Peace and conflict research

Within its framework programme "Understanding Society - Shaping the Future” (2019 to 2025) for the humanities and social sciences, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been strengthening the research field of peace and conflict research.

Mehrere Hände übereinander zusammen

Adobe Stock/carballo

Funding line for peace and conflict research

By funding ten collaborative projects in this research field, the BMBF wants to contribute to ensuring that political stakeholders and the society are adequately equipped to address international developments on the basis of academic findings. Violent conflicts also affect Europe: Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused massive destruction in the country and given rise to hardship and fear, even outside of Ukraine.

The collaborations in the funding line are divided into two different funding formats: seven competence networks and three regional centres. Networking is of tremendous importance in both funding formats. In the competence networks, smaller, regionally scattered stakeholders with similar research priorities join forces to conduct joint research on future issues in the field of peace and conflict research. The competence networks are also to profile themselves as actors in the field of knowledge transfer, and develop advisory and information services for political stakeholders and the society. The regional centres, as alliances of universities and non-university research institutions of a region, are to develop into "beacons" of peace and conflict research in Germany.  Their task is to strengthen the interdisciplinarity and method pluralism of the research field within the framework of joint research and transfer projects, and promote the internationalisation of peace and conflict research through corresponding collaborations.

The funded research projects work in an interdisciplinary manner on different world regions and topics, including the impact of historical factors on current conflict dynamics and the role of modern technologies in conflicts. They develop transfer measures based on their findings in order to be able to support practitioners in dealing with current challenges in the field of conflict prevention and resolution. A large number of different practice partners are involved in the research projects from the very beginning.

The duration of these collaborations is initially four years - until 2026. If the evaluation is successful, a continuation of another two years is planned.

Research projects in the thematic area of piece and conflicts

WHAT: Research projects in the thematic field of "peace and conflict research”

WHY: Better understanding of conflict dynamics and stronger networking within the research field

WHO: Universities and non-university research institutions that work closely with practice partners

HOW: Funding line “Strengthening and further development of peace and conflict research”

WHERE: Federal Gazette of September 3, 2020

Further support measures


Since October 2022, the BMBF has been funding the Ukraine Research Network (UNET) at the Centre for East European and International Studies in Berlin in response to the war in Ukraine. UNET, headed by Prof Dr Gwendolyn Sasse, aims to pool existing research on Ukraine and make it more secure. It aims to identify and address research needs based on the current situation. UNET thus combines different disciplines and methods in order to accompany and understand developments in Ukraine from a scientific perspective. In particular, researchers from Ukraine are involved.

Project website

ConflictA - Conflict Academy

Since 1 April 2023, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has been funding the development of the ConflictA - Conflict Academy at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Conflict and Violence Research at Bielefeld University with around 8.4 million euros for four years. Under the direction of Professor Dr. Andreas Zick, ConflictA deals with conflicts relevant to democracy, particularly at local and regional level. Conflicts are researched systematically and action-orientated using participatory methods and approaches and are supported and developed for civil, educational and practical conflict intervention and transformation. Conflict transformation processes are accompanied and educational and training programmes are developed for understanding and dealing with conflicts. The findings are made available to a broad (specialist) public via professionalised transfer. In this way, the Conflict Academy contributes to the understanding of contemporary conflicts and their effects on society and institutions and strengthens the constructive handling of conflicts and violence in particularly affected social sectors.

Project website