Research Project (Ongoing)

Research on Resilience, Peacebuilding, and Preventing Violent Extremism: A Complex Systems Perspective on Sustaining Peace

This research project will examine international cooperation for sustaining peace in contexts affected by both traditional armed conflicts and violent extremism. A key challenge in these fragile contexts has been designing, implementing, evaluating, and coordinating effective responses and preventive actions amidst increasing complexity and uncertainty. This complexity derives from numerous factors, e.g., the behavior and organization of non-state armed groups (NSAGs), weak or failed state structures, rising inequality, climate change and natural disasters, and the spread of infectious diseases, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Such a comprehensive approach to address this complexity has yet been explored so far. In this context, this research intends to explore the nexus between resilience, peacebuilding, and preventing violent extremism (PVE), providing a shared framework for bringing about a comprehensive approach to sustaining peace that extends over the dimensions of peace, security, governance, development and humanitarian assistance.

In this context, the research project aims at accomplishing two main objectives: 1) Develop the concept and theory of resilience in local societies to enhance the coordination between peacebuilding and PVE policies in complex systems at both the local and global scales. 2) Consider how peacebuilding and resilience approaches can serve as a common framework that assists multilateral and bilateral agencies, and other relevant actors, to contribute more effectively to sustaining peace in regions affected by armed conflict and violent extremism. In order to achieve these objectives, researchers will explore eight thematic areas to generate systematic evidence on the rise of violent extremism in conflict-affected situations and the effectiveness of related responses that combine resilience, peacebuilding, and PVE approaches.