Forms: Change and Continuity of Political Violence

The re­search area Forms aims at systemati­cally consolidating frag­­mented findings on the historical and con­temporary change of political violence.

On the one hand, it ex­plores the question of how political violence has changed, using the example of (inter­nationalized) civil wars. On the other hand, it examines the role of global trends such as techno­logical or environ­mental change.

Various empirical studies on phenomena of political violence suggest different and partly contra­dictory developments of political violence. The re­searchers of this working package therefore firstly deal with a com­prehensive consolidation of existing scientific knowledge on the causes and con­sequences of domestic violent conflicts in a meta-analysis. Additionally, by using replication studies they ex­amine the extent to which de­cisions made by individual re­searchers in data analysis in­fluence con­clusions about associations between variables (or po­tential causal effects). Lastly, qualitative case studies on inter­nationalized intra-state conflicts in the MENA region (specifically Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Syria) will be con­ducted in order to generate and fine-tune hypotheses. The working package is coordi­nated by the Goethe University Frankfurt and PRIF.


Building on re­search connecting practices of political violence and new infor­mation and commu­nication technologies (ICTs), researchers of this work package examine at the micro level, how new forms of violence emerge in the con­text of technolo­gical change. The first focus, therefore, is on the in­creased use of technologies by relevant actors as a possible cause of new forms of political violence. Secondly, the in­fluence of ICTs on the emer­gence of new forms of violence in the context of environ­mental protests in Central America, South Asia and Europe is explored. Finally, the re­searchers look at the extent to which the increased con­sumption of energy and resources, particularly through the use of critical technology materials, leads to geo­political tensions and new forms of political violence. The work package is co­ordinated by the TU Darmstadt.