State of Peace Conference

Contact: Blanka Bellak, Friedensburg Schlaining, Phone +43 3355 2498 504, Email:

26 November 2015

Governance during Conflict - Seeing the whole picture of state transformation

The Ukraine crisis has triggered the new interest in Europe’s eastern neighborhood. The media and researchers focus on the renewed geopolitical concept of contestation between Russia and the European Union. The European External Action Service (EEAS) is now holding consultations to renew the EU Global Strategy for foreign and security policy, which is partly driven by these considerations. The unfolding conflict also highlighted the vulnerability of the Ukrainian state to external destabilization which is often attributed to corruption, corrosion of the security services, political and economic sclerosis – in brief, its failure to reform and establish effective mechanisms of governance.

In this sense, the Ukraine crisis has showed the importance of the internal workings – and often failures – of the states in Europe’s neighborhoods. All of them underwent a tumultuous period in late 1990s and early 2000s, accompanied by fierce internal conflicts: be it with ethnic separatism, through violent political contestation and between various groups of economic interests. Western aid agencies, as well as the political fora as the EU and the OSCE, often saw to the very same processes through a prism of “transition” or “reforms”.

It has become increasingly obvious to both the practitioners and in the academia that violent conflicts - and the deficit of security they entail - affect governance models in various, often counter-intuitive ways. Corruption, organized crime integrated into political institutions, privatization of and contest between the law enforcement and security services, unofficial systems of regional government that supersede the constitutional models – all of these phenomena have their roots in the history and context of conflicts. They are rational instruments for balancing the conflicting interests of the array of actors. It follows that these actors then resist the attempts at reform.

The purpose of this conference is to gather scholars, practitioners and policy-makers to discuss the linkages between governance and conflict. It is hoped, that through this dialogue, a field and scope of additional research can be identified, which will lead to policy suggestions for adapting and advancing the European institutions’ (EU, OSCE) understanding of the internal workings of the states in Eastern Neighborhood and – ultimately – providing impetus to a more effective, adjusted assistance in governance reforms.

High Level Panel

We invite you to our High-Level Panel on the topic “Governance during Conflict” followed by a reception. The event takes place on the 26th of November at 18:30 hrs and is hosted by the Diplomatic Academy Vienna (Favoritenstraße 15A).

The central question for the panel discussion is: What are the patterns of governance during violent conflict? Conflict parties use corruption, organized crime and the privatization of law enforcement and security services to further their interests. This gives rise to the question how states and international organizations foster the emergence of democratic systems in conflict contexts.

The distinguished panel members

STEFAN FÜLE, former EU Enlargement Commissioner,

EDITA TAHIRI, Kosovo‘s Minister for Dialogue and Chief Negotiator at the Brussels Technical Dialogue with neighboring country Serbia,

EKA TKESHELASHVILI, former Foreign Minister of Georgia, and

will be sharing their unique perspectives into high-level decision making on governance issues in conflict affected countries.

We are looking forward to receiving you at the Diplomatic Academy.
Please register at

Österreichisches Studienzentrum für Frieden und Konfliktlösung, zusammen mit dem Conflict, Peace, and Democracy Cluster, der Universität Graz und der Diplomatische Akademie Wien

Diplomatische Akademie Wien

Call for Papers for a Special Edition on Governance during Conflict

Submission deadline for abstracts: November 20, 2015
Submission deadline selected full papers: January 15, 2016

We announce this Call for Papers to complement the deliberations of the Core Group. We invite selected theorists as well as practitioners from international organizations, governments as well as NGOs to submit their proposals for inclusion in the Special Edition. Contributors will be considered for participation at the State of Peace Conference scheduled for Fall 2016.

Areas of research
• Evolution and critique of theoretical and institutional frameworks that define and bridge the
realms of conflict, security and governance. The concepts and tools of peace enforcement,
peacekeeping, and peace- and state building (such as Security Sector Reform) as prescribed by EU, OSCE and UN, the application of the notions of human security and the perception of weak governance as a source of state failure. Influence of these theoretical approaches on international mission planning and implementation, and their impact.
• Undertaking governance reforms during conflict: case studies discussing the actors, mechanisms and dynamics of post-conflict transitions in field of governance, experiences of the governments, international organizations and non-governmental actors. The geographic area as defined by the EU neighborhood policy and the OSCE area of responsibility. Cross-disciplinary and cross-border studies are encouraged.
• Bridging security and governance: Identifying the key “bridges” and “linkages” between the concepts and approaches to conflict management and governance reforms. Studies related to crime and conflict nexus, impact of corruption on governance, fusion of organized crime and governance, impact of international aid on governance structures will be particularly encouraged.

Abstract format
The abstracts between 300-500 words, are solicited. The application shall contain:
• Name of candidate, Institutional affiliation;
• A link to or a short academic bio (Max. 100 words);
• Email address;
• Which of the three thematic sections the paper is eligible for;
• Title of the proposed paper.

The abstracts should be submitted via email to: using the subject line “Paper proposal – STOP 2015” by November 20, 2015

Selected researchers will be contacted to develop a full paper: 8-10 thousand words (Times New Roman size 11, line spacing 1,5), based on the Chicago manual of style (16th edition)

For more information on the Call for Papers click here!

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