Research Blog

How to Engage Armed Groups? Reviewing Options and Strategies for Third Parties

Armed groups pose a severe challenge to current peace- and state-building processes. Their degree of dispersion, influence, and effect on local and international politics make it necessary to consider ways and strategies for coping and interacting with them. The article assesses and reviews the contribution of specific options, their suitability, and their applicability regarding particular [...]

Review of “Hans-Georg Ehrhart / Martin Kahl ( Hrsg.) (2010). Security Governance in und für Europa. Konzepte, Akteure, Missionen”

During the last few years in particular, literature has examined new actors and new strategies of security governance. Research on Europe is no exception to this. However, while one side of the debate is skeptical about the ability of the European Union to substantially contribute to security governance, the other side of the debate relies [...]

The Effects of Exile Rebel Leadership during Civil War

Different aspects of exile have become a prominent topic in conflict research. Scholars have examined the influence of refugees and diaspora groups on armed conflict, particularly through ideological and / or material support, and the effects of exile return after conflict. Negotiation and mediation research has dealt with fragmentation and splits in leadership - exile [...]

Engaging Armed Groups in Development Cooperation

Since the end of the Second World War, civil wars and other domestic violent conflicts have dominated warfare worldwide to such an extent, that war between states has increasingly become the exception. These conflicts are characterised by the participation on at least one side of non-state armed groups. These are defined as groups that, through [...]

NGOs and Nonstate Armed Actors: Improving Compliance with International Norms

Transnational nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have developed strategies to improve the diffusion of and general adherence to international norms among nonstate armed actors, with the goal of persuading armed actors to adapt their behavior accordingly. The ICRC offers trainings in international humanitarian law to armed actors that explain their responsibilities for protecting civilians in military operations. [...]

Meeting with the Subcommittee on Civilian Crisis Prevention and Integrated Conflict Management in the German Bundestag

The delegation of the Subcommittee on Civilian Crisis Prevention and Integrated Conflict Management in the German Bundestag (accompanied by Chairman Joachim Spatz) invited me to a meeting at the Germany Embassy in Washington, DC. The delegation wanted discuss the topic of conflict prevention and integrated conflict management in Africa, particularly with a view to recent [...]

Peace Negotiations in the Philippines

In many peace negotiations International Contact Groups have been a helpful tool in preventing a peace process from stalling or failing. Members, commonly states and international organizations, exert leverage on the parties to the conflict, sustain the parties’ commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict and restore mutual trust. While international nongovernmental organizations have [...]

Verhaltensänderung durch Normdiffusion? Die Ansätze von IKRK und Geneva Call im Umgang mit bewaffneten Gruppen

While state actors frequently have difficulties in dealing with non-state armed actors, transnational NGOs have developed strategies that aim specifically at the proliferation of and general adherence to international norms among non-state armed actors (“norm diffusion”). It is their goal to persuade non-state armed actors to accept international humanitarian law norms and to adapt their [...]

Das Problem der Sicherheit für NGOs in Afghanistan

During the Paris Conference, the states involved in Afghanistan evinced to pass full responsibility over the rebuilding of the country to the government in Kabul. While this policy appears to have no alternative, it leads to a somewhat problematic situation in view of the declining support of the government in the population. Thus, on the [...]

Learning in Modern International Society

Claudia Hofmann engages in a theoretical modelling of international learning processes and the substantiation of this model through three cases from international politics. She answers two questions: How may international actors learn as a collective? And how may the lessons learned influence actor behaviour and problem solving processes? As a foundation for answering these questions [...]