Prof. Dr. Thorsten Bonacker
Stv. Geschäftsführender Direktor, Universitätsprofessor, Coordinator Master of Arts Programme
Contact information+49 6421 28-24574 +49 6421 28-24528 thorsten.bonacker@staff 1 Ketzerbach 11
F|20 Institutsgebäude (Room: 103 resp. +1/0030)
Organizational unitPhilipps-Universität Marburg Zentrum für Konfliktforschung (ZfK)
Thorsten Bonacker is professor for peace and conflict studies at the Center for Conflict Studies and the Faculty of Social Science and Philosophy. He is directing two master programs on peace and conflict studies at the center. He is an elected member of the committee for social sciences at the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and a board member of the Collaborative Research Cluster "Dynamics of Security". Together with the Civil Peace Service and partner universities from Cambodia, Timor Leste and the Philippines he conducts a project to strengthen peace capacities in South East Asian universities.
My research brings together perspectives from sociology and political science in the field of international relations. For a long time I have been interested in theories and methods in peace and conflict studies. Currently, I am working on conflicts between global, national and local orders. In particular I am studying the role of discourses and practices of security in internationalized statebuilding. Furthermore I am interested in postcolonial and postwar political conflicts, in the role of victims in transitional justice as well as in sexual and reproductive rights as a global field of conflict. Methodologically, I am using theory driven and comparative research designs with an emphasis on Central and Southeast Asia (Cambodia and Timor Leste). Current research projects also referring to cases like Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Reguraly I am teaching classes on introduction on peace and conflict studies, methods of conflict analysis and violent conflicts in the 20th and 21st century.
Every winter term I am offering a two semester research seminar on varying topics, e.g. representations of collective violence. Since 2010 I have orginized a couple of summer schools in Central Asia.
Topics for elective modules I am teaching in peace and conflict studies as well as in political science, sociology and international development studies are:
- Postcolonial and post communist statebuilding
- Humanitarian intervention
- Political legitimacy and conflict in Central Asia and Southeast Asia
- Informal politics in fragile and conflict affected states
- Transitional justice & peacebuilding
If you would like to write a BA or MA dissertation on related topics please come to my office hour with a first suggestion for a research question.
Thorsten Bonacker studied sociology, psychology, philosophy, and cultural studies at University of Marburg from 1990 to 1996. He then worked for three years as a research assistant to Professor Stefan Müller-Doohm at the Carl-von-Ossietzky University of Oldenburg from where he gained his PhD in 1999. He then began work as a research assistant at the Institute of Sociology at Philipps-Universität, Marburg while also teaching as a substitute professor of Sociology in Oldenburg. In 2004 he was appointed as an assistant professor of peace and conflict studies in Marburg, where he was awarded a prize in recognition of excellent teaching by the Hessian Ministry for Science and Art in 2007. In 2008, Bonacker turned down an offer of a position as professor of Political Science at the University of Augsburg, opting instead for the position of professor of peace and conflict studies in Marburg. He has also taught as a guest lecturer at Universities in Innsbruck, Frankfurt and Almaty. He is a member of the International Center for the Research and Documentation of War Crime Trials at the University of Marburg and the Institute for World Society Studies at Bielefeld University as well as being a member of the international advisory board of the Centre for Peace History at Sheffield University, UK, and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg. He is also member of the steering committee of the BMBF-supported research network “Re-Configuration. History, remembrance and transformation processes in the Middle East and North Africa” and the collaborative research cluster "Dynamics of Security"
Cooperation in LOEWE Research Cluster "Regions of Conflict in Eastern Europe"
Bonacker, T & Zimmer, K 2019: The Localization of Sexual Rights in Ukraine, in: Radzhana Buyantueva & Maryna Shevtsova (Hg.): LBTQ+ Activism in Centralk and Eastern Europe, Cham: Palgrave, 153-184.
Bonacker, T (2019): Security Practices and the Production of Center-Periphery-Figurations in Statebuilding, in: Alternatives, online first: https://doi.org/10.1177/0304375418821479
Bonacker, T/ Distler, W/ Ketzmerick, M (2018): Securitisation and Desecuritisation of Violence in Trusteeship Statebuilding, in: Civil Wars, online first: https://doi.org/10.1080/13698249.2018.1525675
Bonacker, T (2018): The Militarization of Security. A Systems Theory Perspective, in: Critical Military Studies, online first: DOI:10.1080/23337486.2018.1505383
Bonacker, T/ Brodocz, A (2017): Introduction: Authority Building in International Administered Territories, in: Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 11:4, 395-498
Bonacker, T/ Distler, W/ Ketzmerick, M (Hg.) (2017): Securitization in Statebuilding and Intervention, Baden-Baden: Nomos.
