News Archive for 2011

New data release: UCDP Georeferenced Event Dataset (UCDP GED) version 1.0-2011

The move of the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) across Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic and Sudan between 1995 and 2010. White dots represent the oldest activity, followed in order by blue, green, yellow and red dots. Larger and darker dots represent higher fatality estimates.

Today, 8 December, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program released its latest dataset; the UCDP GED version 1.0-2011. The UCDP GED is an event-based and georeferenced dataset on organized violence, detailing all of the UCDP’s categories of violence (state-based conflict, non-state conflict and one-sided violence) in Africa between 1989 and 2010 at the level of the individual event of violence. 

In contrast to the UCDP’s country-year datasets, that are separated between different datasets depending on the type of violence they track, 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.

This version of the dataset comes in a point format, georeferenced using the WGS84 datum and is compatible with most GIS software. Further updates during December 2011 and January 2012 will contain polygons of conflict zones, as well as onset data in point and polygon formats (shapefile format for use in ArcGIS). This first release of data contains all of those events that appear in years when a dyad or actor crosses the 25 fatalities threshold; future updates will contain events beyond these so-called ‘active years’, as well as data on actors and dyads that have never crossed this threshold. This version of the dataset contains approximately 24 000 individual events of violence.

This new 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.

The UCDP has been working on coding and organizing these data for approximately 2,5 years, with a research group of approximately 15 project managers and research assistants. The data have been thoroughly checked and double-checked, both manually and through automated scripts, so as to ensure the integrity and usability of the product. We hope you like it.

Questions, comments and any errors should be directed to the project manager, Ralph Sundberg (ralph.sundberg@pcr.uu.se).

 


Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Discuss with Peace Researchers

 

2011 Peace Prize winners, Leymah Gbowee, Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman, Yemen, visited Uppsala University on December 13, 2011 and responded to questions from a panel of young researchers and students. Peace researchers were heavily represented. The questions dealt with issues of non-violence, peacebuilding as well as sources of inspiration and nominations for the next Peace Prize. The two laureates were warmly received by the Uppsala audience filling the main auditorium of the university.

From left: Dr. Anders Themnér and Ph.D. candidate Mathilda Lindgren, both at the Department, then Mrs Leymah Gbowee, and Professor Peter Wallensteen, chairing the session, Mrs Tawakkul Karman with her interpreter, followed by Ms. Lena Ag, Secretary-General of the women’s organization Kvinna-till-kvinna and two students from UF (The Uppsala Association of International Affairs/Utrikespolitiska föreningen) Malin Bergwik and Carl Hvenmark Nilsson, both program secretaries of the association. The laureates were greeted by outgoing Deputy Rector (prorektor), Professor Kerstin Sahlin (not in the picture). 

Click here to watch the lecture.

 


National Conference on Peace and Conflict Research for PhD candidates

On 15-16 December, the Department hosted the biannual National Conference on Peace and Conflict Research for PhD candidates, sponsored by Folke Bernadotte Academy. The conference saw broad participation of PhD students active in research environments throughout Sweden, who presented and discussed their ongoing work in workshop sessions during the two days. The conference was opened by Peter Wallensteen, Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research (DPCR), followed by a keynote speech on the theme “New Directions in Peace and Conflict Research”, delivered by Séverine Autesserre, Assistant Professor at Barnard College, Columbia University. In her speech, Professor Autesserre addressed the growing interest in micro-level processes in peace and conflict research, making reference to how this focus united many of the PhD projects represented at the conference.

Day two of the conference began with a roundtable discussion on publishing and how PhD students should approach this issue, chaired by Mats Hammarström, Associate Professor, DPRC, and featuring Professor Nils Petter Gleditsch from PRIO, Oslo, Associate Professor Kristine Höglund, DPCR, Associate Professor Jan Ångström, DPCR, and Visiting Scholar Allan Dafoe, DPCR. The conference concluded in the afternoon of Friday 16 December on a very positive note and with hopes of continued contacts and exchanges until the next conference, to be arranged by one of the other participating universities. 

