Postal address: Box 514, SE-751 20 Uppsala
Visiting address: Gamla Torget 3
Web page: http://www.pcr.uu.se/
Professor Peter Wallensteen, phone: +46 (0)18 4712352
Professor Ashok Swain, phone: +46 (0)18 4717653
The Department was established in 1971 to conduct research and offer courses in peace and conflict studies. At present some 200-300 students are enrolled every academic year. The training offered includes an undergraduate and a PhD programme as well as advanced programmes and special seminars.
Information on the courses at the department.
Several PhD projects are in the field of conflict resolution, as well as interdisciplinary projects dealing with conflict resolution in various parts of the World, including South Asia.
The department also runs the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, which continuously collects data on armed conflict. UCDP is a leading provider of data on organised violence, used by researchers and policymakers. Statistics on major armed conflicts has been published in the SIPRI Yearbook since 1988, in the Journal of Peace Research since 1993 and in the Human Security Report/Brief since 2005. The Deparment’s States in Armed Conflict is an annual publication.
Ongoing research connected to South Asia:
Professor Peter Wallensteen, Dag Hammarskjöld Professor of Peace and Conflict Research and the Richard G Starmann Sr Research Professor at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, is mainly involved in work on conflict resolution, peace-building and sanctioning worldwide, but also specifically regarding South Asia. He is doing research on conflict trends, the UN system and conflict resolution, conflict prevention, durable peace agreements, and implementation of sanctions. He is directing the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. Personal home page.
In October 2012, Peter Wallensteen received SEK 3 m as an infrastructure grant from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) for a three years (2013-15) project entitled ”Mapping Armed Conflict in Asia, 1989-2012. Enhancing Research by Providing Georeferenced Event Data on Organised Violence in Asia”, to be carried out by the Uppsala Conflict Data Program. More information about 2012 RJ grants to South Asia related projects.
Abstract: As research advances, a paradigm shift is taking place from data collected at a country level to disaggregated data, requiring a new infrastructure to collect, process, and provide the data for the international research community. Responding to this demand, UCDP has developed a methodology for collecting temporally and geographically disaggregated data on incidences of organised violence. The Georeferenced Event Dataset (GED), containing such disaggregated data covering armed conflict in Africa between 1989 and 2010 was recently published. These data allow for novel research on armed conflicts at sub-national level and have been well received and show enormous potential.
The demands of the research community require a research infrastructure that provides disaggregated conflict data at the global level. Creating such data for Asia is a natural next step for UCDP, which will facilitate research on some of the most salient conflicts and will give researchers unlimited access to data on the majority of the world’s armed conflicts since 1989.
Creating this research infrastructure ensures UCDP’s position in the field of peace and conflict research, subsequently contributing to Sweden’s competence in this area. Not least, providing data on Asia creates substantial synergies with RJ-funded East Asia Peace program at the Uppsala Department.
Professor Ashok Swain is the Director of the Uppsala University Programme of International Studies since 1998. He received his PhD from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 1991, and since then he has been teaching at the Uppsala University. He has been a Mac Arthur Fellow at the University of Chicago, visiting professor at UN Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva; University Witwatersrand, South Africa, University of Science, Malaysia, University of British Columbia, University of Maryland, Stanford University and McGill University. He has written extensively on security and development issues. He lectures on Global Environmental Politics; Environmental scarcity and humanitarian emergency; Forced migration; Conflicts and cooperation over renewable natural resources; International water management; Democratic development in developing regions; and Research Methodology. Personal homepage.
His research interests are in the same fields. He has e g worked on a project studying environmentally induced population migration and native-migrant conflicts in South Asia, but currently his research is mostly oriented towards South-East Asia.
In November 2003 he got a Swedish Research Council Project grant for Research within Humanities and Social Sciences for a one-year project on ”Prevention of Violent Conflicts through Respect for Minority Rights: Democracy and International Peace and Security”. See full list of South Asia related Swedish Research Council grants 2003.
