Understanding Changing Security Landscapes, Transforming Security Architectures
The CONPEACE (“From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace”) Programme is an interdisciplinary research programme that studies changing security landscapes in the context of cross-border violence and transitions from war to peace.
We shed empirical and theoretical light on diverging experiences, perceptions, and conceptualizations of security, ranging from citizen security, to national security and global security. Our research illuminates and narrows the gap between power centres’ and marginalised communities’ vision of security. We further analyse how these differing visions of security can be reconciled, and how security architectures and related institutional arrangements need to be adapted in order to adequately anticipate and respond to changing security landscapes from a people-centred perspective.
In particular, we examine:
- how reconfigurations of violent non-state groups matter for questions related to conflict, security, order and (non-state) governance;
- the implications for ethics and norms in contexts where the line between armed conflict and organised crime is blurred;
- how changing conflict dynamics and their intersection with other crises (e.g. humanitarian or health emergencies) alter social cohesion;
- how historical turning points such as Peace Accords are relevant for, and influenced by, global illicit supply chain networks and broader geopolitical shifts including the balance of power and global security governance;
- how conflict actors can be transformed into architects of peace, and how the import or export of security knowledge on a regional and global level affects the rule of law, security governance, and human rights.
In our research, we combine ethnographic methods, surveys, online focus groups, and the novel CONPEACE cross-stakeholder (government, civil society, international community, academia) forum methodology. Our work is inclusive of a wide range of different perspectives across societies affected by conflict and crime - including marginalised communities, indigenous and other civil society leaders, insurgents, ex-combatants, displaced people, military and police officials, government representatives and NGO as well as UN staff.
CONPEACE is hosted at Oxford University’s Pembroke College and was founded in 2016 by Dr Annette Idler. We have experience in research on conflict- and crime-affected contexts. To enhance the impact of our academic work, we advise governments, international organizations, and civil society. Our current empirical focus lies in Latin America, especially Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador, and our work further includes DRC/Uganda/Rwanda, Nigeria, Mexico, Myanmar, Somalia, Syria/Iraq, Pakistani FATA region, Philippines, and Ukraine.