Conflict Transformation Research

Release of political prisoners on Robben Island, South Africa

Transforming protracted sociopolitical conflicts requires the active participation of all stakeholders willing and able to bring about behavioural, relational and structural change. This programme builds on our long-standing experience in analysing and engaging with civil society actors and resistance/liberation movements in war-affected or post-war regions. Its central aim is to support the active participation of conflict stakeholders, both armed and unarmed, in inclusive processes of nonviolent resistance and conflict transformation. It does so by conducting collaborative research, offering capacity-building assistance and providing policy advice regarding the roles of formal and informal actors as peace- and state-building agents in asymmetric state-society conflicts.

Current Projects

  • Nonviolent Resistance and Democratic Consolidation
    This research project aims to address the long-term impact of nonviolent resistance on the consolidation of democracy. It seeks to contribute towards a theory of resistance and political change. more >
  • Women as Post-War Community Leaders
    This project seeks to contribute to the empowerment of women (formerly) associated with non-state armed groups as post-war local political or socio-economic leaders. more >
  • Salafi-jihadi groups – (De)escalation trajectories and dialogue options
    The project aims to advance knowledge on the patterns, critical junctures and factors of conflict (de)escalation of Salafi-jihadi groups. It also seeks to explore the role of ‘soft power’ dialogue engagement by third-parties. more >
  • Preventing Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans
    This participatory research project is conducted together with partner organisations based in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia. more >
  • The Nexus of Peacemaking and Constitution Building
    Through studying a number of country cases and facilitating discussions between experts and practitioners, the project aims to increase knowledge and understanding about the intersection of peacemaking - with a focus on mediation - and constitution making, and to strengthen collaboration between the two fields  more>
  • Whole-Of-Society Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding (WOSCAP)
    The EU and its member states will increasingly be faced with issues of conflict and fragility in the coming years. This collaborative research project examines how to enhance the European Union’s capabilities for supporting sustainable and inclusive peacebuilding processes. more >

Further Activities

In addition to our project work, this programme is also very active in the fields of training, teaching, publishing, consulting and providing policy advice. Thus, we recently edited a book on the factors of transition from armed to nonviolent insurgencies and regularly edit the Berghof Foundation’s publication series “Resistance/liberation movement and transitions to politics” (Transitions Series).

We provide bilateral technical support to political leaders and peacebuilding practitioners in conflict-affected regions such as Colombia, Nepal, the Basque Country and the Palestinian territories, and also offered capacity-building assistance to the Afghan High Peace Council (see Completed Projects). In collaboration with colleagues from the Dialogue, Mediation & Peace Support Structures programme, we facilitate annual negotiation trainings for members of resistance/liberation movements (see From Other Programmes). In addition, we conduct and support research and policy dissemination activities on the impact of terrorist proscription on conflict transformation efforts. We have also conducted various consultancy studies and assignments for inter-governmental agencies such as the European Parliament, European Commission, UNDP and UN Staff College.

Programme director Véronique Dudouet represents the Berghof Foundation at relevant international academic events and teaches classes and modules for students and practitioners on various topics linked to non-state armed groups, civil resistance and conflict transformation. She is also an academic advisor for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (Washington).

Completed Projects

  • Inclusive Political Settlements more >

  • Peaceful Coexistence ? – “Traditional” and “Non-traditional” Conflict Resolution Mechanisms more >

  • Building Federalism through Local Government Dialogue more >
  • The Role of International Donors in Supporting Inclusive and Legitimate Political Settlements more >

  • Women as Post-war Community Leaders more >

  • Forms of Informal Governance in North and North-East Afghanistan more >

  • Non-State Armed Groups in Security Transition Processes more >

  • RLMs and Transitions to Politics more >

  • Capacity Development for the Afghan HPC more >

  • Afghan Women’s Role in the Peace Process more >

From Other Programmes

  • Negotiation Support to RLMs more >
  • War Veterans for Peace more >
  • Reconciliation in Practice - Conference with Dan BarOn and Peace Activists more >

Selected Publications

  • Katrin Planta and Veronique Dudouet (Ed.): Fit for negotiations? Options and risks in the political transformation of non-conventional armed groups. NOREF report. 2015. PDF >
  • Véronique Dudouet (Ed.): Civil Resistance and Conflict Transformation: Transitions from armed to nonviolent struggle. 2015. London: Routledge. Paperback 2015. Book >
  • Véronique Dudouet, Hans J. Giessmann & Katrin Planta: From Combatants to Peacebuilders. A Case for Inclusive, Participatory and Holistic Security Transitions. 2012. Policy Report . Hardcopy >
  • Véronique Dudouet: Nonviolent Resistance in Power Asymmetries.. 2011. Opladen/Farmington Hills: Barbara Budrich, 237-264. Handbook Article. PDF >
  • Véronique Dudouet: Anti-Terrorism Legislation and Prospects for Conflict Transformation. 2011. Policy Brief No. 2. PDF >
  • All publications from the Transitions Series  >