News Archive for 2014

The year of 2014 in review: "Shockingly bad" 

Professor Peter Wallensteen discusses with Associate Professor Isak Svensson about the patterns of peace and conflict in the world during 2014, and what we can expect to come in the year ahead. Listen to the Podcast.

Several successful project applications in 2014

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

  • Ashok Swain (project leader) and Jonathan Hall have received a 3-year grant from the Swedish Research Council for the research project “Intergroup trust after war: The effects of migration”.
  • Erika Forsberg (project leader) and Louise Olsson (Folke Bernadotte Academy) have received a 3-year grant from the Swedish Research Council, for the research project “Inequality and insurgency in India: a disaggregated analysis of the link between gender inequality and armed conflict”.
  • Karen Brounéus (project leader) and Erika Forsberg have received a 4-year grant from the Swedish Research Council for the research project “Women, war trauma and peacebuilding”.
  • Hanne Fjelde (project leader), Lisa Hultman and Paul Huth (University of Maryland) have received a 3-year grant from the Swedish Research Council for the research project “Threatening Ties: Understanding wartime civilian targeting along ethnic lines”.
  • Desirée Nilsson (project leader), Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs and Ibrahim Bangura have received a 4-year grant for the research project “An Impediment or Inducement to Peace? The Inclusion of Civil Society Actors in Peace Processes”.

The ISA Jacek Kugler Political Demography and Geography Student Paper Award

The department congratulates Nina von Uexkull, who recieved the ISA Jacek Kugler Political Demography and Geography Student Paper Award 2014. The award recognizes her paper "Climate variability and the local correlates of communal conflicts, Sub-Saharan Africa 1989-2008”  as the best paper with a political demography and geography theme written by a phd candidate and presented at the International Studies Association Annual Convention.

Lisa Hultman appointed to the Wallenberg Academy Fellows program

The Department congratulates Associate Professor Lisa Hultman for being appointed to the Wallenberg Academy Fellows career program. The program was established by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg’s Foundation in 2012 and provides long-term funding for promising young researchers from all academic fields.

- It is a very prestigious program and a fantastic opportunity for Lisa to continue to build a strong research group on an extremely important topic – violence against civilians, comments Head of Department Magnus Öberg.

As an Academy Fellow, Lisa Hultman will investigate the best way of protecting civilians while broadening the view of human security to include also sexual assaults and the displacement of people from their homes. She will also investigate how various types of interventions might reinforce or counteract each other, or have contradicting short and long term effects.

For more information visit the Knut and alice Wallenberg Foundation website

New infrastructure project: A New Platform for the Uppsala Conflict Data Program

The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) at the Department has received a 2-year grant from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, to design and build a publicly accessible web-based platform for visualization and extraction of UCDP data. The aim is to make all UCDP data available to the research community and the general public in a user-friendly, flexible and interactive manner. The new platform will offer a variety of visualization and extraction tools and will be designed in close contact with users. For more information, contact Margareta Sollenberg.

Peace Research: Now in Chinese

Photo: Isak Svensson

Professor Peter Wallensteen's book Peace Research: Theory and Practice (Routledge 2011) has been translated into Chinese (Peking University Press, 2014) and now launched at an event in Beijing, China as a pre-conference activity for the 4th East Asian Peace Project annual conference. 

Peter Wallensteen has the translator, PhD candidate Liu Yi, to the left, and Professor Wang Yizhou, to the right, at the launching event, sponsored by the publisher Peking University Press, on Beijing, October 29, 2014. It is the first book in Chinese on peace research, and both professors expressed their hopes that it will stimulate peace studies in China and increase the awareness of the options available in promoting a peaceful environment in the East Asia region.

DPCR Congratulates New Doctor in Peace Research

In the picture (from left): Erik Melander, Daniel Strandow and Kristian Gleditsch

On October 18 Daniel Strandow successfully defended his thesis Fighting for Aid - Foreign Funding and Civil Conflict Intensity. The thesis focuses on the sub-national impact of foreign aid on civil conflicts by asking the question: How does foreign aid committed to contested areas affect the intensity of violence in those areas? The theoretical contribution is to focus on how aid influences warring parties’ decisions to engage in contests over territorial control and how that in turn influences violence intensity. The dissertation uses geo-coded aid commitments data and introduces data of warring parties’ battleground control in sub-Saharan Africa, 1989–2008. The main finding is that greater concentration of funding increases military fatalities substantially compared to if there is low or no funding concentration. Faculty opponent at the defense was Professor Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, University of Essex. Professor Erik Melander chaired the disputation.

