Briefings & Reports

DYNAMICS OF NATIONAL AND LOCAL CONFLICTS IN SOUTH SUDAN

Lasting over four decades, this South Sudanese civil war led to the death of an estimated 2.5 million people and the displacement of some 4.6 million people. The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the warring factions formally ended the civil war and led to the creation of the independent country of South Sudan in 2011. Fewer than two-and-a-half years after independence, large-scale violence again erupted at the end of 2013. A formal peace agreement between the conflicting parties was signed in August 2015 (Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan, ARCSS), which proved unsuccessful and was, after almost three years of further fighting, ‘revita¬lized’ in 2018 (R-ARCSS).

ANNUAL REPORT 2019

When we initially decided to dedicate our 36th Summer Academy to the topic of “The Role of Emotions in Conflict,” it was the palpable socio-political uncertainty throughout Europe that influenced our decision. We wanted to enhance the understanding of the politicization of emotions and their potential to escalate conflict. At that time, we did not expect the growth of research activities on emotions that would emerge in 2019, nor did we anticipate the unusual fluctuations in emotional states that our team would have to endure due to the many changes and events throughout the year.

JAHRESBERICHT 2019

Als wir im Spätsommer 2018 beschlossen, dass wir unsere 36. Sommerakademie 2019 dem Thema „Emotionen im Konflikt“ widmen wollten, dachten wir dabei an das Gefühl der Unsicherheit, das sich gesellschaftspolitisch in den letzten Jahren in Europa breit gemacht hatte. Wir wollten besser verstehen, wie mit Emotionen Politik gemacht wird und welches Konfliktpotential sich darin verbirgt. Wir wussten damals noch nicht, dass das Jahr 2019 nicht nur eine wissenschaftliche Auseinandersetzung mit Emotionen bringen würde, sondern dass wir als ASPR Team auch durch nicht alltägliche emotionale Tiefen und Höhen gehen würden, welche Veränderungsprozesse so mit sich bringen:

Report No. 5 - LOCAL PEACE AGREEMENTS IN CONTEMPORARY ARMED VIOLENCE

This research draws on discussions held at two Joint Analysis Workshops in October and November 2019 organised by the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP). The workshops were held in cooperation with The British Academy (BA) and the Rift Valley Institute (RVI). In total, over 100 participants from 25 countries involved with or researching on local peace agreements contributed to thematic discussions. The research also draws on the PA-X Peace Agreements Database, a database of all peace agreements at any stage of the peace process from 1990 to 2019. The database is fully searchable and supports both qualitative and quantitative examination of peace agreements.

Policy Brief 3/2020 - Covid-19 and International Peacebuilding: First Perceptions

The Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) conducted an online survey on the impact of Covid-19 and related policy-responses in the fields of peacebuilding and peacekeeping. We were interested in the broad strokes: how is the crisis impacting the wider peacebuilding realm and what trends are respondents concerned about?
127 people from 48 countries answered the questionnaire, all of them alumni of ASPR professional training courses. Their assessment gives nothing more than a first impression of peacebuilding – and the broader prospects of peace and conflict – in light of the current crisis. The most important insight from the responses is that they do not deliver a clear picture. Perceptions are diverse and strongly shaped by contextual experiences. Given the high variability of responses and the methodical constraints of our low-key trend perception monitoring, this aspect translates into the main conclusion our study has to offer: Covid-19 will have a significant impact on peacebuilding, yet how this impact will play out is predominantly determined by contextual factors.

"SUCCESSFUL PREVENTION OF WAR AND CIVIL WAR" in 16 examples.

The following 16 case studies give concise and comprehensible descriptions of events. Only the most important and essential aspects are reported in Encyclopaedia style to facilitate ease in reading for even the busiest of diplomats and politicians. Reference to selected literature for further reading for each case offers the reader opportunities for supplementary information and more detail on other aspects. In this collection the favourable particular conditions of the process, which mostly also contribute to the successful prevention of war, are sometimes not especially emphasized, as such special conditions do almost always exist. With regard to success it is not conclusive whether and which favourable conditions existed, but rather whether the opportunities presented were seized in time and energetically and whether they were supported widely.

