Displacement, Peace and Conflict Dynamics

Led by Cindy Horst

Jul 2011 – Dec 2011

PRIO aims to enhance research-based knowledge on peace and war, focusing inter alia on the impact of violence on states, groups and individuals, along with people’s responses and adaptation to violent conflict and its legacies. There has not been any systematic effort to explore the links with displacement, and this internal project group has been set up to discuss this along three themes:

  1. The impact of conflict on displacement,
  2. displacement as a challenge to peace, and
  3. the displaced as active stakeholders in peacebuilding.

Whereas civil wars have been identified as one of the main determinants of displacement today, scholars of civil war overlook forced migration as an integral part of conflict dynamics (Salehyan and Gleditsch 2006). Political scientists and international relations scholars rarely link the study of conflict and types of violence to forced migration. The forced migration literature, on the other hand, has been criticized for being too focused on policy relevance and lacking theoretical depth (Bakewell 2008). Scholars of displacement, who tend to lump different types of violence together, usually do not make a connection with the conflict studies literature and focus more on the outcome of the conflict than the causes (Lischer 2007: 143).

PRIO, housing experts in peace and conflict research as well as migration researchers, is uniquely positioned to integrate conflict analysis with the analysis of displacement to generate new insights. PRIO therefore aims to develop new research projects on displacement and conflict that would explore the various links between displacement, peace and conflict in the regions where PRIO researchers conduct their work.

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