The research project focuses on (changing) governance constellations and forms of citizenship in protracted conflict. It aims to develop a multidisciplinary and policy-oriented research agenda to investigate questions such as: What kinds of governance arrangements emerge in areas of protracted conflict? What kinds of institutions and citizenship experiences does this produce? To what extent do non-state (armed) actors attain legitimacy in such arrangements? How can these institutions and arrangements be acknowledged and regulated by (international) law? The project also investigates what research methods are best suited to study these topics and seeks to encourage more interaction between disciplines on the topics.
Protracted conflict: A central challenge of our world today
Globally, armed conflicts tend toward increased protractedness. These developments connect to a robust trend of state fragmentation and debilitation as well as to a reversal in conflict resolution successes, with peace settlements and postwar transitions suffering frequent disintegration and backlash. This situation is reflected in areas that have seen sequences of armed conflicts such as the horn of Africa and the Middle East, and is also apparent in many parts of the world where the security landscape is shaped by gangs, security companies, vigilante groups and so on.