Welcome to the Programme on Governance, Conflict and Peacebuilding

                                                                                 Photo: Maria Wold-Troell

Programme Presentation


The Programme on Governance, Conflict and Peacebuilding is about causes of armed conflict and causes of conflict prevention and conflict resolution. It focuses on intra-state conflict situations in weak states and regions of the world. The programme aspires to pick up where the ’Greed vs. Grievance’-debate ended; and it aspires to contribute to the ongoing debate on peacemaking and peacebuilding and how to create conditions for sustainable peace in weak and war-torn states and societies. The programme is driven by a central and fundamental question: How do systems of governance and the allocation of resources within countries affect the conditions for war and peace? What do leaders do with the resources at their disposal—no matter how meager these resources may be—and why? Do they, for example, try to create conditions for legitimate rule and durable peace? Or do they, for example, decide to seek personal enrichment? What are the causal mechanisms at work in these processes? What is the respective role of various explanatory factors at different levels of analysis?

The programme investigates the interplay between governance and resources in the causation of war and peace. Whether driven by need, greed, creed or any other ambition, we analyse how actors utilise political systems/systems of governance and the externally and internally generated resources available to them to pursue various policies and objectives, and the bearing this has on either conflict causation or conflict prevention/resolution. The program involves qualitative and quantitative research, including theory development, fieldwork and large-scale data collection.

Three independent and related projects constitute the original core  of the programme, all emphasising the centrality of state legitimacy,  the need to disaggregate social phenomena, and the non-unitary  character of conflict actors. The three projects are:

The Partnership on Peace, Democracy and Social Progress in Africa
From Wars of the Weak to Strong Peace
Patrimonialisation, Globalisation, and Civil Conflict

As of 2011, the Programme has been expanded with a fourth project:

Electing Violence? The Causes of Electoral Violence in Africa

 The programme aspires not only to systematically shed light on some of the most acute and central puzzles of human relations, but also to foster an active dialogue on the role of governance for sustainable and strong peace, to nurture global academic and policy networks, as well as to garner funds for further research on governance, resource use, war and peace.



PASA, given for the first time in Uppsala in October, ended in success! 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 were vividly discussed among the qualified group of participants from a variety of African organisations and institutes. The group will meet again in Durban, South Africa in March 2012. Application for PASA 2012-2013 has opened and you may download information here and the application form here.


Peace and Security in Africa (PASA) 2011 is taking place in Uppsala, Sweden, 3-22 October. PASA is a training program which aims to increase the capacity of regional organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa to prevent, manage and resolve armed conflicts on the continent. It is planned and carried out by the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala, in cooperation with ACCORD and the Swedish consultancy company Indevelop.


Between 4th and 11th May 2011, Desirée Nilsson and Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs carried out field research in Liberia, gathering material for their research on the management of spoilers, and the role of civil society in the Liberian peace process.


On March 7-9, the Partnership project had a visit from ACCORD, South Africa to discuss progress in research related to durable peace in Africa. Visiting from ACCORD were Grace Maina, Martha Mutisi, Kwesi Sansculotte-Greenridge and Karishma Rajoo.


Between 3rd and 14th January 2011, Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs carried out a field trip to Sierra Leone, gathering material for her research on election-related violence.