In November 2004 he received a one-year research grant from Sida/SAREC for a project on ”Conserving Forest or Conceiving Protest? Social Networks and anti-Protected Areas Movements in India”. In November 2005 he then recieved SEK 1 Million as additional funding for two years (2006-07) from Sida/SAREC for this project. More information.
Professor Swain has also been Coordinator for the Sida/SAREC funded ”Swedish Network of Peace, Conlict and Development Research“, established in 2005, but from 2008 the position as coordinator of the network was taken over by Dr. Ramses Amer, Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Oriental Languages, Stockholm University.
Besides his position as Professor of Peace and Conflict Research, Prof. Ashok Swain has also assumed the responsibility as the Director of the Uppsala Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) from 1 September 2008. CSD was established in January 2007, as a centre consisting of the three units, The Baltic University Programme (BUP), Centre for Environment and Development Studies (CEMUS) and The Collegium for Development Studies (Collegium), and organised under the Faculty of Science and Technology at Uppsala University as a joint centre for Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Africultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala.
In August 2010, Ashok Swain published a new book, entitled ”Struggle Against the State. Social Network and Protest Mobilization in India”. In the book, published by Ashgate, he demonstrates how displaced people mobilize to protest with the help of their social networks. Studying protests against large industrial and development projects, Swain compares the mobilization process between a traditionally protest rich and a protest poor region in India to explain how social network structures are a key component to understand this variation. He reveals how improved mobilization capability coincides with their evolving social network structure thanks to recent exposure to external actors like religious missionaries and radical left activists.
The in-depth examination of the existing literature on social mobilization and extensive fieldwork conducted in India make this book a well-organized and useful resource to analyze protest mobilization in developing regions. More information about the book.
In October 2010, Prof. Swain was awarded a major grant from Sida/SAREC’s Developing Country Research Council, this time SEK 2.7 m for a research project over three years (2011-13). The project is entitled ”Changing Parameters for Hydropolitics in Light of Global Climate Change: The Governance of Transboundary Waters to meet the Water Crisis”. More information.
This project has five case studies, and one of them deals with the Ganges-Brahmaputra River system in South Asia. (Photo of Brahmaputra river in Assam, by Lars Eklund).
The collaborating Swedish resarchers are Prof. Joakim Öjendal and Stina Hansson from School of Global Studies, Gothenburg University (working on the Mekong and the Niger rivers respectively); and Associate Professor Anders Jägerskog from Stockholm International Water Institute, SIWI (working on the Middle East).
Project abstract: The focus of the proposed research project is the problematique of good governance of transboundary water resources. The justification is the critical development-need for enhancing knowledge on how to govern these resources in the face of increasing uncertainties, in particular in relation to global climate change (GCC).
The context is the complex global development agenda, the growing scarcity of water, and GCC-related uncertainties. The research problem it addresses is the inadequacy with a series of strategically situated in-depth case studies at its core, which will be compared and contrasted, eventually aiming at generalizing conclusions. The outcome is the advancement of global research front subsequently producing efficiency and legitimacy for decision-makers.
Prof. Ashok Swain is also involved in another new research project, awarded SEK 3 m. from Sida/SAREC’s Developing Country Research Council for the period 2011–13. The project is entitled ”Sustainable State-Building? – Assessing Energy Development Projects in Kosovo and Nepal”, and is coordinated by Assistant Professor Roland Kostic. Dr. Kostic is based at Uppsala University’s Hugo Valentin Centre (a unit formed in January 2010, after merging the Centre for Multiethnic Research and The Uppsala Programme for Holocaust and Genocide Studies).
The project also involves Florian Krampe, Research Assistant at the Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD), where the whole research project will be based.