"GELUNGENE PRÄVENTION VON KRIEG UND BÜRGERKRIEG" in 16 Beispielen

Die hier vorgestellten Fälle werden bewusst kurz und prägnant dargestellt. Nur das Allerwichtigste und Wesentliche wird berichtet – etwa im Stil der großen Enzyklopädien, so dass die Lektüre auch für die vielbeschäftigten Diplomaten und Politiker möglich wird. Die Angabe ausgewählter Literatur ermöglicht es in jedem Fall, sich über weitere Aspekte und Details sachkundig zu machen. In dieser Veröffentlichung werden die jeweils begünstigenden besonderen Umstände manchmal nicht besonders hervorgehoben, denen sich das Gelingen der Kriegsvorbeugung meistens auch verdankt. Denn solche besonderen Umstände gibt es so gut wie immer. Entscheidend ist für das Gelingen nicht, ob und welche begünstigenden Umstände vorhanden waren, sondern dass die damit gegebenen Chancen auch rechtzeitig und tatkräftig ergriffen und breit unterstützt wurden.

Soziale Ungleichheit in der Krise - Zu Diversität und Intersektionalität im Kontext der globalen Pandemie

“Corona doesn’t know color” leuchtet es uns aus Instagram entgegen. Madonna liegt in der Badewanne mit Milch und Rosenblüten und sinniert darüber nach, wie Covid-19 uns alle gleich macht. Das mag zwar auf einem netten gemeinschaftlichen Gedanken basieren, allerdings birgt es dennoch die Gefahr, die Unterschiede von Ansteckungsrisiko, medizinischer Versorgung und sozio-ökonomischen Effekten während und nach der Pandemie zu verschleiern. Ziel dieses Kommentars ist deshalb die Heterogenität unserer Gesellschaft ins Bewusstsein zu rufen und dementsprechend den Blick zu schärfen, wie uns diese Krise auf unterschiedlichste Art und Weise betrifft, welche Bedürfnisse wir hier als Individuen und Kollektive haben und vor welchen Herausforderungen wir stehen.

In Iraq the corona virus is just one other crisis

The world is focused on preventing the spread of the corona virus, and for good reason. The crisis is hitting us hard in Europe and might hit even harder in places much less well prepared. Fragile countries haunted by conflict and fragmentation will have even less ability to focus on this new health crisis, as they often have to deal with multiple challenging dynamics at once.
Iraq is one such place. So far, the number of persons reported as infected by the virus are in the hundreds only, although testing capacities are very low and real counts should be exponentially higher. The country has closed is borders with neighbouring Iran which has since long been a hotspot of the spreading of the virus. However, due to the fragmented context in the country, the effect of the crisis as well as the efficiency of counter-measures appear quite differently depending on where you are.

Die COVID-19 Krise aus einer Global Citizenship Perspektive

Die Corona Krise zeigt, dass Globalisierung immer noch gegenseitige Abhängigkeit ohne Solidarität bedeutet. Aber eine weltweite Krise lässt sich nur durch weltweite Kooperation bewältigen. An Stelle von Abschottung und nationalem oder europäischem Egoismus bedarf es globaler Formen der Solidarität. Was Not tut ist ein das Bewusstsein, Teil einer irdischen Schicksalsgemeinschaft zu sein. Wir müssen beginnen, als Bürger*in des „Heimatlandes Erde“ zu denken und zu handeln.

Kommentar „Ende der EU oder Phönix aus der Asche - Es liegt in unserer Hand“

Die Rettung von Menschenleben rechtfertigt die drastischen Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung des Corona-Virus. Es braucht aber auch von Anfang an eine intensive und rege Diskussion darüber, wann und wie wir wieder aus dem Ausnahmezustand rauskommen werden und wir sollten uns fragen, wie wir in dieser Krise den aktuell gelebten sozialen Zusammenhalt auf lokaler und nationaler Ebene auch auf die EU ausweiten können. Denn wir brauchen die EU für eine Exit Strategie aus dem Ausnahmezustand. Ein Nationalstaat allein wird den Ausnahmezustand nicht aufheben, wenn die Nachbarn das nicht auch gleichzeitig tun.