Nobel Peace Prize 2014

Magnus Öberg, Erik Melander and Ashok Swain commented on this year's Nobel Peace Prize Winner in a press release published by Uppsala University 2014-10-10. A comment by Peter Wallensteen is also available at the website of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame.

Book Launch with Focus on the Ukraine Crisis

A book launch for the book Regional Organizations and Peacemaking - Challengers to the UN?, edited by Peter Wallensteen and Anders Bjurner, was held on October 1, in the University Main Building. The event took the form of a panel discussion on the most significant recent geopolitical event in Europe, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. It illustrates the questions of peacemaking and the roles of the UN and regional organizations.

Thus the panel gathered participants in the book project that particularly deal with UN-Europe relations. This included Professors Peter Wallensteen, Peace Research, and Inger Österdahl of International Law as well as ranking diplomats, notably Ambassador Rolf Ekéus, who has considerable experience with the OSCE and  Ambassador Lars-Erik Lundin, writing on EU. Also Ambassador Anders Bjurner shared his thoughts on the difficulties encountered for peacemaking in general and for the international bodies in particular. The discussions were moderated by Annika Söder, Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation in Uppsala. A large audience filled up Lecture Hall X in the University Main Building.

The event was organized by Uppsala Forum in cooperation with the Uppsala Association of International Affairs and Studieförbundet Näringsliv och Samhälle (SNS).

The department welcomes visiting guests from New Zeeland and Germany

Naomi Johnstone and Johanna Lechner
In the photo: Naomi Johnstone and Johanna Lechner

The Department of Peace and Conflict Research is happy to welcome Naomi Johnstone and Johanna Lechner who will be visiting the department during the autumn. Naomi Johnstone will be at the deaprtment during September and Johanna Lechner until mid-December.

Naomi Johnstone is a practitioner/scholar in the fields of access to justice and conflict resolution from Aotearoa New Zealand. She is currently in her last year of a PhD at Otago University (NZ) and is working on writing up the human rights component of this during her month in Uppsala. She has previous experience working on short term projects for International IDEA, ICG, IDLO and UNORC in Aceh (Indonesia), Sri Lanka and Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) and is beginning in October as a Research Associate with the WANA Forum, Mljis El Prince Hassan, in Jordan. She has worked and published on Indigenous rights, particularly as Research Counsel for the Chief Judge of the Waitangi Tribunal in New Zealand. She is also an Executive Committee Member of Global Unites, a youth conflict transformation movement.

Johanna Lechner will undertake an internship at the department until December 2014. She is studying psychology in her 4th year at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Due to her interest in combining political science and psychological research she has the chance to work with Karen Brounéus in her current project on transitional justice in the Solomon Islands as well as within the UCDP.

The department welcomes all new and old students!

The new Master students (class of 2014-2016)

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 258 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!

Claude Ake Professor 2014 - Maxi Schoeman

Maxi SchoemanThe 2014 holder of the Claude Ake Visiting Chair, Maxi Schoeman, arrived in Uppsala on 21 August and will be with the Department until 18 November.

Professor Schoeman is Head of Department of Political Sciences and Professor of International Relations at University of Pretoria, South Africa. She has previously held research fellowships with Cambridge University, the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute, the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and the Nordic Africa Institute. She serves on the editorial boards of several local and international journals in the field of International Relations. Her main research focus is on South African foreign policy (specifically its African Agenda) and African peace and security. Professor Schoeman is currently responsible, together with Dr Funmi Olonisakin (King’s College, London), for the Faculty of Humanities research theme on Peace and Conflict and is involved in the UP research project on Ubuntu, funded by the Templeton Foundation.

Regional Organisations in Peacemaking: Challengers to the UN?

Regional Organizations and PeacemakingPeter Wallensteen and Anders Bjurner (eds) 2015. Regional Organisations in Peacemaking: Challengers to the UN?, London: Routledge (275 pages) was published, August 2014. With a preface by UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.

Regional organizations have taken an increasingly prominent role in international efforts to deal with international security. This book highlights the complex interaction between the regional and sub-regional organizations, and their relations to the United Nations. Thus, general issues of UN authority are scrutinized from legal, practical and geopolitical perspectives. Taking on a broad geographical focus the book also provides an extensive range of case studies, with detailed analysis of particular situations, such as the ones following the Arab Spring; of organizations, such as EU, OSCE and the League of Arab States; and of special armed conflicts, notably in Somalia and Ivory Coast.

