Weak institutions and state collapse are considered a stumbling block on the road to development and an obstacle to peacebuilding. Yet, dynamics of state formation are intrinsically linked to the history of conflicts.  Understanding the way states and societies operate in fragile and conflict-affected countries is of central relevance for research and practice. By analyzing the day-to-day practices of states in conflict and post-conflict contexts swisspeace tries to understand how new forms of statehood and governance emerge as the result of negotiation processes between local, national and international actors. The Statehood Program provides consultancy services to partners and conducts research and training on violent conflict, fragility and state building.

Latest Activities and Publications

Project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, 2017-2020

From Fragility to Resilience: Accounting for the Diversity of State-making Trajectories in Africa

Under the lead of swisspeace director Laurent Goetschel, Statehood & Conflict senior researcher Dominik Balthasar and two PhD-students will be working on this project from summer 2017 to 2020. The research aims to examine the complexity of the concept of fragility including the issue of why violent conflicts erupt in some fragile states while others with comparable disposition rest rather nonviolent. More Information.

CSRF Briefing Paper, 2017

Findings around conflict sensitivity and food aid in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal

Our researcher Martina Santschi was involved in the publication of this briefing paper analyzing the matters of conflict sensitivity and food aid in Northern Bahr el-Ghazal State in South Sudan. Read the full report here.

Secure Livelihood Research Consortium

Findings of the SLRC from 2011-2017

Martina Santschi wrote extensively for the SLRC. Her latest contribution can be accessed here and the overall findings of the project are accessible here.

Michael Aeby, 2017

Stability and Sovereignty at the Expense of Democracy? The SADC Mediation Mandate for Zimbabwe, 2007 – 13

Article published in African Security. Link

Huma Haider, 2017

Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Applying Conflict Sensitivity to Transitional Justice

swisspeace Working Paper 2 | 2017, June 2017, ISBN 978-3-906841-05-2. Order / download.