Faculty of Humanities

Institute for Development and Peace (INEF)

Forming part of the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Institute for Development and Peace is dedicated to application-oriented basic research at the interface between development and peace. The work of the INEF, which deals with globalisation processes and how they form policies, falls under the programme title of “Responsibility in a conflicting world society” and focuses on the areas of “Responsibility in global governance” and “Conflict transformation in the fault lines of world society.

Research carried out in recent years has been characterised by a variety of projects relating to corporate responsibility in terms of human rights, to name just one example. More specifically, this work involved analysing the possibilities for the effective implementation of the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights from a development policy perspective. The findings from this work over the last few years form part of a joint two-year project with law academics at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum on questions of political authority and transnational governance arrangements, which uses the example of regulation by public and private labour, social and environmental standards in the Asian textile and clothing industry. Financed by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (MERCUR), this project has been underway since March 2015.

In October 2015, a new project with four years’ worth of funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) was launched. Under its title of “Ways out of extreme poverty, vulnerability and food insecurity”, it seeks to find possible ways to help extremely poor, vulnerable and nutritionally unsafe populations by means of the German development cooperation (EZ). The aims of this research project involve examining which obstacles are the main culprits in perpetuating poverty, vulnerability and food insecurity, and establishing the limited success of project measures in order to create recommendations for the EZ on better ways to help the affected population and increase their standard of living in the long term.

Peace development was the primary focus of a project entitled “Peace-building amidst the tension of international and local perceptions”, which launched in October 2015 with 15 months’ worth of funding from the German Foundation for Peace Research (DSF). Taking a comparatively successful example as its basis, namely the peace process on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, this project reconstructed the narrative of those involved to raise their perceptions of both themselves and those around them. In doing so, the project aims to overcome the conventional dichotomy between the sense of ‘international’ and ‘local’, and use this ‘peace-building laboratory’ to highlight how both the differentiation and  hybridisation of local and international ideas have led to positive learning processes and, as a result, to peaceful transformations.