"Ordering and Responsibility in the Shadow of Hierarchies“

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.

From these complementary approaches, INEF works on three thematic areas

Research Area 1

Transnational Governance and the Responsibility of Private Actors

(Focus: Implementation of Human Rights, Internet Regulation)

  • Political authority and knowledge politics in polycentric and fragmented governance networks

  • Kowledge diffusion as a means of building steering capacity

  • Formation and effects of meta-governance

  • The role of the state in relation to private governance initiatives

Research Area 2

Development Partnerships in Times of SDGs

(Focus: Poverty Reduction and Political Participation in Sub-Saharan Africa)

  • Responsibility for selected goals, particularly poverty reduction and food security

  • Re-ordering of development partnerships to overcome inequality

  • "New donors" challenging existing models of development partnerships

  • Frictions within the SDGs between economic and social development on the one hand and civil and political human rights on the other

Research Area 3

Intervention, Resistance and the Disruption of Political Orders

(Focus: Near & Middle East; Sub-Sahara Africa)

  • Local and transnational resistance against intervention

  • Challenging Western self-attribution of responsibility for aiding and protecting fragile states

  • Causes and effects of warlike disintegration and regional re-ordering in the Near and Middle East

  • Effects of socio-technocratic projects of conflict transformation and of internationalised governance on hybrid political orders in the Global South; and the role of local agents

Transfer Profile

The transfer of research findings into practice is also an important characteristic of INEF and comprises a broad portfolio (policy advice, scientific support of policy advice, networking and multi-stakeholder exchange; information transfer and commenting on developments in the media and via formats aimed at a broader public such as the publications "Global Trends. Analysis" and “Friedensgutachten" (Peace Report) – a collaborative project of the four leading German research institutes. A significant proportion of these transfer activities takes place within the framework of institutionalized cooperation with actors active in the policy-related or policy-advisory field (Development and Peace Foundation (sef:), Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt)).

INEF-Research Programme