This book is written by established scholars, diplomats and high-level policymakers, all with a basis in Sweden, but does not necessarily reflect Swedish foreign policy. It ends with 12 conclusions, where one concerns the complementary of the regional organizations to the UN. The editors expect this work to stimulate more study of regional bodies and their addition to the international community in dealing with armed conflicts.

Peter Wallensteen is Senior Professor of the Department for Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, and Ambassador Anders Bjurner has worked on this project as Visiting Researcher at the same Department. The project was also funded by the Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace, and Justice.

Peace Research cited in US Congress

In a speech before the U.S. House of Representatives in early June, Rep. David Price, defended federally funded social science research and mentioned research on third-party peacemaking. The mentioned research project is led by Erik Melander, the late John Darby, and Peter Wallensteen. Professor Erik Melander gives the following comment:

"The funding for this project by the National Science Foundation allowed us to carry out important cooperative work involving the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden, and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA. In my view, it should be easy to see to value of funding this kind of research. A key outcome of the project was the completion of the UCDP Managing Intrastate Armed Conflict (MIC) Africa Dataset, which covers third-party peace-making in armed conflicts in Africa in the period 1993-2007. This extremely detailed dataset is freely available and will likely be used in many future studies. The project also brought together a large group of researchers to present and discuss research on various dimensions of the quality of the peace following the conclusion of civil war, and how third parties can strengthen the quality of peace beyond and above the absence of open fighting. The concern about the quality of peace was a special interest of the late John Darby, who was a co-Principal Investigator of the project. This stream of research about quality peace that was initiated with the help of the NSF funding at a strategic point in time continues to be developed in several spin-offs from the project. Third party peacemaking and quality peace are research topics of immense practical relevance, and the funding by NSF for this kind of research is thus very important."

The UCDP’s latest data on armed conflicts in 2013 released

The data on armed conflicts 1946-2013 will be presented in an article by Lotta Themnér and Peter Wallensteen in the July issue of Journal of Peace Research (JPR).

In 2013, UCDP recorded 33 active conflicts in the world, which is an increase by one since 2012. The number has remained relatively stable over the past decade and is substantially lower than in the peak year after the end of the Cold War. 2012 saw an increase in the number of battle-related deaths with the number of casualties in Syria completely overshadowing any other ongoing conflict. In 2012, two out of five people dying in battles, died in Syria. In 2013, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program has, for the very first time, refrained from publishing any numbers, due to the shortage of reliable information.

Press release (in Swedish)

Press release (in English)

UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset v.4-2014, 1946 – 2013

UCDP Dyadic Dataset v. 1-2014, 1946 - 2013

UCDP Battle-Related Deaths Dataset v.5-2014, 1989-2013

The Department congratulates its successful masters students

The Department congratulates its successful masters students

On June 5, a ceremony was arranged for the students that concluded their Master Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies. The event was held in Helga Trefaldighets kyrka in the presence of their friends and families. On the occasion, Philipp Schulz was awarded the Mats Hammarström prize for his outstanding master thesis entitled "Justice Seen is Justice Done? Assessing the Impact of Outreach Activities by International Criminal Tribunals on Reconciliation". The department congratulates him and the rest of the students for their excellent achievements during the programme. During the ceremony, masters student David Ermes gave a speech with the title “The Times Are Changing” which can be read in full here.

Publication of the first DPCR student journal

Editorial board of Pax et Bellum Journal

The first editorial board of the PAX et BELLUM Journal consists of (from left): Elizabeth Tompkins, Katariina Mustasilta, Svenja Wolter, Ulrika Nilsson, Erik Runn, Lauren Schorr, Reint-Jan Groot Nuelend and Linn Haggqvist.

How do students prepare themselves for the practicalities of being an academic? The platforms related to peace and conflict studies that expose students to a thorough peer review and publication process are limited. Eight bachelor- and master students from the Department of Peace and Conflict Research (DPCR) detected this room for improvement and established the first DPCR student journal: the PAX et BELLUM Journal.

