Peace, peacebuilding and reconciliation

Research at the Department related to the topic of peace, peacebuilding and reconciliation.

The Legacy of Rebel Governance

Project leader: Sebastian van Baalen | Project Page

Project Period: 2016–2021

What are the short- and long-term effects of rebel governance in civil war? This dissertation project explores the role of rebel-civilian relations in civil war in accounting for postwar outcomes such as postwar violence, demobilisation trajectories, and postwar statebuilding, focusing on cases in Africa. The project focuses on the institutions and practices that rebel groups maintain to manage their relations with civilians in civil war, employing mainly qualitative methods and data collection through fieldwork. The main case is Côte d’Ivoire.


Project leader: Corinne Bara | Project Page

Project Period: 2019–2021

How do ceasefire agreements shape the trajectory of violence in civil war zones? Under what conditions do they stop the killing, and when do they open up new front lines and trigger shifts in the actors, forms, and locations of violence instead? In this project we create a global dataset of all ceasefires in civil wars between 1989 and 2020 to investigates these questions.

Women, war trauma and peacebuilding

Project leader: Karen Brounéus | Project Page

Project Period: 2015-2019

In this project, we seek to investigate the 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. More specifically, the project investigates whether gendered differences in war trauma may 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.

Durable Resolution of Communal Conflicts

Project leader: Emma Elfversson | Project Page

Project Period: 2010 – ongoing

How is sustainable peace achieved in situations of local communal conflict? This project explores the role of the state and non-state actors in addressing such conflicts, focusing on cases in Africa. It investigates the dynamics between local conflict resolution processes and central government strategies, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods. Case studies focus on communal conflicts in Kenya.

Ending Atrocities: Third Party Interventions into Civil Wars

Project leader: Lisa Hultman l Project page

Project Period: 2015 - 2020

This project aims to explore the role of third parties in civil war, with a particular emphasis on evaluating a broad set of measures to end atrocities and violent conflicts with disastrous consequences for the civilian population. 

Causes of Peace – The Botswana, Zambia and Malawi “Zone of Peace”

Project leader: Kristine Höglund l Project Page

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 neighbours struck by conflict. For more information, contact Kristine Höglund or Johan Brosché.

Urban-rural dynamics of community-based conflict management

Project leader: Kristine Höglund | Project Page

Project Period: 2020–ongoing

How does the rural versus urban context impact on community policing as a strategy for conflict management and violence prevention? Using both qualitative and quantitative methods the project will compare rural and urban sites of conflict in Kenya to investigate if, why and how the dynamics may differ.

Vulnerable Cities: Conflict Prevention in Urban Planning, Urban Regeneration & Urban Governance

Contact: Kristine Höglund | Project Page

Project Period: 2017 - ongoing

This project seeks to deepen our understanding of urban violence and its links to armed conflict. It will analyse various conflict preventive strategies used in vulnerable cities and assess whether they can prevent the outbreak of armed conflict. The project will focus on four vulnerable cities: Nairobi (Kenya), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Jerusalem (Israel/Palestine) and Mitrovica (Kosovo). 

Understanding Environmental Peacebuilding

Project leader: Florian Krampe | Project Page

Project Period: 2011 – ongoing

This project is focusing on environmental peacebuilding, as the link between post-conflict peacebuilding and environmental governance and natural resource management.

Arrested Development: The Dangerous Mix of Patronage and Justice in Post-Conflict Countries

Project leader: Joakim Kreutz l Project page

Project period: 2017 – 2019

The arrest of former wartime leaders for crimes committed during the conflict often lead to instability in a post-conflict society. This projects explores whether violent reactions to such arrests are caused by the destruction of  patronage networks that offer security, economic support, and organisational structures for demobilised ex-combatants. The project combine global analysis with in-depth case studies of Colombia, Liberia and Serbia.  

Paths to Peace in Complex Conflict Systems: Lessons from Global Data and an In-depth Study of Myanmar

Project Leader: Erik Melander I Project Page

Project Period: 2017 – 2020 

Transitions from war to peace in countries with internal armed conflict may require several conflict terminations. This has three reasons: (1) The government may be fighting several armed groups at the same time; (2) New armed groups may emerge during the transition; (3) Armed conflicts having ended may become active again. The project will study processes by which several armed conflicts are terminated in one country, with emphasis on the impact conflict terminations have on other conflicts in the same country. The project combines statistical analysis of global data with an in-depth study of Myanmar.

An Impediment or Inducement to Peace? The Inclusion of Civil Society Actors in Peace Processes

Project leader: Desirée Nilsson | Project Page

Project Period: 2015 – 2020

Does the involvement of civil society actors in civil war peace processes affect the success or failure of the peace negotiations, and does it affect the long-term prospects for sustainable peace in developing post-war societies? In addressing these important questions, this project focuses on the relevance of the number of civil society actors involved, the type of actors, and their various roles and function during the process.


Project leader: Sabine Otto | Project Page

Project Period: 2019 - 2022

United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations have become one of the most prominent responses to civil wars around the world. The role of civilian personnel and their activities have proliferated during the last two decades and become increasingly central, whereby the promotion of human rights is one of the core function of UN peacekeeping operations. Our knowledge, however, about the impact of civilian staff and activities on protecting human rights standards is inconclusive and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We explore whether and how the civilian components of UN peacekeeping operations improve human rights standards. 

Intergroup Trust After War: The Effects of Migration

Project leader: Ashok Swain | Project Page

Project Period: 2015 – ongoing

This project will examine a key assumption in the literature: that migrants from war torn countries harbour more conflictive attitudes than the local population back home. Going beyond the single country approach of previous studies, we will conduct simultaneous surveys and fieldwork among Iraqis in two settlement countries – Sweden and Jordan. To analyse the multi-sited data, we will apply a novel social-psychological framework that explains how settlement country conditions shape societal beliefs that arise in the context of ethnic mobilisation and war.

Demagogues of Hate or Shepherds of Peace? Why 'Warlord Democrats' (Re)securitise Wartime Identities

Project leader: Anders Themnér l Project page

Project Period: 2015 - 2020

This project seeks to explain why some military-leaders turned politicians ('warlord democrats') - who are taking part in national elections - seek to (re)securitise wartime identifies, while others do not. It focuses on warlord democrats in Nigeria and South Sudan.

UN in Armed Conflict

Project leader: Peter Wallensteen | Project Page

Project Period: 2001 – ongoing

The UN has been activated in the management and resolution of armed conflict since the end of the Cold War. UN actions since 1946 are continuously analysed. This project has studied the decisions in the Security Council in a series of publications. The project also has an ongoing interest in UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld and his performance in international conflict prevention. This work relates to other Department projects on mediation, conflict prevention, UCDP, and to the work of targeted sanctions, see SPITS.