Policy Brief 1/2020 “Don’t take this away from us again” Citizen perceptions of peace in South Sudan

The parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) made an important breakthrough in February 2020, paving the way for the establishment of a Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU). This followed more than nine months of postponements and strategic delays. Days before the 22 February deadline to form the R-TGoNU, the government and opposition group signatories of the R-ARCSS agreed to revert from 32 states to the former 10 states and three “special administrative areas” in Abyei, Greater Pibor and Ruweng.

This study was made possible with funding and technical support from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the U.S. Department of State.

The Hong Kong protests: a hybrid governance failure

Even after the withdrawal of the controversial „extradition law“, protests in Hong Kong show no sign of dying down. These conflicts are ultimately rooted in fundamental flaws in Hong Kong’s governance, which fuel popular discontent and anti-Chinese sentiment. If the „one country, two systems“ model is to be saved, political reforms and new conflict mitigation measures are urgently needed.

Annual Report 2018

A short summary of ASPRs activities in 2018.

Beyond Peacebuilding: Challenging a Critical Mainstream

Peacebuilding has come of age. The field has reached a degree of ripeness that offers an immense diversification of approaches and topics. Many things have been said about peacebuilding, and many contemporary debates give the feeling that they have been heard before. Despite – or because – of the impressive volume of empirical studies done on peacebuilding issues, the field remains surprisingly weak on innovations. At the same time, the field also faces increased competition through the arrival of competing variants from outside of OECD countries, often resulting in a "shrinking space" for the Western-led, civil-society-focused approach. The present report compiles written contributions of eight young scholars addressing these challenges from different angles.

The Korean peace process

After the breakdown of the second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi, the Korean peace process seems stalled. Beyond the highly publicised negotiations between the US and North Korea, however, relations between both Korean states and other regional actors are marked by a new dynamic that offers a rare chance for lasting rapprochement. This background, and how external actors can help the process along, is detailed in our latest Policy Brief.

'Securing' peace

Women and security arrangements in peace processes

International Organisations in Peacebuilding

Over the past two decades, international organisations (IOs) have increasingly focused on the field of post-conflict peacebuilding, devoting significant resources to this task, frequently emerging as the dominant actors in specific missions, and sometimes even restructuring their broader organisational missions around this function.

China's emergence as a peacebuilding actor

Due to the enormous volume of Chinese investments now being poured into conflict-prone regions, China seems poised to gain a significant stake in ongoing peace processes and other settlement efforts. Taken together with expanding peacekeeping and conflict mediation activities, and based on a normative framework that is quite different from liberal notions, we may be seeing the emergence of a distinct Chinese model of peacebuilding.

Annual Report 2017

A short summary of ASPRs activities in 2017.

The Future of Nonproliferation

2018 has been marked by a rapidly changing landscape in the field of nonproliferation efforts, driven primarily by a series of US moves in dealing with Iran and North Korea, the two most important test cases for the viability of global and regional nonproliferation regimes.

Welt im Umbruch

Perspektiven für Friedenspolitik in Europa zwischen konkreten Handlungsoptionen und realistischer Utopie?

Beiträge aus dem Young Researchers' Workshop an der 34. Schlaininger Sommerakademie

Building States while Building Peace?

The claim that (re)building states is the best way to build peace dominated the peacebuilding debate in the first two decades after the end of the Cold War. However, empirical assessments on how the peacebuilding-statebuilding-nexus plays out in the empirical reality of peace processes are rare.

Introducing the ASPR Research Agenda

In recent years, the environment and context for international actors engaging in violent conflict have changed considerably. The ASPR research agenda aims to
take account of these changes and to focus on understanding possible consequences and shaping outcomes.

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