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.
When tyranny ends, when societies come to terms with their past, or when values change, people contest meanings in times of transition. How these struggles unfold is essential for societal peace in the present and future.
The Bavarian network Conflicts.Meanings.Transitions ("Deutungskämpfe im Übergang") examines these conflicts from an interdisciplinary perspective. The focus is particularly on meaning struggles over peace strategies by non-state actors, over violence, and over universal rights and diversity.
The overarching goal is to establish a Bavarian Center for Peace and Conflict Research. The center will promote regional and interdisciplinary exchange and connect peace and conflict researchers in Bavaria. Thereby, the network aims at increasing the social and political impact of peace and conflict research in the region and beyond.
As a joint project, Conflicts.Meanings.Transitions brings together scholars from the Universities of Augsburg, Bayreuth, and Erlangen-Nuremberg, and the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (Munich-Berlin), coordinated at the University of Bayreuth. The network 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 - i.e. 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.