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Peace and Development Research

How do infrastructure projects shape Western state-building missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and Somalia? How does legitimacy operate in respect of global governance institutions? How does nonviolent civic resistance impact on democracy in different contexts around the world?

How is ‘education for sustainable development’ being implemented in relation to different populations across the globe? How is sexual violence against men in war different from sexual violence against women, and why do these differences matter? How do local, national and international players interact in development interventions across Africa? How do securitization and corruption shape contemporary international migration in Asia and Europe? How are insurgencies in India gendered? Is there a distinctive ‘Scandinavian way’ of human rights politics? What are the various kinds of militarism, historically and today? How do Buddhist revivalisms compare in Myanmar and Sri Lanka? What works and why in external support to regional organizations in Africa? How can local government promote peacebuilding across the world?

As this brief review of our current research projects indicates, Peace and Development (P&D) in the School of Global Studies (SGS) at the University of Gothenburg is an open creative interdisciplinary thinking space. Comprising around 30 faculty and 20 PhD students from 15 countries, the group explores peace and development (both broadly conceived) and their intersections in multiple issue areas and diverse sites across all world regions.

P&D has its forerunner in Peace and Conflict Research, launched in 1971. Fifteen years later the group was renamed Peace and Development Research at Gothenburg University (Padrigu). In 2006 Padrigu joined with several other programmes to form SGS. Since then P&D has taken advantage of the School setting for extensive interchange with other research groups such as Environmental Social Science, Human Rights, and Social Anthropology.

P&D is thus intellectually pluralist. Theoretically, the group’s work inter alia encompasses critical security studies, development studies, global political economy, institutionalism, peace research, postcolonialism, and resistance studies. With methodological pluralism the group variously pursues action research, case studies, discourse analysis, ethnography, interviews, and quantitative approaches. P&D is therefore not a ‘project’ with a single line of aims, questions, theories and methods, but more a conversation and cross-fertilisation among diverse approaches.

Being located in a School of Global Studies, peace and development research is ‘global’ in two senses. First, in substantive terms, the group’s research covers all world regions. Particular area specialisms include Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, but permanent and visiting staff also consider Latin and North America, former Soviet spaces, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. Second, P&D is also ‘global‘ in the sense of situating important aspects of the dynamics of violence and change in transnational and world spaces. P&D therefore understands social forces to be not only local and national in scope, but also regional and global.

Finally, as already implied in the above, peace and development research is often concerned to link academic enquiry with policy and other practice. P&D investigations are typically provoked by ‘real world’ situations and a wish to produce knowledge that contributes to positive change.

Page Manager: Deputy Head of Department Isabell Schierenbeck|Last update: 4/1/2019
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