Bonacker, T/ Liebetanz. D (2017): How Dynamics of Security Contribute to Illiberal Statebuildung: The Case of Tajikistan, in: Bonacker, T/ Distler, W/ Ketzmerick, M (Hg.) (2017): Securitization in Statebuilding and Intervention, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 245-270
Bonacker, T/ Ketzmerkick, K (2017): How Security Dynamics Shaped Trusteeship Statebuilding: The French Adminstration of Cameroon, in: Bonacker, T/ Distler, W/ Ketzmerick, M (Hg.) (2017): Securitization in Statebuilding and Intervention, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 155-182.
Bonacker, T/ von Heusinger, J/Zimmer, K (2017): Localization in Development Aid. How Global Institutions enter Local Lifeworlds, London/ New York
Bonacker, T (2015): The Inclusion of Victims and the Globalization of Criminal Law, in: Boris Holzer/ Fatima Kastner/ Tobias Werron (ed): From Globalization to World Society. Neo-Institutional and Systems-Theoretical Perspectives, London/ New York: Routledge, 107-127
Bonacker, T/ Kowalewski, S (2014): Peacebuilding and Human Rights, in: Anja Mihr & Mark Gibney (ed.): The SAGE Handbook of Human Rights, London: Sage, 875-894
Bonacker, T/ Safferling, C (ed.) (2013): Victims of International Crimes: An Interdisciplinary Discourse, Den Haag: Asser Press/ Springer Verlag.
Bonacker, T/ Buckley-Zistel, S (2013): Transitions from Violence - Analyzing the Effects of Transitional Justice, Focus Section on the Impact of Transitional Justice, in: International Journal of Conflict and Violence 7 (1)
Bonacker, T/ Safferling, C. (ed.) (2013): Victims of International Crimes: An Interdisciplinary Discourse, Den Haag: Asser Press/ Springer Verlag.
Bernshausen, S./ Bonacker, T (2011): A Constructivist Perspective on Systemic Conflict Transformation. In: Daniela Körppen, Norbert Ropers & Hans J. Giessmann (eds.): The Non-Linearity of Peace Processes. Theory and Practice of Systemic Conflict Tranformation, p. 23-38
Bonacker, T/ Diez, T/ Gromes, T/ Groth, J/ Pia, E (2011): Human Rights and the (De)Securitization of Conflict, in: R Marchetti/ N Tocci (ed.): Civil Society, Conflicts and the Politicization of Human Rights, Tokio: United Nations University Press, 14-46
Bonacker, T/ Braun, C/ Groth, J (2011): The Impact of Civil Society on Conflict: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis, in: R Marchetti/ N Tocci (ed.): Civil Society, Conflicts and the Politicization of Human Rights, Tokio: United Nations University Press, 220-242.
Bonacker, T/ Form, W/ Pfeiffer, D (2011): Transitional Justice and Victim Participation in Cambodia: A World Polity Perspective
Bonacker, T/ Wagner, U. (2010): Genocide Prevention and the Dynamics of Conflict, in: C Safferling/ E Conze (ed): The Genocide Convention. Sixty Years after its Adoption, Den Haag: Asser Press, 99-110
Bonacker, T (2007): Debordering by Human Rights. The Challenge of Postterritorial Conflicts in World Society. In: Stephan Stetter (ed.): Contradictions! Territorial Conflicts in World Society, London: Routledge, p. 21-36
Bonacker, T/ Gromes, T (2007): Securitisation as a Tool for Analysing the Role of Human Rights-Related Civil Society in Ethno-Political Conflicts, Working Paper Series, Center for Conflict Studies, Marburg.
Bonacker, T (2006): Disclosing Critique. The Contingency of Understanding in Adornos Interpretative Social Theory, in: European Journal of Social Theory 9.
Bonacker, T (2006): What Do We Have in Common? Modernity and the Paradoxes of Postnational Integration, in: Studies in Social and Political Thought 10, p. 73-97.
Bonacker, T (2004): Book Review: Borders as a Juridical and Social Philosophical Theme, in: German Law Journal
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