Institutions: Prevention and Legitimization of Political Violence

The research area Institutions is based on the thesis of de-institutionalization and deals with the am­bivalence of inter­national institutions: On the one hand they contain the use of violence but on the other hand also justify its use.

In addition to a historical analysis, this research area conducts empirical research on the role of inter­national organizations and dis­cusses how institutional arrange­ments can best be designed in order to capture new forms of political violence.

The work package looks at normative patterns of justifi­cation as well as situational changes of inter­vention and prohibition of inter­vention from a historical perspective. The juxta­position of justifi­cation and prohibi­tion will be examined within the context of de-colonization, especially in Latin America after 1800. The work package is co­ordinated by Justus Liebig University Giessen.

Research Associates

The second work package of this re­search area analyses the causes and con­sequences of the ‘normalization’ of violence that has taken place through new inter­pretations of the prohibition of violence. Researchers in­vestigate the institu­tional contain­ment of violence as well as the exceptions that have en­abled the use of violence in the past two decades. The work package is co­ordinated by PRIF and Justus Liebig University Giessen.

A combination of the dogmatic perspective of inter­national law and exemplary case studies is the topic of this research focus: It sheds light on the intertwin­ing of international humanitarian law and human rights. The effect of institu­tional pre­cautions aimed at containing political violence and how bound­aries between different types of conflict are blurred, will be docu­mented. Researchers ask, what responses can be de­veloped. The work package also ad­dresses the changing nature of inter­national institutions in dealing with and pacifying new violent actors in the context of peace­keeping and peacebuilding activities. The work package is co­ordinated by Justus Liebig University Giessen and Goethe University Frankfurt.