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. 


Supporting Civil Society in Acute Crises

Support to civil society in crisis contexts is a main tool policymakers use to prevent violence. But this support rarely lives up to its promises. What can donors do differently to support civil society actors in conflicts?


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.


“What should we have to say about it?” Perspectives on Peace in Eastern Ukraine

Eastern Ukraine is back in the headlines. What do we know about the effects of conflict on the region before Russia’s renewed invasion?

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


49security: Input for Germany’s National Security Strategy

We are bringing together experts from academia, civil society and politics to debate ideas for Germany’s first-ever National Security Strategy.


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. 


Niklas Balbon

Research Associate

Sarah Brockmeier

Non-Resident Fellow

Hannah Clement

Project Associate

Fennet Habte

Research Assistant

Melissa Li

Research Fellow

Tobias Schneider

Research Fellow

Marie Wagner

Project Manager

Thorsten Benner


Sarah Bressan

Research Fellow

Erica Gaston

Non-Resident Fellow

Jakob Hensing

Research Fellow

Philipp Rotmann


Sofie Lilli Stoffel

Non-Resident Fellow

Abi Watson

Research Fellow

Funding & Contact

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

For more information, please contact Philipp Rotmann.