Peace & Security

How and why do leaders systematically use violence for political ends? How to better anticipate, prevent and stop organized violence, and help rebuild order and peace? We work closely with practitioners in governments, international organizations and civil society, in Germany and beyond. We promote important debates and facilitate learning to improve policymaking and, ultimately, help save lives. 


Never Say Never: Learning Lessons from Afghanistan Reviews

Looking at the most substantive reviews conducted to date on the international intervention in Afghanistan, are there signs that different actors have jointly learned from it?

By Tina Blohm, Philipp Rotmann, Florian Weigand

Close the Gap: How to Leverage Local Analysis for Stabilization and Peacebuilding

Without a granular understanding of the political dynamics at work in places where violence occurs, even the best-intentioned stabilization efforts may go wrong. Local analysis can help, but using it requires sustained investment.


Digital Threats to Elections: Learning From What Has Worked in Africa

To help donors and implementers better mitigate digital threats and safeguard elections, this study relays insights from successful efforts by international, national and local organizations working across the African continent.


How Do We Know What Works in Preventing Violent Extremism?

Gathering evidence on 14 countries, this report surveys the state of the field of preventing and countering violent extremism (P/​CVE), focusing on how evaluation practices can be improved to drive P/​CVE forward.

By Sarah Bressan, Sophie Ebbecke, Lotta Rahlf

Understanding the Syrian Chemical Weapons Complex

Based on the most comprehensive dataset of chemical attacks in Syria compiled to date, we have developed an interactive map and analysis that show the scale and pervasiveness of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. The site allows users to explore more than 340 confirmed incidents, details our methodology, and offers access to the full dataset for further research and reporting.

Learn more about the project and visit the website.

Select Projects


Follow the Money: Local Peacebuilding and Stabilization

To help donors invest financial resources for peace and security more effectively, and empower local actors to pursue their own strategies to reduce violence and achieve peace, this project takes stock of decades of international peace contributions.


Stabilization Lab

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.


REUNIR: Future-Proofing EU Security, Enlargement and Eastern Neighborhood Policies

To bolster the resilience of EU candidate countries (both current and future) in this new age of international relations, Brussels needs to strengthen its foreign policy and security toolboxes.


Thinking the War From the End: Insights for the War Against Ukraine

To conceive of a politically sustainable end to Russia’s war against Ukraine, the project team will be identifying benchmarks for future peacekeeping and analyzing global stakeholders’ perspectives on the war.

Feminist Perspectives for Supporting Ukraine

Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine has major consequences for Ukrainian society in all aspects of life – but, as so often happens, distinct parts of society are experiencing the fall-out in different ways. These differences become particularly visible when looking at the gendered consequences of the war. While these dynamics are profound, they are not always fully understood. With this project, we hope to change that.

Learn More


Niklas Balbon

Research Associate

Maximilian Biller

Research Assistant

Sophie Ebbecke

Research Associate

Julia Friedrich

Research Fellow

Jakob Hensing

Research Fellow

Melissa Li

Research Fellow

Tobias Schneider

Research Fellow

Thorsten Benner


Sarah Bressan

Research Fellow

Gelila Enbaye

Research Associate

Fennet Habte

Non-Resident Fellow

Lea Korb

Research Assistant

Philipp Rotmann


Abi Watson

Research Fellow

Funding & Contact

Our current work on global peace and security is generously supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Federal Ministry for the Interior, IABG, GIZ as well as the Friedrich Ebert and Heinrich Böll Foundations. For previous projects, we also received grants and tenders from the German Foundation for Peace Research, Global Affairs Canada, 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 Foundation, the Volkswagen Foundation in cooperation with Compagnia di San Paolo and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, the Jeyroudi Foundation, the UN Secretariat’s Department for Peacekeeping Operations, as well as Humanity United.

For more information, please contact Philipp Rotmann.

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

Recent Publications