 


Peace and Security in Africa 2011-2012

Photo: Tommy Westberg

PASA 2011-2012 is on its third and final week here in Uppsala (October 2011). PASA is an International Training Programme organised and 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 financially supported by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). This is the first year the programme is given and it has brought a qualified group of participants from the AU, Africa Peace Forum, East African Community, ECOWAS, Goree Institute, IGAD-CEWARN, International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, MARWOPNET, WANEP and the Swedish Embassy in Nairobi to Uppsala in the middle of the dark October month. Topics such as mediation and dialogue, DDR processes, the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), conflict prevention and early warning, and the management of election-related violence have been vividly discussed. The group will meet again, to follow up and continue the discussions in Durban, South Africa in March 2012.

 


Royal Couple Attends Informal Seminar at the Department

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel participated in a special seminar in the Department on October 14, 2011 as part of an informal visit to Uppsala University. Crown Princess Victoria is an alumn of the Department and this was an opportunity to inform her as well as Prince Daniel on recent activities at the Department. Deputy Head of Department Magnus Öberg gave an overview of educational and scientific achievements. Dr. Kristine Höglund informed the Royal couple on the program on Governance, Conflicts and Peacebuilding, in particular she elaborated on the study of electoral violence. Ms Lotta Themnér and Therese Pettersson demonstrated the latest data from UCDP, Uppsala Conflict Data Program, including geo-referenced data on particular conflicts. Dr. Erik Melander presented the recently initiated East Asian Peace program. The seminar was chaired by Professor Peter Wallensteen and the discussions were lively in a friendly atmosphere. 

Picture: At the table from left: Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and Louise Dinkelspiel, Peter Wallensteen, Lotta Themnér and Therese Pettersson. In the back Per Ström, Uppsala University.

Also present but not in the picture were Magnus Öberg, Erik Melander and Kristine Höglund. 

 


The Nobel Peace Prize 2011

Comment, by Professor Peter Wallensteen, 

This year's Nobel Peace Prize is most welcome. It highlights one of the most well known resolutions by the UN Security Council, Resolution 1325 from year 2000. It emphasized the role of women in peace processes. The three women that now share the prize meet the criteria very well. All three have demonstrated great courage in standing up to warlords and dictators with the use of non-violent methods.Their work has aimed at achieving lasting peace and democracy.

Leymah Gbowee (Liberia) och Tawakkul Karman (Yemen) have created popular movements that have contributed to real change, notably ending 14 years of war in Liberia and opening the chances for a democratic transition in Yemen.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia) is Africa's first democratically elected female president. She has led the efforts of reconstructing Liberia, after the wars, an example of peacebuilding in very difficult conditions. Together the three women demonstrate that the quest for democracy is a shared value transcending different religious traditions.

The Department was happy to have Ms. Johnson Sirleaf as a participant in a conference on conflict prevention ten years ago. The Department was also involved in the work that eventually led to the historical resolution 1325.

 


The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture 2011

Ambassador and former Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jan Eliasson, honorary doctor, a frequent teacher and Visiting Professor with the Department, presented the annual Dag Hammarskjöld lecture in the grand auditorium in the University Main Building, September 18, 2011. This was almost to the hour 50 years after the news broke that the UN Secretary General had died in a plane clash in Ndola, in today’s Zambia.

Eliasson stressed the “indispensable” connections between peace, development and human rights. He illustrated this with an observation in the 2011 World Bank report saying that “The report highlights the recurrent cycles of weak governance, poverty and violence. Not one low-income country coping with these problems has yet achieved a single Millennium Development Goal!“ Dr. Eliasson was introduced by Professor Peter Wallensteen, holder of the Dag Hammarskjöld chair in Peace and Conflict Research, who also moderated the discussion that followed. 

Listen to the lecture (external link to the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation)

 


Peace Research: Theory and Practice – Wallensteen’s new book describes the development of the field 

Peace Research: Theory and Practice – a new textbook by Peter Wallensteen – is now available from Routledge. The 278-pages book comprises a series of articles presenting an overview of the thematic development peace research. Drawing on years of research and experience Professor Wallensteen has collected thirteen key articles and added five new essays into one book. It is organized around the theme of making peace researchable and offers insights on the origins and works of the Uppsala Department as well as ethical issues, causes of war studies, the emergence of the conflict data program, uses of sanctions and third party activity by academics (‘academic diplomacy’).

Professor Bruce Russett at Yale University says in his review that the book ‘spans a distinguished career of theory, empirical research, and also practice, thus showing how social scientists can inform policy, and inspire all those who hope to reduce violence in this world.' 

 


The department welcomes all new and old students!