Project abstract: The project is a comparative study of impact and durability of energy projects, which are promoted by international community in Kosovo and Nepal as post-conflict statebuilding measures. Main aim is to study if policies adopted for energy production are sustainable in terms of long-term peace and development. The project further aims to investigate a) the role and behaviour of external statebuilding actors in fostering sustainable energy policy as part of inclusive statebuilding and b) how domestic institutions and actors that are affected by these policies address environmental and natural resource issues in relation to energy production. The project contributes to understand dynamics between external and internal actors after conflict and the incorporation of sustainable development in statebuilding strategies as such.
Dr. Kristine Höglund defended her doctoral dissertation called ”Violence in the Midst of Peace Negotiations: Cases from Guatemala, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Sri Lanka”, partly related to the conflict in Sri Lanka, on 3 December 2004. Faculty opponent was Professor Roy Licklider, Rutgers University. Read the abstract (as a pdf-file). The focus of her research has been the role of violence in peace processes, and under what circumstances incidents of violence tend to disrupt peace negotiations. More information on her personal homepage.
In August 2005 Kristine Höglund was given a SASNET planning grant for a new project on ”Mediators, Monitors, and Donors: Nordic Involvement in the Sri Lankan Peace Process, 2000–2005”. More information on the August 2005 SASNET grants.
Abstract: This planning grant will fund networking activities in the planning of a research project that seeks to analyse the Nordic involvement in the Sri Lankan peace process 2000–2005. In the planning phase of the project we will involve a number of eminent scholars that have specialized in the conflict in Sri Lanka – both in Sri Lanka and in the Nordic research environments. Two networking activities are suggested. Firstly, a research trip to Sri Lanka to discuss the involvement of our local research partner Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in the project. Secondly, we plan a 2-day workshop that brings together scholars in Sweden and other Nordic countries that have a special interest in the Sri Lankan peace process. Our ambition is that this initiative will result in a more permanent network for Swedish and other Nordic scholars working on issues related to the Sri Lankan peace process.
Professor Isak Svensson has been involved in a research programme on International Mediation in Internal Armed Conflict, led by Prof. Wallensteen. He partly focused on Sri Lanka, mainly doing quantitative studies of the peace process in Sri Lanka. Especially, he studied Nordic Third-Party Intervention in Sri Lanka. In 2001 he published a report from a Minor Field Study (no 14), named ”Confidence Building Measures in Intrastate Conflicts: Lessons from the 1994-95 Peace Process in Sri Lanka”, and he later published several other papers and articles on the issue, many in collaboration with Kristine Höglund. He was also Member of the International Working Group on Conflict Prevention, at the Folke Bernadotte Academy, a Swedish government agency dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of international conflict and crisis management, with a particular focus on peace operations. More information on his personal homepage.
Isak Svensson defended his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Elusive Peacemakers: A Bargaining Perspective on Mediation in Internal Armed Conflicts” on 12 January 2007. It dealt with the role of conciliatory signals in ending armed, intrastate conflicts with negotiated settlements. Read an abstract of the thesis, with a link to the full text.
In November 2015, Professor Isak Svensson was given SEK 1.17 m as a three year (2016-18) Swedish Research Links grant from the Swedish Resaerch Council, for a collaborative project entitled ”Why Join the Protests? A joint international research project on Nepal´s 2006 Nonviolent Uprisings”. It will be carried out in collaboration with Dr. Prakash Bhattari.
Project abstract: The overarching aim of this collaboration project is to facilitate the institutional establishment of peace and conflict research in Nepal. Scandinavia in general, and Uppsala in particular, has a strong research profile in empirically based peace research. In this project, we seek to combine the experiences of Swedish peace research with the local competence and contextual knowledge of our Nepali colleagues to establish a firmer basis for empirically oriented peace research in Nepal. The research collaboration focuses on Nepal’s 2006 nonviolent uprising. Popular nonviolent uprisings have been a powerful force of change in many developing countries around the world. Yet, the dynamics of nonviolent uprisings are poorly understood, especially in comparison to violent insurgencies. In particular, we do not yet know what drives people to actually participate in the uprisings. This project sets out to conduct a survey of 1,200 participants and non-participants in the 2006 nonviolent uprisings, with the aim to try to identify the micro-foundations for nonviolent mobilization. The research is embedded in a larger institutional exchange. By way of its focus, it will for the first time bring Nepal’s experiences of nonviolent uprisings to the fore, but also contribute to understanding the conditions under which individuals join nonviolent uprisings.
