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. 


Evaluating P/CVE: Institutional Structures in International Comparison

Preventing and countering violent extremism (P/​CVE) is an emerging field with a wealth of experience but few proven recipes for success. Do we know if existing measures are effective?


Follow the Money: Investing in Crisis Prevention

Who spends what to prevent which crisis? And do these investments happen early enough? Open-source data and country case studies help us map the landscape of civilian investment in crisis prevention.


The Long Shadow of Donbas

In Ukraine, over 400,000 soldiers have fought in Donbas since 2014. Reintegrating these veterans is vital to the country’s stability. How is the process going? And where are improvements needed?


The Last Straw: How Chemical Weapons Impact Women and Break Communities

Chemical weapons are an integral part of the Syrian military campaign – a strategy that has disproportionately affected women. What are the gendered impacts of chemical weapons? And how do chemical attacks affect community resilience?

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

Select Projects


Stabilization Lab: Improving Key Instruments for Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding

Preventing crises, resolving conflicts and building peace are noble endeavors – but they are also fraught with challenges and dilemmas. In this project, we look at different dimensions of stabilization to better understand these dilemmas and suggest targeted ways of addressing them.


The Scale and Logic of Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

Based on the most comprehensive dataset of confirmed chemical weapons attacks in Syria compiled to date, we investigate the scale, pervasiveness and strategic logic that underpins the use of these banned weapons in the Syrian conflict.


Perspectives on Peace in Eastern Ukraine

Those most affected by the ongoing conflict in Donbas have a large stake in its resolution. However, their perspectives are not always included in peace efforts. In this project, we investigate the attitude of these stakeholders toward the future of Donbas. 


PrEval: Evaluation Designs for the Prevention of Violent Extremism

Together with the PrEval consortium, we are developing evaluation designs to assess Germany’s needs and capacities in preventing violent extremism.


Thorsten Benner


Sarah Bressan

Research Fellow

Julia Friedrich

Research Fellow

Melissa Li

Research Associate

Tobias Schneider

Research Fellow

Sofie Lilli Stoffel

Research Associate

Sarah Brockmeier

Non-Resident Fellow

Inji El Bakry

Research Associate

Erica Gaston

Non-Resident Fellow

Philipp Rotmann

Associate Director

Karam Shoumali

Research Associate

Marie Wagner

Research Associate

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.