The department wishes to welcome all new and old students to a new academic year with new exciting challenges and opportunities. In the media we are constantly reminded of the importance of questions about peaceful conflict resolutions and sustainable development. Increasing violence against civilians in Syria, continued violence in Libya and Afghanistan at the same time as a severe drought has deepened the already ongoing humanitarian crisis on the Horn of Africa.

These are questions that, among others, the students of the new bachelor program in peace and conflict studies will be focusing on during the coming three years. From a total of 1152 applicants 40 have now been admitted and begun their studies at the department. The large number of applications placed the program among the top five most popular programs at Uppsala University.

The fall semester also marked the beginning for a new group of master students in politics and international studies. The department offers two tracks in the master program: Peace and Conflict studies and Eurasian studies. About 30 students (of a total of 445 applicants) were admitted to the Peace and Conflict track and about 20 students (of a total of 158 applicants) were admitted to the Eurasian track.

In addition to the programs, the department also gives the A- and C-course in peace and conflict studies as well as web-based courses during the fall semester.  

 


The UCDP’s latest data on armed conflicts in 2010 published in Journal of Peace Research

The UCDP article “Armed Conflicts, 1946-2010” by Lotta Themnér (formerly Harbom) and Peter Wallensteen was published in the July issue of Journal of Peace Research (JPR). Last year’s article, “Armed Conflicts, 1946-2009”, was the most downloaded article in the Journal of Peace Research (JPR) in 2010 (of all articles published in 2009 and 2010). 

This year’s article, “Armed Conflicts, 1946-2010”, presents the latest developments on armed conflicts during 2010 by drawing on data from the most recent version of the UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset (v.4-2011) as well as from the Uppsala Conflict Database. In 2010, UCDP recorded 30 active armed conflicts, which is a substantial reduction from the 36 active conflicts recorded in 2009 and the lowest number of active conflicts since 2003. It is also noted in the article that the number of wars (1,000 or more battle-related deaths) declined from six in 2009 to four in 2010. However, only two peace agreements were concluded during the year, which is decidedly below the annual average for the post-Cold War period.  

UCDP data on armed conflicts have been published yearly in the Journal of Peace Research since 1993. A free version of the last year’s article “Armed Conflicts, 1946-2009” can be accessed by clicking on the link below.

Harbom, Lotta and Peter Wallensteen, 2010, "Armed Conflicts, 1946-2009", Journal of Peace Research, 47(4)

 


In Memoriam: Ulf Himmelstrand 1924-2011 

The funeral ceremony for Professor Ulf Himmelstrand, Professor of Sociology at Uppsala University 1969-1989, was held in Uppsala on July 12, 2011.

At Uppsala University Ulf Himmelstrand was involved in the promotion of peace research. In his view, issues of peace and war were central to Sociology and, thus, there was also a peace studies course as part of the Sociology curricula in the 1970s. 

His commitment no doubt stemmed from his broad international experience. Noteworthy is his work for establishing Sociology as an academic discipline in Nigeria in the 1960s. He was also openly critical to Swedish nuclear weapons when the issue was debated in the late 1950s. Building on such experiences he became a gratefully remembered and most active member of the externally composed board of the new Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University until the early 1980s. 

Peter Wallensteen

 


New Doctors in Peace Research

The Department has successfully graduated three Ph.D.s during the past year, two of whom participated in the Promotion ceremony, in the Uppsala Main University Building, Friday May 29, 2011: Roxanna Sjöstedt and Kristine Eck. The new doctors are here seen together with Erik Noreen, Head of Department (on the left) and Peter Wallensteen, Dag Hammarskjöld Professor at the Department (in the gown from University of Notre Dame).

Kristine Eck defended her thesis "Raising Rebels: Participation and Recruitment in Civil War" in the spring of 2010 and Roxanna Sjöstedt defended her thesis “Talking Threats - The Social Construction of National Security in Russia and the United States" in the fall of 2010.   

 


In Memoriam: Jacob Bercovitch - Pioneer of Mediation Research

The picture shows Jacob Bercovitch (r) in his office involved in a deep conversation with Professor Karl deRouen on a joint research project, March 23, 2010.

Professor Jacob Bercovitch, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, passed away in his home, early June 2011. This is a great loss to the international social science community. He was a good friend of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University.

