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Regional Research Center "Transformations of Political Violence"

Photo: Carlos Figueroa via Wikimedia Commons (Original in Farbe; CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Regional Research Center "Transformations of Political Violence" is a cooperative project of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF), the Goethe University Frankfurt, the Justus Liebig University Giessen, the Philipps University Marburg and the Technical University of Darmstadt.

Current trends within the research of violence indicate that organized violence has not been decreasing. In fact, worldwide conflict has been increasing in intensity; globalization and technological change enable new forms of warlike and terrorist violence; systematic disregard for the laws of war leads to greater ruthlessness and targeted use of sexual violence, enslavement or outlawed weapons in warfare; worldwide, nationalist movements openly question the basic principles of peaceful conflict resolution within and between states. These developments thus point to processes of transformation that challenge existing norms and practices for containing political violence.

TraCe addresses this problem and in order to understand, explain and critically examine the transformation of political violence, focuses on different disciplinary perspectives, levels of analysis, methods and forms of violence in three thematic research areas as well as asynergy area. Each of the research areas is, in turn, subdivided into more concrete, often cross-locational, work packages. In Marburg, the project team works primarily in the following research areas.

“Interpretations of Political Violence” (research area 3)

The research area Interpretations looks at the changing nature of political violence through the perspective of shifting interpretative processes, social practices and individual as well as collective normative evaluations. In this context, the changing patterns of justification and attribution of meaning to political violence are considered. Moreover, the impact of memory discourses on shifting interpretations of violence will be considered.

“Synergies: Theoretical Innovations” (research area 4)

The research area Synergies aims at establishing a joint terminology that can guide inter­disciplinary work as well as building a common theoretical, methodological and normative background. Against this backdrop, the causes and effects of the conceptual change of political violence will be examined, the affectivity and materiality of violence will be investigated and, lastly, the research will be compiled in a handbook.

Project Period: 2022-2026

Funding: Federal Ministry for Education and Science

Project team in Marburg/Center for Conflict Studies:

Prof. Dr. Felix Anderl
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Bonacker
Prof. Dr. Susanne Buckley-Zistel
Lam-Phuong Nguyen Pham
Prof. Dr. Anika Oettler
Dr. Mariel Reiss