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About the Center

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Ever more conflicts and dynamics of violence are no longer confined to national borders, and neither can the causes and transnational interdependencies of violent conflicts or the consequences of radicalization, protest and violence be adequately investigated and made sense of within narrow disciplinary boundaries. Consequently, contemporary studies of transnational conflict constellations, the interdependence of contentious processes, and of globalized knowledge orders require inter- or transdisciplinary answers marked by creative and integrated research strategies that bridge disciplinary boundaries.

In times of increasingly complex transnational challenges - from the interconneted processes of digitalization to the Covid 19 pandemic to the ongoing dynamics of migration and to the proliferating transnational networks of violence - the new Berlin center for interdisciplinary peace and conflict research aims to provide an interdisciplinary platform for the systematic identification, analysis and classification of those contentious relationships and arenas of conflict that emerge from or accompany the new violent dynamics of regional and global interconnection. The central analytical challenges consist in a process-oriented perspective and interdisciplinary reconstruction of multiple interdependent and transnational conflict constellations. A dynamic and interactionist perspective is essential. Existing conflict constellations condition violence, but they are also re-produced by interdependent conflict dynamics and thereby contribute to the reconfiguration of existing socio-spatial orders.

Building on these considerations, the center's initial focus is on two sets of questions: A) What are the characteristics of transnational conflict constellations and how are they interwoven trans-/regionally or globally? B) What forms of state and non-state violence emerge from transnational conflict constellations and how are their dynamics (escalation of contentious politics, radicalization processes, organized crime etc.) related to the re-configuration of socio-spatial orders (including border spaces, transit zones, urban spaces)? The changing characteristics of conflict constellations as a result of contentious interations are as relevant here as the ways in which they are spatially and temporally interwoven and how they are impacted by global power shifts.

In the spirit of a problem-oriented approach to basic research on issues of peace and conflict the center thus aims to empirically capture and theorize globally shifting conflict constellations through an interdisciplinary perspective. At the same time, its goal is to offer normative orientation as regards the ethics of researching  violence and conflict and as regards the constitution of peace and conflict research as a discipline. Moreover, the center aims to provide new conceptual impulses for the analysis of conflict constellations and contentious processes, and to offer new avenues for the integration of multiple research perspectives and methods. 

Linked to this is the center's self-conception as a hub for an analytically and normatively oriented peace and conflict research, which is constituted as an interdisciplinary field of research and whose focus lies on the causes, shapes, dynamics and consequences of violent conflicts - and on the conditions of their constructive transformation.