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History of the Center for Conflict Studies

The Center was founded in 2001 by Prof. Dr. Ralf Zoll as a central institution to bundle Philipps University's activities in research and teaching in the field of peace and conflict studies. The foundation for the center was the work of the Interdisciplinary Working Groups for Peace and Disarmament Research, which led to the establishment of the first German study program in peace and conflict studies as a diploma and master's minor in the mid-1990s. Due to a strong demand by students, Philipps University decided to establish a professorship in Peace and Conflict Studies. The Bologna reform finally made it possible to offer a master's degree program in peace and conflict studies starting in 2004, whose establishment was significantly supported by the German Foundation for Peace Research. The associated junior professorship was made permanent in 2008. Since 2009, the Center has offered a joint degree program in Peace and Conflict Studies with the School of Politics and International Relations.

Even before the Center was founded, constructive conflict management was one of the most important research foci at Philipps-Universität. Since then, interdisciplinary research on the dynamics of intergroup conflicts, the reappraisal of mass violence, the analysis of international approaches to peacebuilding, and research on the causes and consequences of conflict-induced flight and migration have been added.

The Center has developed various formats for promoting young scholars. In addition to the doctoral fellowships, also funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research, the DFG Research Training Group on Group-Related Enmity and the doctoral program on Transitional Justice were of central importance for this. Currently, doctoral students regularly present their work at the Center's research colloquium. The same applies to international visiting scholars, who take the opportunity to discuss their research with colleagues at the Center and to develop it further in Marburg.