Dr. Louise Olsson is a researcher and project leader at the Folke Bernadotte Academy, and at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. Her research focuses on Peace operations and their effects for the local population, looking specifically at issues relating to UN Resolution 1325 (2000). In addition to her research, Olsson has conducted projects and arranged seminars relating to the implementation of Resolution 1325. For example, she contributed to the joint UNDPKO and Folke Bernadotte Academy ”Gender adviser seminar: Increasing dialogue and collaboration between the UN and Regional organizations” held in New York in April 2009. More information on her personal web page.
Louise Olsson has been involved in research on the situation in Afghanistan. In May 2009, she co-edited (along with Johan Tejpar, Development Economist at FOI) a Defence Analysis Report entitled ”Operational Effectiveness and UN Resolution 1325 – Practices and Lessons from Afghanistan”, on behalf of the Swedish Defence Research Agency, FOI. It is an analytical framework that has been developed and applied on five different Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) engaged in Afghanistan; the Dutch PRT in Tarin Kowt, the Italian PRT in Herat, The New Zealand PRT in Bamyan, the Norwegian PRT in Meymaneh and the Swedish PRT in Mazar-e Sharif. The work with the project was led by Dr. Louise Olsson, and was carrie dout during the period September 2008 to May 2009.
In November 2009, Dr. Olsson was awarded SEK 3.6 m as a three-years research grant (2010–12) from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, for a project entitled ”Opportunities and Obstacles: Local Ownership of Development and Stability in Northern Afghanistan”. More information about the 2009 Sida grants.
Abstract: This three-year project, led by Louise Olsson, identifies and analyzes the opportunities and obstacles in creating development and stability through local ownership with international support in Afghanistan. In focus is the international approach to work strategically to strengthen the structure, influence and effectiveness of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the areas where Sweden plays an important role for the development and security, namely the Northern Afghan provinces of Balkh, Samangan, Jowzjan and Sar-e Pol. This project is conducted at Folke Bernadotte Academy.
Jannie Lilja (photo to the right) has a research interest focusing on the dynamics of armed conflict, rebel motivation, strategy and collective action, non-state party negotiation, social networks, civilian-rebel group relationship, and civilians in armed conflict in Asia and Africa. During the period 2007–08 she worked as Conflict Transformation analyst for the World Bank, and during the same period she carried out research fieldwork in Sri Lanka. More information on her personal web page.
On Wednesday 12 May 2010, she defended her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Disaggregating Dissent: The Challenges of Intra-Party Consolidation in Civil War and Peace Negotiations”, partly dealing with Sri Lanka. The faculty opponent was Elisabeth Jean Wood, Professor of Political Science at Yale University, USA. The thesis includes a chapter on ”Trapping Constituents or Winning Hearts and Minds?: Rebel Strategies to Attain Constituent Support in Sri Lanka”, previously published as an article in the Terrorism and Political Violence journal in 2009.
Abstract: Contemporary civil wars are often characterized not only by fighting between rebels and governments, but also by rebel violence against their own community members. In spite of repeated peace negotiations, many of these conflicts seem to go on endlessly. Such instances may reflect attempts or failures on the part of the non-state side to consolidate. To confront the government on the battle field or at the negotiation table, rebels need to become an effective fighting force as well as effective negotiators. So, what do rebels do to consolidate to wage war and negotiate peace? The dissertation approaches the question of rebel capacity by disaggregating the non-state side in civil war and in connection with peace talks. The dissertation offers a set of original case studies from three ethno-separatist conflicts: Sri Lanka, Indonesian Aceh, and Senegal. More information, incl. link to full-text dissertation.