Jacob was a pioneer in the quantitative study of mediation, by building a ‘Correlates of Mediation’ program (inspired by J. David Singer's seminal work on war) and he created an original database on third party efforts in inter-state conflicts. Recently, he was also involved in a new dataset on civil war mediation.

Jacob published a series of influential journal articles in Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution and International Interactions. His activities included co-authored articles and co-editing the central Sage Handbook on Conflict Resolution in 2009. He promoted the study of mediation by involving a network of colleagues in ambitious projects, of which one is continuing – financed by the Marsden Fund of New Zealand.

All this meant that he placed his university as well as New Zealand scholarship firmly on the map of international relations and peace studies.

In Uppsala we were pleased to welcome Jacob at a major conference on conflict prevention in 1997. This resulted in closer relations, including an invitation for me to Christchurch as a Canterbury fellow in 2001.

Jacob Bercovitch was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2005. 

Peter Wallensteen

 


Master's Cermony 2011

 

For the second time a celebration was arranged for the students that have successfully graduated from the Master Programme 'Politics and International Studies', with a specialization in peace and conflict studies. It was held on June 1, 2010 in the Main University Building.

 


Uppsala University named Rotary Peace Center in stiff competition

In keen international competition keen international competition, Uppsala University has been named one of Rotary International’s seven international Peace Centers. This means that students from all over the world will be able to receive Rotary scholarships to pursue a master program in peace and conflict studies at Uppsala.

- Rotary’s decision is a source of tremendous pride for us. The field of peace, security, and democracy is one of our University’s truly robust areas in research and education, and it means a great deal to us to have been selected among more than 100 universities in the world, says Anders Hallberg, Vice Chancellor of Uppsala University.

Rotary Peace Fellowships from the Rotary Foundation enable students to win scholarships in tough competition to study peace and conflict studies for two years at an internationally leading university.

- It is, of course, a great honor to be recognized as offering world-class education, says Peter Wallensteen, holder of the Dag Hammarskjöld Professorship in Peace and Conflict Research at the University. This is an effect of our long-term quality work in education and research. It has resulted in bright international students already finding their way here.

- We have had strong support from Swedish Rotary in this process, and we look forward to continued collaboration both nationally and internationally.

Read more on Rotary website.

 


The UCDP receives Lijphart/Przeworski/Verba Data Set Award, 2011

The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) is the winner of the Lijphart/Przeworski/Verba Data Set Award for 2011. It is the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) which rewards a publicly available data set that has made an important contribution to the field of comparative politics.

– UCDP was an “enthusiastic and unanimous choice of the Committee” says its chairperson Mark Tessler, University of Michigan, when conveying the news to Professor Peter Wallensteen, Director of the UCDP.

The award is named after the three path-breaking scholars in comparative studies of democracy: Arend Lijphart, now at University of San Diego, Adam Przeworski at New York University and Sidney Verba at Harvard University.

– These gentlemen are true giants in the systematic study of democracy. Their contributions are highly relevant for peace research, which makes this reward particularly encouraging, says Professor Wallensteen and adds that “we have learnt how democracy can solve conflicts, and made the observation that democracies do not fight wars with one another thanks to access of systematic data. The Uppsala Conflict Data Program provides a basis for this type of studies as well as other kinds of research concerning peace and war. The fact that UCDP information is available free of charge makes it useful in practice not only for the research community.”

APSA is the leading political science association. The award ceremony will take place at its annual meeting in Seattle, USA, in September 2011. 

 


Understanding Peace Research - New Book on Peace Research Methods

Understanding Peace Research: Methods and Challenges - a new textbook edited by Kristine Höglund and Magnus Öberg - is now available from Routledge. The book contains contributions from several researchers at the department and provides a comprehensive overview of different methods and sources of information-gathering, as well as the challenges presented by such work. Aimed at peace researchers and advanced students it offers:

  • tools for evaluating sources and information
  • suggestions on where different types of information can be found
  • advice on using different types of sources, including news reports and written narratives
  • practical guidelines for constructing large-scale datasets
  • insights and guidelines for comparative fieldwork, in-depth interviews, focus groups, and surveys
  • reflection and discussion on important ethical concerns in peace research

Reviews ‘At last we have a book that addresses the varied research needs of peacemakers. This book draws on the Uppsala Conflict Data Program’s experience in systematic data collection but is careful to include field work in conflict settings, and to acknowledge their complementarity. A timely publication.’

