Erika Forsberg


Director, Uppsala Rotary Peace Center

Curriculum Vitae

Research | Teaching | Publications | Other

Research Areas 

Contagion effects and transnational dimensions of civil war; gender and civil war; disaggregation in civil war studies; causes and effects of refugee flows; ethnicity and ethnopolitical conflict; demographic causes of armed conflict; conflict data and conflict analysis. 

Ongoing research projects

Inequality and insurgency in India: a disaggregated analysis of the link between gender inequality and armed conflict

Project leader Dr Erika Forsberg, co-applicant Dr Louise Olsson (Folke Bernadotte Academy). Funded by the Swedish Research Council 2015-2017

As recent media debates have displayed, India is a country wrestling with gender inequality. India has also seen multiple armed conflicts affecting many of its states and union territories. So, does gender inequality increase the risk of armed conflict? And would more gender equality instead provide greater opportunities for a non-violent approach? The purpose of this project is to address these questions through statistical analysis of new micro-level data on India’s 640 districts and qualitative fieldwork in select districts. Prior research has found robust support for a relationship between gender inequality and violent conflict on the country-level. Such research has also indicated that better gender equality instead can serve to improve a society’s capacity to resist violence. However, many propositions for why inequality would be related to the risk of violent conflict rely on notions about norms, grievances and capacity which operate at a local level and which, hence, may not be fully captured by country-level data. In fact, both violent conflict and inequality vary significantly within countries, not least in a country as large and diverse as India. By combining a statistical analysis with fieldwork in two regions that differ substantially in terms of equality and women’s status, this project contributes by improving our understanding of the mechanisms behind inequality and violent conflict. Thereby, the project makes a unique contribution to the ongoing international debate on why gender matters for international peace and security.

Project webpage

Women, war trauma and peacebuilding

Project leader Dr Karen Brounéus; co-researcher Dr Erika Forsberg. Funded by the Swedish Research Council 2015-2018

To date, post-conflict peacebuilding through truth commissions has been, to a large extent, gender blind. We propose in this project, however, that these processes may involve increased challenges to women due to the types of violence they were subjected to during the war. More specifically, while more men than women are subjected to fatal and non-fatal violence during armed conflict, women are more often subjected to sexual and/or gender-based violence. Such gendered differences in war trauma may also have a direct link to the prevalence of psychological health problems such as PTSD and depression, which – in turn – may become significant hurdles to peacebuilding in the post-conflict phase.

In this project, we seek to investigate these challenges of post-conflict peace-building processes by studying the complex (and possibly gendered) relationships between war-related trauma and attitudes towards peace-building, trust and co-existence after war. Building on previous research, we propose that many of the challenges women face in the aftermath of war may be unspoken – and thus not addressed in peacebuilding theory or practice. By untangling and studying these challenges in two post-conflict countries we turn the lime-light to one critical aspect of post-conflict peacebuilding: whether war-related trauma involves different challenges for women and men in the peacebuilding phase. 

Project webpage


Teaching academic year 2015-2016:

  • Course co-convener Methods, Master’s program, fall 2015

Teaching experience: see CV


Doctoral dissertation

“Neighbors at Risk: A Quantitative Study of Civil War Contagion” Report No. 85, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University

Peer-reviewed articles

Forsberg, Erika (2014) “Transnational Transmitters: Ethnic Kinship Ties and Conflict Contagion 1946-2009” International Interactions 40(2): 143-165

Forsberg, Erika (2014) “Diffusion in the Study of Civil Wars: A Cautionary Tale” International Studies Review 16(2): 188-198.

Forsberg, Erika (2013) “Do Ethnic Dominoes Fall? Evaluating Domino Effects of Granting Territorial Concessions to Separatist Groups”, International Studies Quarterly, 57(2): 329-240.

Forsberg, Erika (2008). “Polarization and Ethnic Conflict in a Widened Strategic Setting”, Journal of Peace Research, 45(2): 283-300.

Book chapters

Forsberg, Erika (forthcoming). “Transnational Dimensions of Civil War: Clustering, Contagion, and Connectedness”. In T. David Mason and Sara McLaughlin Mitchell (eds): What do We Know about Civil Wars. Rowman & Littlefield. Boulder, CO.

Bjarnegård, Elin, Erik Melander, Gabrielle Bardall, Karen Brounéus, Erika Forsberg, Karin Johansson, Angela Muvumba Sellström, and Louise Olsson (2015). “Gender, Peace, and Armed Conflict”. SIPRI Yearbook.

Harbom, Lotta & Erika Forsberg (2012) “Armed Conflict and Conflict Resolution in Africa, 1989-2007” in Thomas Ohlson (ed): From Intra-State War to Durable Peace: Conflict and its Resolution in Africa after the Cold War. Dordrecht, Republic of Letters.

In progress

Forsberg, Erika and Louise Olsson (forthcoming). “Gender Inequality and Internal Armed Conflict” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford University Press.

Birnir, Johanna, Christian Davenport, and Erika Forsberg (2015). “What do We Know About Ethnic Conflict? Introduction to Special Issue”. R & R Ethnopolitics.

Forsberg, Erika (2013) “Sons-of-the-Soil and Local Insurgencies: Assessing the Impact of Migration on Civil Conflicts in Northeast India Using the UCDP Geo-referenced Event Dataset (GED)” (unpublished manuscript) 

For conference papers and other publications, see CV

Erika Forsberg

Erika Forsberg
Ph.D., 2009
MA, Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, 2001
BA, Political Science, Uppsala University, 2000

Phone: +46 (0)18 471 22 06
Fax: +46 (0)18 69 51 02
P.O. Box 514
SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden