Peace & Security

We seek to understand atrocities and the politics of the use of force at all levels, from the local to the global. We investigate how to better anticipate, prevent and stop organized violence, and how outsiders might help rebuild order and peace. We work closely with practitioners in governments and international and civil society organizations, in Germany and beyond. We promote important debates and facilitate learning to improve policymaking and, ultimately, help save lives. 


Conflict Prevention: Scoring Small Wins

Where multilateral conflict prevention has worked, and how to make it work elsewhere.

By Philipp Rotmann, Cale Salih
Working paper

Forecasting and Foresight: Methods for Anticipating Governance Breakdown and Violent Conflict

The paper presents the evolution and state of the art of quantitative forecasting and scenario-based foresight methods and discusses how they can inform strategic policymaking to prevent governance breakdown and violent conflict in Europe’s neighborhood.

By Sarah Bressan, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, Dominic Seefeldt

Men with Guns: Political Economy Lessons for Disbanding or Integrating Hybrid Security Forces

Integrating or disbanding local forces has failed time and again. How can we distinguish policies that are doomed to fail from those that may carry the seeds of potential success? 


Nowhere to Hide: The Logic of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

How and why has the Assad régime persisted in using banned chemical weapons? This study draws on the most comprehensive dataset of chemical weapons attacks in Syria compiled to date to offer an analysis of the strategic rationale behind the attacks.

Militias or Partners? Local, Hybrid and Sub-State Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq

Community or regional forces, militias, and other forms of sub-state or local security actors have long existed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and continue to proliferate. Recently, local, hybrid and sub-state forces have often proved to be a critical stopgap against anti-government forces in both countries. But how do these security gains balance against other potential side effects for governance, rule of law, or civilian protection? How do repeated cycles of militarizing local spaces affect local community dynamics and prospects for a sustainable peace?

Find out more about our three-year project


Asena Baykal

Research Associate

Sarah Brockmeier

Research Fellow

Inji El Bakry

Research Assistant

Erica Gaston

Non-Resident Fellow

Theresa Lütkefend

Research Associate

Philipp Rotmann

Associate Director

Marie Wagner

Research Associate

Thorsten Benner


Sarah Bressan

Research Associate

Julia Friedrich

Research Associate

Melissa Li

Research Associate

Garima Mohan

Non-Resident Fellow

Tobias Schneider

Research Fellow

Funding & Contact

Our current work on global peace and security is generously supported by the European Commission’s Horizon2020 research funding scheme, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the German Federal Foreign Office, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and the Jeyroudi Foundation. For previous projects, we received grants and support by the German Foundation for Peace Research, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Volkswagen Foundation in cooperation with Compagnia di San Paolo and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, the UN Secretariat’s Department for Peacekeeping Operations, the Friedrich Ebert and Heinrich Böll Foundations, as well as Humanity United.

For more information, please contact Philipp Rotmann.

PeaceLab: A Fresh Look at Crisis Prevention

On the PeaceLab blog, we discuss what a modern, comprehensive peace and security policy for Germany and Europe should look like. 

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Assessing Threats in Europe’s Neighborhood

EU-LISTCO investigates the challenges that governance breakdown and violent conflict pose for European foreign policy.

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