I work with policy makers and practitioners in the fields of democracy support, peacebuilding and DDR to provide research based evidence to support policy and practice and to learn what kind of research, data and projects that are most relevant to policy makers across these fields.

My most recent engagements include the following organisations: The UN Department of Peace Operations and the UN DDR Section, Folke Bernadotte Academy, International Alert, Inclusivepeace.org and the Principles for Peace Foundation and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). Below are some of the main outputs:

Research policy dialogue

I am co-chairing the research policy dialogue From Armed to Non-Armed Politics (more details in link) with the PAW-Network, the UN OROLSI (DDR Section) and the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA). In June 2022, our recommendations were presented at the UN DDR Symposium:

Policy recommendations and analysis for supporting the political transformation of armed groups are included in the policy brief series The Political Dynamics of DDR (2022) co-edited by PAW-researchers Gyda Sindre (University of York), Devon Curtis (University of Cambridge), Jacqui Cho (Swisspeace), Véronique Dudouet (Berghof Foundation), Johanna Malm (FBA) and Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs (FBA).

I also co-authored the following briefs:

  • The political dynamics of DDR: Key research findings (Jacqui Cho, Devon Curtis, Véronique Dudouet, Johanna Malm, Gyda Sindre and Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs). Joint brief series: The political dynamics of DDR. Stockholm: Folke Bernadotte Academy, PAW and UNDPO/OROLSI DDR Section.

Inclusivity in peace processes

I wrote the case study report discussing inclusivity (or lack thereof) in the Aceh peace process Case study of the Aceh peace process: Inclusion, participation and representation for Principles of Peace with Inclusivepeace.org. The report highlights the limits of inclusivity, especially with regard to women and minorities. It also discusses the limits in scope for international involvement in shaping post-war political trajectories following secessionist wars.

The role of parliaments in peacebuilding

In this report for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Supporters, Spoilers or Side-lined? The role of parliaments in peacebuilding we explore the role of parliaments in peacebuilding in order to highlight the importance of supporting the development of viable parliaments as part of democratic transitions as well as the role that parliaments play in peacebuilding – as potential supporters, spoilers or side-lined actors.

Parliaments are likely to play a crucial role when states transition from war towards peace. Yet this role is often overlooked and very little research exists on the role of parliaments in peace processes and peacebuilding. Parliaments are an important arena for the inclusion of warring parties, and the resulting interactions could either aid or hinder the consolidation of peace. Former enemies, or their elected representatives, are expected to meet and even work together in post-conflict parliaments. This could lead to the discovery of new, peaceful ways of resolving disputes, but could also result in polarisation and renewed tensions. Parliaments are moreover an arena where hitherto underrepresented communities and marginalised groups can seek formal political representation via elections and be given a voice. However, such hopes for more inclusive post-conflict institutions may be disappointed, and parliaments could in that case reflect a failure to address the underlying causes of conflict or they could sow the seeds of new conflict.

The study’s most important findings confirm the expectations set at the outset: parliaments are integral for post-war governance and instrumental in securing successful implementation of peace agreements and long-term quality of peace. The study also suggests that parliaments are important sites of continued conflict negotiations. Where this works, it has positive effects on peace. Where it does not work, the consequences are governance inertia and heightened conflict. By better understanding how, and in what circumstances, parliaments can make a positive contribution towards post-conflict peacebuilding, we will be able to design more effective strategies for avoiding a resumption of violence and ensuring sustainable peace. This report is intended to be a first step in that direction.

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