Transforming Political Violence

Recent studies suggest a global trend toward less political violence. This
is evident for interstate and internal wars, but political violence is much
more diverse. Violent demonstrations, riots, terrorist attacks, communal
fighting, and government repression are gaining salience in the public debate
- unmatched in the current academic literature.

The proposal for a new Centre of Excellence, called Transforming Political Violence (TPV),
will document, evaluate, and explain the trends in political violence.

The full proposal is available here.

It will address the following overarching questions:

  1. Is there a consistent decline in political violence?
  2. What explains variations in the decline across types and regions?
  3. What are the main challenges to non-violent politics and institutional
  4. How can institutions be designed to promote non-violent politics

Transforming political violence must involve institutions, and frequently,
a redesign of these institutions. Political institutions can also exacerbate
political violence. Political institutions are malleable, and how they are
changed will decide their effect on political violence. Any peace-building
strategy, regardless of the type of violence, must account for the role of

TPV will focus on how institutions structure the incentives
of actors; how various types of political violence function as substitutes
and complements to each other; carefully address issues of causality and
endogeneity; and integrate research at different levels and perspectives into
a unified answer.

To explore links between institutions and political violence, TPV will be
organized as seven thematic working groups: non-violent strategies, human
rights, governance, redistribution, trust and tolerance, ethnic inclusion, and
conflict resolution. TPV will also comprise cross-cutting groups on gender
equality, methodology, data collection, and research dissemination.