Prof. John Darby, Kroc Institute, Notre Dame University

‘The editors and authors of this volume have produced a comprehensive overview of peace research methods, ranging from historical source criticism and fieldwork in war-torn societies to the setting up of databases for the statistical study of conflict. The result is a book that should prove extremely valuable in teaching as well as in research on conflict and peace, while also being accessible to a wider public.’

Nils Petter Gleditsch, Research Professor, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

‘It is a rare moment when a book arrives that fills so great a need and then also does so with such care and quality. Understanding Peace Research walks researchers through the difficulties of researching violent conflict, provides superb instruction on a wide range of techniques and sources of information in such conditions, and answers the impassioned plea from those doing field research for guidance on its ethical challenges as well.’

Professor Susan L. Woodward, The Graduate Center, CUNY

 


Jan Eliasson Discusses Mediation with Graduate Students

Former Foreign Minister and Visiting Professor Jan Eliasson discussed mediation with graduate students of the Master Program of the Department on March 14, 2011. The point of the departure was the book The Go-Between by Isak Svensson and Peter Wallensteen, dealing with six of Eliasson's mediation experiences.

In the last three decades Jan Eliasson worked as a mediator for the UN and OSCE in multiple missions. At the side of Olof Palme Eliasson worked in the Iran-Iraq negotiations between 1980 and 1986, where he mediated again in 1988-91. In addition he was assigned to mediate conflicts and humanitarian crisis in Burma-Bangladesh (1992), Sudan (1992), Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh) (1994), and in Darfur, Sudan (2007-2008).

Jan Eliasson has been Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs (2006) and was President of the sixtieth session of the United Nations General Assembly (2005-06). He was Sweden’s Ambassador to the United States (2000-05), and State Secretary for Foreign Affairs 1994-2000. He was appointed Honorary Doctor of Philosophy at Uppsala University in January 2006. During the first half of 2007 and 2008 he served as Visiting Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University.


The East Asian Peace Since 1979: How Deep? How Can It Be Explained?


Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (r) joined by President Jimmy Carter (l) and Richard Nixon (m) during his visit to Washington, D.C., January 1979. Shortly after this visit China began its invasion of northern Vietnam in retaliation against Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia. This invasion was the last time in East Asia till this day that two armies met each other in a major battle. *

During 2011-16, Professor Stein Tønnesson (PRIO and the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University), leads a program with support from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond under the following heading: "The East Asian Peace Since 1979: How Deep? How Can It Be Explained?"

In the first three decades after World War II, the world's worst civil and international wars occurred in East Asia. More than three out of four people killed in war were killed in that region. Since 1980 it has been relatively peaceful. East Asia s share of global battle deaths from 1980 to 2008 was less than five percent. This transition from widespread intensive warfare to relative regional peace has not yet been subject to any serious research effort, although the East Asian peace - and the question of its sustainability - are being more and more hotly discussed. Our research program seeks, first, to establish the depth of the East Asian peace since 1979 by mapping conflicts, peace processes and other factors: To what extent is peace just due to stalemates, conflict avoidance or government repression? To what extent has it been entrenched through trust, consensus-seeking culture, mutual dependencies, respect for the rule-of-law and legitimate governmental and inter-governmental institutions? Have political opposition movements perhaps shifted from armed to unarmed strategies of protest and rebellion? Second, our program will explore various possible explanations for the East Asian peace by testing realist, liberal and constructivist approaches, and developing hypotheses and theories of our own, with possible implications for general theory.

The program has a core group, which in addition to Tønnesson consists of Erik Melander, Elin Bjarnegård, Isak Svensson (all Uppsala University) and Timo Kivimäki (Copenhagen University). Susanne Schaftenaar serves as research assistant. The Advisory Board, which takes care of quality control, has the following members: Peter Wallensteen (Uppsala University), Bates Gill (SIPRI), Thommy Svensson (Stockholm China Alliance and Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Copenhagen), Börje Ljunggren (former ambassador to Vietnam and China and co-ordinator, Stockholm China Forum), Moon Chung-in (Yonsei University), Robert S. Ross (Boston College), Wang Yizhou (Beijing University) and Kevin Clements (University of Otago, New Zealand). The following research associates will work on time-limited projects under the program: Miriam Coronel-Ferrer (Philippines), Anders Engvall (Sweden), Benjamin E. Goldsmith (Australia), Linus Hagström (Sweden), Hoang Anh Tuan (Vietnam), Andreas Jarblad (Sweden), Jong Kun Choi (South Korea), Rex Li (United Kingdom), Liselotte Odgaard (Denmark), Ren Xiao (China), Song Yann-huei (Taiwan), Henrik Urdal (Norway), Jordi Urgell (Spain), Wang Dong (China), Mikael Weissmann (Sweden) and Zou Keyuan (United Kingdom).