The founding group of students, forming the editorial board, aims at providing a platform for student researchers to contribute to interdisciplinary peace and conflict discourse and to share their perspectives on a wide-ranging scope of topics related to the field. The journal will be published biannually and is supported by an advisory board consisting of Peter Wallensteen (Senior Professor at the DPCR) and Henning Melber (Senior Adviser and Director Emeritus Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation). The submitted work of students is subject to an anonymous peer review process, carried out by staff members of DPCR. The first issue deals with papers on civilian victimization, spoiler management, indivisibility and the micro dynamics of war.

The editorial board announced during the official launch party on May 21nd that they encourage both Master and Bachelor students to submit their papers in the coming months, since the planning is already underway for the Fall 2014 issue.

PAX et BELLUM Journal 2014, no 1

New board of the DPCR Alumni Association elected

Picture from left: Victor Sundman, Lovisa Mickelsson, David Ermes, Magnus Öberg and Sayra van den Berg

The new Alumni board of 2014-2015 was elected  during the annual DPCR Alumni Association General meeting on 2 June. The board consist of: David Ermes (President), Lovisa Mickelsson (Vice-President), Victor Sundman (Secretary), Magnus Öberg (Treasurer) and Sayra van den Berg (Department Liaison). A presentation of the new board members can be found on the department’s Alumni webpage. To become a member register through the Uppsala Univerisity Alumni Network or contact for further information.

New Doctor in Peace and Conflict Research 

The Department congratulates Doctor Johan Brosché who participated in the Promotion ceremony, in the Uppsala Main University Building, Wednesday May 28, 2014. The new doctor is seen here together with Peter Wallensteen, Senior Professor of Peace and Conflict Research. Johan Brosché defended his dissertation: "Masters of War - The Role of Elites in Sudan's Communal Conflicts" on 7 February, 13:15, in Hörsal Gunnar Johansson in Blåsenhus. The opponent was Professor Catherine Boone, Department of International Relations, London School of Economics.  

New research project receives funding

The research project "Demagogues of Hate or Shepherds of Peace? Why 'Warlord Democrats' (Re)securitize Wartime Identities" has received 3-year funding from the Stiftelsen Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs Minnesfond. It seeks to explain why some military-leaders turned politicians ('warlord democrats') - who are taking part in national elections - seek to (re)securitize wartime identifies, while others do not. It focuses on warlord democrats in Nigeria and South Sudan. The project team is comprised of Johan Brosché, Hanne Fjelde, Roxanna Sjöstedt and Anders Themnér. Anders Themnér is the project leader.

Peace and Security in Africa 2014-2015

Peace and Security in Africa (PASA) for programme year 2014–2015 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 fourth 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, APFO, IGAD, CEWARN-IGAD, ECOWAS, NPI-Africa, KAIPTC, Rema Ministries, SADC, SACCORD, Tostan and WANEP, to Uppsala during the month of May. Topics such as conflict resolution, mediation, DDR processes, the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), and state building have been discussed. The group will meet again, to follow up and continue the discussions in South Africa in November 2014

Otago-Uppsala Collaboration Continues

As part of a collaborative internationalization project, supported by the Swedish Board of Internationalization of Higher Education (STINT), the Department has organized a set of faculty- and PhD students exchanges between the Department of Peace and Conflict Research and the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand. In the picture are some of the persons who have participated in the exchange: Isak Svensson, Ralph Sundberg, Erika Forsberg, Stina Högblad, Karen Brounéus, and Charles Butcher (University of Otago). For more information, please contact: Isak Svensson or Karen Brounéus.

Royal Couple Attends Informal Seminar at the Department

Royal Couple Attends Informal Seminar at the Department

Picture from left: Peter Wallensteen, Magnus Öberg, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and Karen Brounéus.  

Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel participated in an informal lunch seminar at the Department on May 8, 2014. Crown Princess Victoria is an alumna of the Department and this was an opportunity to inform her and Prince Daniel on recent activities at the Department and to discuss issues and developments around the world. During the lunch Head of Department Magnus Öberg gave an overview of recent developments in the educational programs and research at the Department. Professor Peter Wallensteen followed with a presentation and discussion of UCDP and research on Nordic mediation and new mediation initiatives. Finally, Dr. Karen Brounéus informed the Royal couple on psychological aspects in peace research, including her research on the effects of the Rwandan Gacaca process on victim witnesses, as well as the psychological health of soldiers returning from peace keeping operations. After a lively and cordial seminar the Royal Couple met briefly with the Rotary Peace Fellows.