Kristine Eck has worked on a project on the armed conflict in Nepal between the government and the maoist guerilla till 2007. Fieldwork was undertaken February-March 2007 in Nepal, during which government officials, Maoist rebel leaders, UN officials, journalists, academics, diplomats, and members of various civil society organizations were interviewed. Her research primarily focuses on understanding the growth of the Maoist organization; other topics included the ongoing peace process, constitutional reform, upcoming elections, ethnic and Madhesi rights, and international involvement in Nepal. During the period April-May 2008, she again visited Nepal to do complimentary fieldwork. See her personal web page.
In 2009, she contributed with an article entitled ‘Recruiting Rebels: Indoctrination and Political Education in Nepal,’ in Mahendra Lawoti and Anup Pahari, eds. ”The Maoist Insurgency in Nepal: Dynamics and Growth in the 21st Century” (London: Routledge).
Kristine Eck defended her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Raising Rebels: Participation and Recruitment in Civil War” on Saturday 5 June 2010. The faculty opponent was Stathis Kalyvas, Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence at Yale University, USA. More information, incl. abstract.
In November 2010, Dr. Kristine Eck was given SEK 1.7 m as a post-doc scholarship from the Swedish Research Council, to carry out a project entitled ”Women at War: Explaining Differential Levels of Female Participation in Rebellion” – partly focusing on Nepal – during the period 2011-12. The project has been carried out at the Swedish National Defence College (Försvarshögskolan) in Stockholm, which means Kristine moved over to this institution.
Project abstract: The aim of this project is to answer the question: why do levels of female participation in rebellion vary? Some rebel groups discourage female participation, while in others women compose a majority of the troops. Almost all previous research has failed to address why this variation occurs, probably because warfare is still assumed by most researchers and practitioners to be an exclusively male activity. Without understanding what explains differential levels of female participation in rebellion, researchers will retain a flawed and incomplete conception of armed conflict and practitioners will find that their policies create negative externalities for the female population. The handful of studies on this topic which have addressed female participation are historical narratives that examine only cases where there have been high levels of female participation in rebellion.
This project thus advances the study of female participation in two ways. First, it suggests a number of new theoretical avenues, namely, explanations built on culture, developmental psychology, and characteristics of the armed conflict. Second, it will test these theoretical explanations with a comparative study of five different armed conflicts in which there is variation in the level of female participation. This will allow the study to be the first to employ the type of systematic, comparative methodology needed to draw inferences.
Assistant Professor Anna K. Jarstad is the Coordinator for the Conflict and Democracy Program in the Department of Peace and Conflict Research. On Wednesday 26 September 2012, she lectured on ”Paving the Way for Taliban Rule, Civil War or a New Start for Afghanistan?”, focusing on the probable consequences of different forms of governance that could emerge in Afghanistan post-2014? This lecture analyzes the impact of international strategies for a political settlement with the different local Afghan parties. It discusses who are seen as future political powerholders, and what the prospect for peacebuilding in Afghanistan is.
Abstract: After a decade of international operations in Afghanistan it is clear than the Taliban cannot be defeated by military force. Instead, a strategy of winning the hearts and minds of the people in order to turn them from the Taliban is seen as a more fruitful way to limiting the recruitment of new Taliban and thereby seek to erode their power base from below. However, in anticipation of the 2014 full transition of security to the Afghan security sector, a sanctuary liable to harbor jihadist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and al-Qaeda fighters, is emerging, especially in the border provinces of Pakistan. Everywhere former warlords are regrouping and mobilizing to prepare for a new power struggle should the Karzai government fall.
