Social Sciences

For more than 20 years, the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) as an internal university institute has been dedicated to application-oriented basic research at the intersection between development and peace. The main focus of work at the INEF is on globalisation processes and how they are shaped politically. Other key interests include analysis of violent conflicts and strategies for non-violent conflict resolution, and questions relating to international development and human rights policy. The broad spectrum of work is also reflected in “Global Trends”, published jointly with the Development and Peace Foundation (SEF, Bonn), in which important development trends in global politics are regularly reported and presented in a generally comprehensible form based on extensive data and analysis.
An outstanding success of recent years has been the acquisition of the Käte Hamburger Collegium/ Centre for Global Cooperation Research “Political cultures in global society. Chances of global cooperation in the 21st century”. In addition to the INEF, the German Development Institute (DIE, Bonn) and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI, Essen) are the supporting institutions. As a central scientific facility of the University of Duisburg-Essen, the Collegium will spend six years researching how global cooperation processes in a pluricultural global society can be shaped in order to make effective solutions possible in international negotiations. Not only the topic of climate change, which demonstrates particularly well the failure of global attempts at cooperation, but also the regulation of financial markets and restrictions on sovereignty through intervention will be researched in depth at the centre by international researchers from various disciplines.
At the INEF itself a current focus of research is on private actors and their role in enforcing internationally agreed norms and shaping global political processes. After a “lighthouse” project funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on “Human Rights, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development” was successfully wrapped up after four years, research in this area is now focused on “Implementation of UN guiding principles for economics and human rights”, similarly with BMZ support. A further research project is concerned with the influence of private foundations on global health policy.
The analysis of transformation processes in Islamic states is the focus of the DAAD-funded project “Peaceful Change and Violent Conflict – The transformation of the Middle East and Western-Muslim Relations”, in which INEF researchers work with scientists from Iran, Morocco and Pakistan. Integrated in this higher education ­cooperation is an exchange programme for ­students. It helps to ensure not only that intercultural dialogue is encouraged, but also that students are able to gain valuable research experience.