The DPCR Peace Gasque 2014

Peace gasque 2014
Photo: Emil Planting Mollaoglu

On April 25th the Department’s Annual Peace Gasque was held at Västmanlands-Dala Nation in Uppsala. For many years now this has been a proud tradition of the department to gather its students, researchers and employees for an evening of good food and entertainment. This year’s Peace Gasque had 122 people attending on the theme of “Pax Svea: 200 years of Sweden at Peace”. 

Challenges and Opportunities for Peace: Rotary Fellows in Action

2014 Annual Seminar

The 2014 Annual Seminar of the Uppsala Rotary Peace Center, hosted by the Department, was held in Uppsala on 3 May. The seminar was the first in what will be an annual tradition. The Rotary Peace Fellows from Class XI presented their research and shared experiences of peace work from around the world. In addition conference participants got the opportunity to hear from a Rotary Peace Fellow alumna and keynote speaker Hans Corell on ”Rule of law – a prerequisite for global governance”. The seminar was followed by a dinner arranged bythe Host Area Coordinator of the Rotary Peace Center Suzanne Brenning. For more information about the Uppsala Rotary Peace Center, visit the Center's webpage or contact the center's co-directors at

2014 Annual Seminar Program 

New project: The need for mediation

The Department has received a grant by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for a project that seeks to identify conflicts (armed, unarmed and frozen) where the newly created European Institute of Peace (EIP) can play a constructive role as mediator. The EU-related EIP will be operative later this year and one of the institute's main tasks will be to enhance EU's foreign policy role by providing mediation services. Sweden and Finland took the initiative for EIP and remain its major supporters, together with five other European countries. The grant will be used to survey available data resources (including UCDP) to identify possible situations for European mediation.

The project team consists currently of Associate Professor Isak Svensson, Professor Peter Wallensteen and Research Associate Anna Brandt. For more information, contact Isak Svensson

Peace in the World: Trends in Modern History and Prospects for the Future

Alumnievent 20140226

In the photo: Erik Melander, Peter Wallensteen and Håvard Hegre

The Department of Peace and Conflict Research and the DPCR Alumni Association on 26 February brought together the most recent Dag Hammarskjöld Professors to talk about their views on the emerging trends in peace throughout the world. In the well-attended alumni event, Professor Peter Wallensteen and Professor Håvard Hegre presented historic trends and predictions on conflict and peace in the world. Departure for the discussion were two articles by the professors, recently published in the Journal of Peace Research. The event was moderated by Professor Erik Melander. After interesting presentations and discussions the speakers mingled with the alumnis at the following reception.

The discussion was filmed and can be viewed online: part 1 and part 2

DPCR Congratulates New Doctor in Peace Research

On February 7th Johan Brosché successfully defended his thesis Masters of War: The Role of Elites in Sudan’s Communal Conflicts. The thesis addresses the causes of communal conflict, draws on extensive field work in Sudan and entails a comparison of two conflict-ridden regions (Darfur and Greater Upper Nile), with a more peaceful one (Eastern Sudan). To explain the prevalence of communal conflict the study explores how government bias entices conflict, and engages with theories related to common pool resources as well as more actor-oriented perspectives from the study of civil wars. Faculty opponent at the defense was Professor Catherine Boone, London School of Economics. 

View the defence of the Ph. D. thesis Masters of War: The Role of Elites in Sudan’s Communal Conflicts. 

Causes of Peace – The Botswana, Zambia and Malawi “Zone of Peace”: A New Research Project 

The Swedish Research Council (U-forsk) has awarded the department a research grant to study the causes of peace. Botswana, Malawi and Zambia constitute a ‘Zone of Peace’ spared from violent conflict since independence. The project aims to explain why peace has prevailed in these countries, despite being located in the world’s most volatile continent and with all their neighbors struck by conflict. For more information, contact Kristine Höglund (project leader) or Johan Brosché

Master programme in peace and conflict studies the most popular at Uppsala University

After the international application round that just closed, the department's master programme received the most first-hand applicants of all master programmes offered at Uppsala University. See the official announcement for more details. 

- We are of course proud to offer an attractive programme that brings brilliant students from around the world to Uppsala. At the same time, the international interest is partly what makes it such a high-quality programme. The diverse backgrounds of students bring interesting perspectives into the classroom and the students enjoy the international atmosphere, says Lisa Hultman, Director of Studies at the department. 

For Swedish students interested in applying to the programme, the deadline is 15 April (see