Conflict Studies and Management

Globe sitting on a table

Research Profile

Focusing on policy issues relevant to regions of conflict from an interdisciplinary and application-oriented perspective, the research area Conflict Studies and Management reaffirms the Brandt School's commitment to a practice oriented education in the field of global public policy.

Having evolved with the welfare states in the United States and Europe public policy research often assumes stable political conditions and functioning institutional structures. As this precondition is questionable in states experiencing intensive conflict, traditional approaches to public policy seem ill-fitted for conflict contexts. Indeed, many countries and regions experiencing internal conflict are characterized by a contested state monopoly of force and by a limited ability to deliver central public services. In many cases, security can no longer be guaranteed, basic public services like education and health are deficient, and the legal system is inadequately functioning. In these situations, oftentimes “nongovernmental” actors like religious leaders, warlords, tribal-chiefs, civil society organizations or external actors like the international community and regional powers assume these tasks and responsibilities. Where the state is weak, domestic conflicts between various stakeholders may cause states to collapse, destabilize whole regions and cause widespread human suffering.

Within the research field of conflict management the Brandt School seeks to develop policies which promote peace and social reconstruction, and contributes to capacity building in post-war societies. On the Master’s level these efforts are further sustained by our collaboration with the DAAD in the Helmut Schmidt Program (formerly the Public Policy and Good Governance Program).




Research Projects

Dynamics of the Peace Process in Colombia



Students from the “Conflict Studies and Management” Specialization of the MPP at the WBS won a European Solidarity Corps and now they are starting to consolidate partners in Thuringia to collaborate in the project.

Willy Brandt School's "Everyday Practical Peacebuilding" project, led by Dr. Alejandra Ortiz-Ayala, secures a significant grant from the European Solidarity Corps. Their mission: combat polarization and foster connections within the community.

Current MPP students examined the post-conflict security sector reform (SSR) in Colombia and the challenges of implementing it while fostering civilian-military trust. They propose four recommendations to tackle this issue.

The U.S. Consulate General, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Brandt School invited students and a broader public to debate Russia’s war in Ukraine and the future of European Security Policy on October 24, 2022.

Senior Operations Officer in the World Bank’s Fragility, Conflict and Violence Unit, Henriette von Kaltenborn-Stachau, held a guest talk as part of the Global Security Studies course. The guest talk provided examples to showcase the value and…

“Christchild” is the debut short film for a group of students from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy.