Team Winter School 2002
Borchardt, Ulrike, Dr. [e-mail]
Initiator and Project Manager of the Winter School on Crisis Prevention and Peace Support
Special fields of research: Terrorism and war; conflict in Maghreb; European-Mediterranean relations; Algeria; ETA.
Hensell, Stephan, Dipl. Pol.[e-mail]
Special fields of research: state decay in post-socialist societies; conflict on the Balkans and in the Caucasus.
Stuvoy, Kirsti [e-mail]
Special fields of research: war economy; African conflicts; Angola. (UNITA).
Wilke, Boris, Dipl.-Pol. [e-mail]
PhD student at the University of Hamburg
Special fields of research: state decay, state-formation; violent conflicts in South-Asia; Pakistan; India; Al-Quaida/Afghanistan.
Sonja Grigat, M.A. [e-mail]
PhD student at the University of Hamburg.
Special fields of research: violent conflicts in Southeast Asia; Philippines; peace- and conflict studies.
Research Unit on Wars Armament and Development
The idea behind the Winter School and the concept of this year's pilot project was prepared by professionals at the Research Unit on Wars, Armament and Development at the University of Hamburg, Germany. The Research Unit was established in 1986, but draws upon research conducted by the Working Group on the Causes of War which was established by Professor Klaus Jürgen Gantzel at the University of Hamburg in 1978.
Since its foundation, the Research Unit has been emphasising the importance of a societal approach to the analysis of wars. Despite its historical and geographical universality, wars represent a societal and therefore, changeable, phenomena, which must be understood in its societal context. The main focus must then be on the examination of the interconnections between societal relations and forms of violence. On the basis of a societal framework for analysis, the Research Unit focuses both on the global (international system), historical and country-specific context of wars. Such an integrative approach is based upon the understanding that for any peace building strategy, knowledge about the global and historical context of wars must be complemented with invaluable country-specific information. This dual focus on both structural and country-specific variables is recognizable also in the two main research areas at the Research Unit, consisting of both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. With this combination of theoretical and empirical research on wars world wide, the Research Unit contributes considerably to strengthening the basis of comparative research on violent conflicts.
Theoretical Research: The Hamburg-Approach to the Causes of War
The theoretical work at the Research Unit is explained in the so-called Hamburg Approach to the Causes of War. This approach claims to deliver a general theoretical framework for analyzing contemporary wars as complex social phenomena. Such a coherent theoretical framework for explaining the causes and dynamics of contemporary wars requires both a systematic and a historical perspective. The structural societal conditions (macro-level) must be connected with individual motives (micro-level) for violent actions. Hence, in order to fully comprehend the complexities of war in a theoretical perspective, three levels of analysis must be integrated: Firstly, an actor-specific approach; secondly, a focus on historical structures, and thirdly, a sociological approach to the analysis of societal conditions. Due to the immanent tendency of violent actions to disconnect from and alter the original causes of conflict, the analytical framework must also be able to account for the dynamic changes in protracted wars. In addition to an analytical focus on the dynamic changes of societal structures, the international system is a significant analytical variable in the Hamburg Approach. Changes in the international setting do not influence all societies in the same way, however, and it is therefore necessary to carefully assess the influence of the international system on various war-torn societies in regard to its effect on the societal conditions for the use of violence. For this purpose, empirical case-studies are required.
The empirical research at the Research Unit is organized in the Working Group on the Causes of War, referred to in German as AKUF (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Kriegsursachenforschung). The Working Group AKUF focuses specifically on the collection of empirical information on the development in violent conflicts world wide, thereby contributing to enhancing comparative research on the causes of war. In the working group's annual publication "Wars" (in German: Das Kriegsgeschehen), all wars and violent conflicts worldwide are analysed and updated in regard to the events of the last year. On the website (www.akuf.de) you find information on the development in all wars since the Second World War in the AKUF War Archive (in German only). The War Archive informs about the historical background, duration, type of war, main parties to the conflict, the main objectives, and the outcome of violent conflicts worldwide.
Publications (in English)
- Böge Volker: Conflict Potential and Violent Conflicts in the South Pacific. Options for a Civil Peace Service. Arbeitspapier 1/2001 der Forschungsstelle Kriege, Rüstung und Entwicklung, Universität Hamburg. [pdf]
- Gantzel, Klaus Jürgen; Schwinghammer, Torsten: Warfare since the Second World War. New Brunswick/London: Transaction Publishers 2000.
- Schlichte, Klaus: The President's Dilemmata. Problems of State-Building in Uganda. Arbeitspapier Nr. 1/2000 der Forschungsstelle Kriege, Rüstung und Entwicklung, Universität Hamburg
- Stuvÿy, Kirsti: War Economy and the Social Order of Insurgencies. An Analysis of the Internal Structure of UNITA's War Economy. Arbeitspapier Nr. 3/2002 der Forschungsstelle Kriege, Rüstung und Entwicklung, Universität Hamburg. [pdf]
- Wilke, Boris: State-Formation and the Military in Pakistan. Reflections on the Armed Forces, their State and some of their Competitors. Arbeitspapier Nr. 2/2001 der Forschungsstelle Kriege, Rüstung und Entwicklung, Universität Hamburg. [pdf]