Multiple projects at the University of Bayreuth draw on and contribute to Peace and Conflict Research. Please find a selection of ongoing research projects on this site.
The research network examines how old and supposedly overcome conflicts impact "new" contestations. In these conflicts, people struggle about interpretations of the past, norms of present-day coexistence, and visions for the future. The network seeks to understand how these interpretive struggles – "Deutungskämpfe im Übergang" in German – can contribute to peace.
The overarching goal is to create a Bavarian Center for Peace and Conflict Research. The center will promote interdisciplinary research and outreach to politics and society in the region and beyond. "Transitional Conflicts" gathers scholars from the universities of Augsburg, Bayreuth, and Nuremberg-Erlangen as well as from the Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ, Munich-Berlin).
"Transitional Conflicts" (2022-2026) is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Postcolonial Hierarchies in Peace and Conflict
The network investigates how historically formed postcolonial hierarchies manifest themselves in contemporary conflicts and how they impact future possibilies for conflict transformation. To do so, the network brings together historical perspectives on the roots of conflicts, particularly regarding colonialism, with postcolonial approaches as well as with methodologies and theories from Peace and Conflict Research.
The collaborative project involves the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (Freiburg), the Center for Conflict Studies at the Philipps University Marburg, the University of Bayreuth, and the University of Erfurt.
The interdisciplinary research initiative (2022-2026) is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The London Moment: Transnational Collaboration of Governments-in-exile during the Second World War and its Impact on European History
The "London Moment" examines how governments-in-exile during the Second World War planned for a post-war Europe. Exiled by the radical expansion of the Nazi Empire, London became a safe haven from 1940 on. The exiled governments and their key figures (including Charles de Gaulle, Edvard Benes, and Queen Wilhelmina) sought to maintain national interests and pursue close cooperation - the "London Moment". They claimed statehood and sovereignty and developed new political and legal ways to achieve both. By studying these processes, the project shows the origin of a constructive legacy of European cooperation under the most difficult circumstances.
The "London Moment" (2014-2023) is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.
Africa’s Infrastructure Globalities (INFRAGLOB): Rethinking Political Geographies from the Global South
The project explores infrastructure sites in Sub-Saharan Africa to understand how emerging powers challenge traditional theory and practice of international relations. Chinese and Brazilian companies are now the foremost investors in Africa. They often follow established investment rules, but also introduce new practices of governance and business-society relations that compete with Western norms. The project examines these new practices and how they become contested and reshaped in the local and transnational arena. For this, the "INFRAGLOB" team applies diverse perspectives including philosophy, cultural anthropology, social movement studies, and science and technology.
"INFRAGLOB" (2018-2025) is funded through an ERC Starting Grant.