clements, Isak Svensson and Daniel Finnbogason

The Department is welcoming Professor Kevin Clements, director of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Otago University, New Zealand, as part of the institutional collaboration between University of Otago and Uppsala University, and the East Asian Peace program.

More study places for students at Campus Gamla Torget on the way

In order to create more workspace for students and employees within Campus Gamla Torget, a large construction/relocation project has been ongoing for several years. Within one year, an estimated 950 study places will be available within Campus Gamla Torget.

As the number of students and employees has increased over the years, the goal is to create more study places, group rooms and lounge areas for students. New teaching facilities are being built in “Badhuset”, including a new lecture hall. In order to create more space, the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library has moved to Slottsgränd 3, near Carolina Rediviva.

The ongoing construction work has resulted in a temporary shortage of teaching facilities and study places. The ongoing renovation of the University Main Building has also contributed to this. We are sorry for the inconvenience this is causing. However, the work is progressing and already in April Campus Gamla Torget will gain access to two floors in “gamla Skrapan” at Trädgårdsgatan 7E. In addition, starting autumn 2016, the whole building will be available for teachers and students. When the renovations are completed, which is expected to be during early 2017, the number of study places and other facilities will have doubled.

Again, we are sorry for the inconvenience these renovations are causing, but we appreciate the students’ patience, and look forward to new teaching facilities and study places that will be available at Campus Gamla Torget in the beginning of 2017.

Peace Walk in Uppsala

Peter Wallensteen and students
Photo: Peter Dien

The students of the Master program joined the Peace Walk led by Professor Peter Wallensteen on January 27, 2016. It is a regular feature of the Master program since 2010, but Wallensteen says he has done this walk for the past ten years. "It started as a particular element in our international courses that were sponsored by Sida" he says. "It was appreciated, as a way of getting out of the class-room setting". He goes on to say: "It also demonstrates that Uppsala is a city in the world. World events affect us and visiting the peace memorials is one way to show this". The Peace Walk stops at the statue of Nathan Söderblom (see picture), the bust of Folke Bernadotte, the grave of Dag Hammarskjöld and Liberation, the monument to the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Nobel peace prize is one thread in Wallensteen's presentation.

Resolving Jihadists Conflicts? Religion, Civil War, and Prospects for Peace

Group photo
In the picture: Three of the members of the
Core Group for the new research project:
Mimmi Söderberg-Kovacs, Isak Svensson,
and Desirée Nilsson.

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. This project sets out to fill this lacuna. The purpose is to explore the potential, as well as the limitations, for conflict resolution in these contexts by examining the research question: under what conditions are jihadist conflicts likely to be resolved?

In order to address this pertinent and highly complex research problem this project brings together peace and conflict scholars with scholars of religious studies in general and Islam in particular, and we expect to see important synergy effects by doing so. Drawing on this multidisciplinary expertise, the project seeks to develop a theoretical framework that focuses on 1) who the actors are, 2) the issues at stake, and 3) and the behavior of these actors. The project combines quantitative and qualitative research methods and analyzes and compares jihadist conflicts to other types of conflicts, and explores variations within jihadist conflicts. Projectleader is Professor Isak Svensson (isak.svenssonATTpcr.uu.se).

SUCCESSFUL PROJECT APPLICATIONS IN 2015

Researchers at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research have received several grants for projects stretching over three to five years.

  • Elin Bjarnegård has received one 3-year grant from the Swedish Research Council (Development Research) “Gender aspects of election violence: Experiences of political candidates in Myanmar and Cambodia” and one 4-year grant from the Swedish Research Council for the research project “Gender Politics and Electoral Authoritarianism”. Both will be carried out at the Department of Government.
  • Jonathan Hall has received a 3-year International Postdoc grant from the Swedish Research Council for the project “Trauma and Trust: Exposure to War Violence and Trust Among Refugees in Sweden”. 
  • Angela Muvumba Sellström has received a 3-year grant from the Swedish Research Council for the research project “Disciplining Fighters: Understanding Armed Political Actors’ Control of Sexual Violence ”.
  • Desirée Nilsson has received a 4-year grant from the Swedish Research Council for the research project “Conflicts, Connections, Complexities: Towards a Multi-layered Understanding of Civil War”.
  • Isak Svensson has received a 5-year grant from the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond for the research project “Resolving Jihadists Conflicts? Religion, Civil Wars, and Prospects for Peace”.