Consequently, as the exit of international troops is approaching, the efforts to negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban are intensifying. A common form of peace agreement, globally, is to guarantee potential spoilers political positions in a transitional government. The paper discusses the implication of the Taliban becoming part of such a power-sharing agreement. A difficult choice for internationals is whether to approach the moderates, or the hard-liners. While the Taliban that are believed to be more susceptible to international norms might be more accommodating of a power-sharing solution, the hard-line Taliban can have a higher potential to incorporate and discipline their power basis. However, the legitimacy of the different local leaders needs be analyzed in relation to the complexity of local dynamics. Who is seen as representing the Taliban in international talks thus has implications for the planned parliamentary and presidential elections, and any continued peacebuilding effort.
Dr. Erika Forsberg is involved in a project studying the contagion of conflict between ethnic groups, within and across states. Other ongoing projects and collaborations include research on the determinants of external rebel bases; the role of gender inequality in predicting local organized violence conflict; “sons-of-the-soil” dynamics in local insurgencies; the transnational spread of non-violent; and differential strategies of ethnic groups. Personal web page.
On 4 November 2014, she was awarded a three year project grant by the Swedish Research Councils (Special call for Development Research) to study inequality and insurgency in India. She receives SEK 3.0 m for the project, that is entitled ”Inequality and insurgency in India: A disaggregated analysis of the link between gender inequality and armed conflict”.
Project abstract: 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 Meghalaya and Uttar Pradesh. 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.
Florian Krampe is a PhD Candidate in the department, and also an Associated research fellow at the Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development, and a Guest research fellow at the The Hugo Valentin Centre. He is working on a Sida funded research project entitled ”Sustainable Statebuilding? – Assessing Energy Development Projects in Kosovo and Nepal”. His research is focusing on the link between post-conflict peacebuilding and environmental energy policies in Nepal and Kosovo. In recent years he has worked and published frequently on environmental/climate change and conflict, as well as peace and sustainable development. In addition he has published on ‘new wars’, peacebuilding and reconciliation dealing among others with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola.
Recently, Florian has published two interesting blog posts that deal with micro-hydropower in Nepal:
– Climate Change Mitigation, Peacebuilding, and Resilience
– Nepal’s Micro-Hydropower Projects Have Surprising Effect on Peace Process
From January 2014, Florian Krampe is one of the two coordinators of the Forum for South Asian Studies at Uppsala University, formed in 2011. More information.
Mr. Manish Thapa (photo), Regional Coordinator for the South Asian Regional Cooperation Academic Network (SARCAN) based in Kathmandu, Nepal, received the Robert McNamara Fellowship from the World Bank which made it possible for him to work on his doctoral dissertation project entitled ”From Bullet to Ballot: The Politics of Peacemaking in Nepal” at the Dept. of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, during the period January – June 2010. His supervisor was Professor Thomas Ohlson.
In September 2011, Manish Thapa defended his thesis successfully at the Department of International Studies, University of Tokyo. After completion of the thesis, Dr. Thapa is now carrying out Post-doc research at the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw, Poland. He is working on a research project entitled ”Non-Traditional Security Challenges and Prospects for Regionalism in South Asia”.
Besides, he is also working on an edited book related to European Union and India in collaboration with colleagues at South Asia Center, University of Heidelberg, and University of Warsaw.
Indian Guest lecturer at the department
In August 2008, SASNET awarded a guest lecture programme grant to Prof. Ashok Swain. He was given SEK 20 000 in order to invite Prof. K V Raju, Professor Head of the Centre for Ecological Economics and Natural Resources, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore, India. He was co-invited by the Dept. of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo, to give lectures there as well. More information about the SASNET planning grants 2008.
Due to unforeseen reasons, Prof. Raju could not come to Sweden. Instead SASNET permitted the grant to be used to invite Dr. D. R. Sahoo, Professor of Sociology, Ravenshaw University, Orissa, India, to participate in the World Sociological Congress held in Gothenburg, July 2010. This was also done.