INEF's research activities concentrate on the interface of the three fields of peace and conflict research, development research and global governance research. The unifying empirical focus is on structures of violence, poverty and lack of rights, which particularly affect fragmented societies in the Global South. An emphasis is placed on problems arising from the efforts of the Global Northwest to control or even influence these structures internationally.
From October 2018 onwards, the new research programme will build on the work of the previous research programme but will develop it further in a more focussed way. It is largely geared to the situation of precarious or insecure poor and vulnerable groups in the Global South and to the crisis and transformation of fragile states. INEF's leitmotif, "Ordering and Responsibility in the Shadow of Hierarchies", places special emphasis on unequal power and power structures by examining how under these conditions existing orders are questioned, further developed and newly formed through social practices. At the same time, it takes the power of actors seriously and focuses on relational approaches for conceptualizing moral agency. Empirically, it deals with (neo-)liberal paradigms of intervention from a critical perspective.