Since 2010, PRIF’s basic academic research is guided by an overarching topic, which is defined by a research program. These research programs are developed by PRIF’ Research Council and are adopted by the Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the Scientific Advisory Board.
Between 2000 and 2011 and within the framework of the research program “Antinomies of Democratic Peace”, PRIF examined the ambivalent relationship between democracy and peace. Between 2011 and 2017 the research program “Just Peace Governance” focused on conflicts over diverging conceptions and demands of justice and examined the question, how peace and justice can be achieved at the same time. Ongoing projects on “Just Peace Governance” were completed by end of 2018.
In January 2018, PRIF started its work on the research program “Coercion and Peace“. In this context, the institute examines the role that the threat or application of coercion plays in the establishment, maintenance and undermining of peace.
The research program analyses the ambivalent relationship between coercion and peace. On the one hand, coercion can be necessary for establishing and maintaining peace; on the other, it may undermine peace. Generally speaking, coercion is in tension with a peaceful order that is meant to involve more than the absence of war.
In order to address this ambivalence, PRIF investigates whether and in what way different types of coercion that aim at enforcing norms and political order succeed, and how this affects peace at the international and intrastate level. The overall aim of new research program is to analyze how to achieve as much peace as possible with as little coercion as necessary.