Institute for Development and Peace (INEF)

As a research institute in the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Institute for Development and Peace is dedicated to application-oriented basic research at the interface between development and peace. In the reporting period, INEF’s work on globalisation processes and their political governance was conducted under the programmatic title “Responsibility in a Conflicting World Society” and concentrated on the aspects of “Responsibility in Global Governance” and “Conflict Transformation along the Fault Lines of World Society”. Key findings of the theoretical and conceptual work on the subject of “Responsibility” were published by Routledge in 2018 in an anthology edited by members of INEF and with contributions from a series of respected national and international authors.

The INEF research programme progressed in the course of 2018 with a clear focus on the situation of precarious or unprotected poor and vulnerable groups of the population in the Global South and on crisis and transformation in fragile states. With its focus on “Ordering and Responsibility in the Shadow of Hierarchies”, INEF is now turning its attention to unequal structures of power and control. The work taking place in the research programme that runs until 2021 is grouped into the thematic areas of “Transnational Governance and Responsibility of Private Actors”, “Development Partnerships in Times of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” and “Intervention, Resistance and the Disruption of Political Orders”.

The new first area of research is built on many years of work on the human rights responsibility of business, the most recent example of which was a project funded up to December 2017 by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr entitled “Political Authority and Transnational Governance Arrangements”. It explored regulation by public and private labour standards and social and environmental standards in the Asian textile and garment industry based on the examples of Bangladesh and Cambodia. This project led to cooperation with colleagues in law and social sciences at Ruhr University Bochum that produced joint publication projects and other ideas for potential DFG projects.

At INEF, too, the transfer of research findings into practice is an important feature of its work. For example, a project on “Ways out of Extreme Poverty, Vulnerability and Food Insecurity” has been running since October 2015. It explores possibilities for German state development cooperation to reach extremely poor, vulnerable and food insecure population groups and is receiving funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) up to the end of 2019 as part of the “ONE WORLD – No Hunger” special initiative. The project specifically investigates which obstacles exist that are responsible for perpetuating poverty, vulnerability and food insecurity and for the limited success of project measures. In this way, it hopes to produce recommendations for German state development cooperation on better ways to help the affected sectors of the population and increase their standard of living long term. Field research has already been done in Ethiopia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia and Kenya – generally in cooperation with researchers in the countries. Research findings are published on an ongoing basis in the project’s two publication series, “AVE-Studien” and “Good Practice”, which are intended for practitioners from the development cooperation field.