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Department of Political Science

Head of Research for International Security, Peace, and Conflict

Research in International Security, Peace and Conflict is concerned with international and intra-state political conflicts. The central aim is to understand what the main security challenges are, why armed conflicts and wars occur, and how security and peace can be restored. In answering these and other questions in this field, we identify the conditions and mechanisms that influence interactions between international organisations, governments and domestic actors. Fundamental to this research area is the empirical study of security and political conflict. We use quantitative and qualitative methods in combination with various data sources (e.g. quantitative datasets, surveys and archival documents) to systematically explain different security and conflict phenomena.

Research questions within this research area include:

  • Why and under what conditions do regimes wage war against other states?
  • Why do some governments violate the civil liberties and physical integrity of their citizens?
  • How does state repression influence transnational human rights policies and vice versa?
  • Why do civil wars occur and what dynamics generate these conflicts?
  • How can peace missions contribute to ending wars and under what conditions can they ensure transitions to peace?
  • Why do some opposition groups opt for peaceful protests while others turn to terrorism?
  • Why are some elections marked by violence?


Director of the area

Main areas of research

Contentious politics, armed conflict, post-conflict societies, national and transnational conflict actors, violent and nonviolent strategies and tactics.


Teaching and supervision

You can find detailed information about the courses of the staff members on the personal pages.



Department of Political Science
Affolternstrasse 56
8050 Zurich
Tel: 044 634 58 35 / 044 634 38 41
Office opening hours: Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 12:00 / 13:30 - 16:30