BMBF funding approval

ZOiS to Coordinate Network for Conflict Research with Funding in Excess of €3 Million


As part of its funding line on ‘Strengthening and Developing Peace and Conflict Research’, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the research network Cooperation and Conflict in Eastern Europe: The Consequences of the Reconfiguration of Political, Economic, and Social Spaces since the End of the Cold War (KonKoop).

The overall project is coordinated by the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in Berlin, led by Prof. Dr Gwendolyn Sasse, Dr Sabine von Löwis and Dr Julia Langbein, with total funding of 3,053,780.09 euros. The partner institutions within the research network are the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg (IOS), the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig (IfL), Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU Jena), Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNEE), and the Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam (ZZF).

The KonKoop research network aims to connect and advance the research carried out at various locations across Germany on cooperation and conflict in Eastern Europe (including Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia). The region is of great importance for peace and conflict research: nowhere else in the world since the end of the Cold War have there been so many wars of secession – some of them unresolved to this day – and newly founded states. Eastern Europe is characterised by great ethnic and religious diversity. At the same time, there are many sources of potential conflict in the region, given the extensive use of natural resources and the impacts of climate change, which is leading to a scarcity of resources like water and usable land. The research network focuses on the dynamics of conflict and cooperation. We explore their variability over time and space and ask how it might be possible to move from conflictual to cooperative interactions. KonKoop brings together (inter-)national research and application-oriented institutes that work on conflict and cooperation in Eastern Europe.

The research network studies cooperative and conflictual interactions in two laboratories and five thematic fields. In the Multi-Method Data Laboratory, data collected across the social sciences, contemporary history and the natural sciences on the temporal and spatial variability of cooperation and conflict are collated, analysed and compared. The data laboratory creates an interdisciplinary space for reflecting on and effectively combining quantitative and qualitative methods.

The Multi-Perspective Laboratory for Peace and Conflict Cartography supports the partners and develops visualisations in the form of maps, infographics and digital online tools.

The multi-local junior research group comprising five doctoral students and three post-docs will work with established researchers from the network and its partner institutions on systematic detailed studies and comparative qualitative and quantitative analyses.

As well as reflecting the central themes of the relevant German research landscape, the five thematic fields also emphasise problem contexts that are or will be of particular empirical significance for conflict and cooperation dynamics in Eastern Europe: post-imperial nation-building processes; ethnic and religious diversity; economic (dis)integration; environmental change and ecological resources; and interactions and interdependencies between conflict and cooperation. The research network is in regular contact with German and international researchers and practice partners from political and civil society institutions.

Project duration (1st funding phase): 01.04.2022–31.03.2026