In regions where resources are scarce and the competition for them intense, the potential for conflict is major factor that must be dealt with in any attempt to achieve sustainable development. Research on “Governance & Conflict” seeks to enhance our understanding of the complex processes of governance that play a role in transforming situations of conflict into a basis for cooperation. In order for such research to be of practical use, it needs to comprehend both the local regional and national interests involved as well as the international and global forces that can have a determinant influence on them.   

NCCR North-South Research on governance and conflict is conducted in Central America, South America, West Africa, the Horn of Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia. It is aimed at assessing and improving modes of intervention at local, regional, national and international levels as a means of defusing conflicts before they become unmanageable. A central focus of this research is the identification of potentials for strengthening social and legal institutions of governance at the local level by using political and economic means available through the international community.


Governance & Gender
NCCR North-South research on governance is based on case studies relating to issues of biodiversity, vulnerability, decentralization, health and labour. Special emphasis is placed on examples of “bottom-up” governance, where previously “voiceless” social groups such as women, indigenous peasants or labourers have succeeded in asserting their citizenship by taking the political initiative in the public arena. A central aspect of NCCR North-South research on governance and conflict is the role of gender differences in stakeholder approaches to these issues… >>more

Negotiating Statehood
The establishment of viable political structures in post-conflict settings is a central element of sustainable development in conflict-prone societies. NCCR North-South research is based on the assumption that specific political, social, and economic situations require specific forms of statehood in order to perform adequate functions and to help increase the resilience of societies. Post-conflict reconstruction and decentralisation are proposed as entry points for analysis... >>more

Conflict & Economy
The presence of natural resources can be a source of both rapid growth and of intense conflict in developing economies. NCCR North-South research is aimed at analysing the roles of local, national and international stakeholders in the complex relationship between conflict and economy. Particular attention is paid to issues involving agro-commodities, public goods, and financial services.. >>more


NCCR North-South Research on Governance and Conflict is conducted in the following regions and countries:

Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan
South Asia: India, Nepal
West Africa: Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali
Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Sudan
Central America & the Caribbean: Mexico
South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Peru


Laurent Goetschel, Head
Swiss Peace Foundation, Bern, Switzerland

Michel Carton, Deputy head
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID),
Geneva, Switzerland

Didier Péclard, Coordinator
Swiss Peace Foundation, Bern, Switzerland