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. 


Ghosts of the Past: Lessons from Local Force Mobilization in Afghanistan and Prospects for the Future

Since 2001, the Afghan state and its international partners have mobilized a range of local forces to fill security gaps and confront insurgent threats. What has been the record of these efforts? And how may they impact future dynamics in Afghanistan?

By Kate Clark, Erica Gaston, Fazal Muzhary, Borhan Osman

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?


Scenarios for Governance Breakdown and Violent Conflict in the EU’s Neighborhood

What will the EU’s neighborhood look like in 2024? Based on thought experiments about plausible future developments, these scenarios map out areas of potential governance breakdown and violent conflict and grapple with the threat they could pose.

Journal article

A Fresh Look at Crisis Prevention? Reviewing Three Years of “PeaceLab”

How can Germany improve its policies on conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding? A look into the debate on peace and security in Germany during the PeaceLab2016 process.

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


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.


Reintegrating Veterans and Fostering Social Cohesion in Ukraine

The reintegration of ex-combatants is crucial for social cohesion in Ukraine. Through interviews and focus groups, we are investigating the social, economic and political challenges of the transition to a civilian life. 


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.


Anticipating and Preventing Governance Breakdown and Violent Conflicts in the EU’s Neighborhood

Together with fourteen leading universities and think tanks, we are investigating governance breakdown and violent conflict in the European Union’s neighborhood. 


Emma Bapt

Circle of Friends

Thorsten Benner


Sarah Bressan

Research Fellow

Julia Friedrich

Research Associate

Melissa Li

Research Associate

Philipp Rotmann

Associate Director

Sofie Lilli Stoffel

Research Assistant

Asena Baykal

Research Associate

Sarah Brockmeier

Research Fellow

Inji El Bakry

Research Associate

Erica Gaston

Non-Resident Fellow

Garima Mohan

Non-Resident Fellow

Tobias Schneider

Research Fellow

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.