The program holds the first of six annual conferences in Uppsala 16-18 September 2011.

* Item from Collection JC-WHSP: Carter White House Photographs Collection, 01/20/1977 - 01/22/1981.

 


Honorary Doctorate for Tor Sellström

Doctor hc Tor Sellström after the official promotion ceremony together with Professor Peter Wallensteen (l) and Professor Thomas Ohlson (r).

In the Promotion Ceremony on Friday 28 January 2011, the Faculty of Social Sciences at Uppsala University awarded to Tor Sellström (b. 1946) the title and diploma of Honorary Doctor. Sellström receives the degree of Doctor honoris causa (D.h.c.) for his monumental research on the liberation struggles in Southern Africa, and for successfully bridging the fields of academia, policy and practice. Mr. Sellström recently returned from South Africa to Sweden to take up a position as senior researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in Uppsala. His current research project is entitled “African Island States in Peace and Conflict: Rising Tides in the Indian Ocean.”

After finishing his undergraduate and graduate studies at universities in Sweden (Stockholm) and France (Institute of Political Science and Institute of Higher Latin American Studies, Paris), Sellström has worked for 33 years in or on various Southern African countries, in the employment of either the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) or the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He has also been seconded to various organizations based in the region, among them the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU) in Windhoek, Namibia. Also, Sellström’s rich experience and knowledge, as well as his extensive network of contacts throughout Southern Africa and beyond, led to his appointment in 2006 as Senior Advisor at the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) in Durban, South Africa. ACCORD is Africa’s leading non-governmental organization dealing with conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peacebuilding after armed conflict. It should be noted that ACCORD is also one of three parties to a Sida-sponsored Partnership for Peace and Development in Africa; the other two parties to that partnership being NAI and the Department of Peace and Conflict Research.

Sellström has throughout his career been active in issues related to peace, democracy and development in Africa. His activities has focused problem areas such a conflict management, election observation/monitoring, conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution, humanitarian and development assistance, post-conflict reconstruction and state formation/ nation building. While located in Southern Africa, Sellström continuously contributed through his writings to both academic and political reflection on the southern African liberation struggles.

Sellström was appointed to lead a major research project at NAI (1994-2001) on the role of the Nordic countries in the liberation processes in southern Africa. The output from this project constitutes a comprehensive and unique mapping and descriptive analysis of these processes. The six volumes are a monumental contribution to the study of Southern Africa, the Nordic countries and the interaction between these two. It was, in particular, the three volumes devoted to Sweden’s role in Southern Africa that in 2000 earned Sellström in the gold medal Illis quorum meruere labores by the Swedish government. In 2002, he received the annual FUF Prize awarded by the Swedish NGO Development Forum for the same work.

Professor Thomas Ohlson, Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, is the host of Mr. Sellström. Ohlson says that Sellström has “captured, described and analysed an important, yet previously relatively unknown and quite successful part of Swedish development and foreign policy.” He continues, “Sellström has done this over some 1800 pages with a rare combination of broad and deep knowledge, methodological rigour, linguistic elegance and meticulous attention to detail.”

Henning Melber, Director of the Hammarskjöld Foundation, who worked closely with Sellström in Southern Africa comments: “As Deputy Director of The Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU) in Windhoek, Tor Sellström during the early 1990s contributed to the building of local capacity through his engagement in consolidating the autonomous think tank established at the Independence of Namibia in 1990. That he moved from there to the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) in Uppsala to coordinate and compile the pioneering series of studies on Nordic support to the anti-colonial struggles in Southern Africa seemed almost a logical continuation of his life-long commitment to emancipatory struggles. The honorary doctorate degree conferred upon him by the University of Uppsala is a well deserved recognition of his merits as a scholar and activist.”

Tor Sellström will deliver his Dr hc lecture at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research during spring 2011.