Conference on military cohesion

Seminar photo
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.

Film from the 2015 East Asian Peace Conference in Singapore

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.

Two new-year podcasts

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.

UCDP GED 3

Data image
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:

  • 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.).

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.

You can see a visualization of the data here, and download the data and the codebook here. To read the dataset presentation article, please click here.

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.

DPCR congratulates new doctor in peace research

Lisa Karlborg
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.

Claude Ake Memorial Lecture 2015

Pumla Gobodo-MadikizelaOn 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.

Quality Peace: Peacebuilding, Victory and World Order

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.

DPCR Congratulates New Professor in Peace and Conflict Research

Kristine Höglund

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 ScienceDemocratizationReview of International StudiesNegotiation JournalPeacebuildingInternational 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).

New research collaboration on nonviolence 

Nepal
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.

Seminar with Leymah Gbowee

Brounéus and GboweeGbowee and students

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”. 

View the seminar.

UCDP Georeferenced Event Dataset (UCDP GED) version 2.0 now released!

Data image

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.

You can see a visualization of the data here, and download the data and the codebook here. To read the dataset presentation article, please click here.

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.

DPCR congratulates new professor in peace research

Isak Svensson

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).

Seminar on "Conflict, sexual violence and statebuilding in Sweden´s development cooperation"

Last Thursday, two of the Department’s researchers participated in the seminar Conflict, sexual violence and statebuilding in Sweden´s development cooperationat 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/.

New publication: "Organized Violence in the World 2015. An Assessment by the Uppsala Conflict Data Program”

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.

The report can be downloaded from UCDP Publications and the data underlying the report can be downloaded from UCDP Datasets.

Press release

Nobel Peace Prize 2015 - A comment by Professor Peter Wallensteen

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).

New publications

Book coverBook coverBook cover

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.

Nine recommendations for global peace

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.

The department welcomes visiting guest from New Zeeland

Group photo

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.)

International Day of Peace 2015

Group photo
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.

Public lecture on Sacred Values and Violent Political Action

Scott Atran

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.

LogoLogoLogo

Seminar on international mediation

Panel photo
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. 

DPCR congratulates new doctor in peace research

Ralph Sundberg
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 department welcomes all new and old students

Master students
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!

Open talks about power – what drives us?

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).

Claude Ake Professor 2015 – Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

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.

Almedalen 2015

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).

Almedalen 2015

Panel photo
Picture from left: Mohammad Fazlhashemi, Isak Svensson, Sofia Walan, Anna Lindman

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.

UCDP GED 1.9: 26 years of armed conflict and organised violence in Southeast Asia

Data image

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.

Graduation 2015

Graduation group pgoto
Photo: Krystal Renschler

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.

Research for Peace

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.  

Peace and Security in Africa 2015-2016

PASA group photo
Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

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.

New board of the DPCR Alumni Association elected

Alumni board group photo
Picture from left: Christofer Hägg, Henrik Persson, Marie Allansson and Magnus Öberg

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 dpcr@alumni.uu.se. For more information, see the DPCR Alumni Association webpage.

New Doctor in Peace and Conflict Research 

Angela Muvumba-Sellström
Photo: Tor Sellström

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.

The department welcomes new PhD candidates

Phd candidates

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.

Roundtable on Nordic peace research

Höglund and Svensson

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.

Regional Organizations in Focus in New York

Panel photo

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.

Policy dialogue on peacekeeping and mediation

Paper covers

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.

Introductory event of the International Centre for Water Cooperation

Group photo
Photo: SIWI

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.  

The department welcomes visiting guest from New Zeeland

Group photo

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.

UCDP presented at the Diplomatic Forum in Stockholm

Group photo
Photo: Lena Wallensteen

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.

DPCR Researchers on National Television

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).

International mediation: On Ukraine, Syria, and the Professionalisation of International Mediation Processes 

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

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.

Stockholm Peace Talks

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.

New Doctor in Peace and Conflict Research 

Group photo
Photo: Lena Wallensteen

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.

Conflict and democratisation in the 21st century

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/

DPCR Congratulates New Doctor in Peace Research

Angela Muvumba-Sellström
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.