The Conflict Prevention Program of The Hague Institute for Global Justice addresses conflict prevention in its broadest sense, as a variety of activities aimed at preventing the initial outbreak, spread, escalation and recurrence of violent conflict.

The overarching goal is to improve the theory, policy and practice of conflict prevention by producing knowledge that shapes academic debate and policy discussions within the Netherlands and abroad, and by becoming a recognized program of excellence for innovative applied research, policy development, and professional skills training.

To this end, the CP program will adopt the following four main objectives:

  1. To develop approaches, frameworks and tools that deal with the root causes of violent conflict and the norms of protection;
  2. To identify through multidisciplinary and practice-oriented research how violent conflict can be prevented by local and international responses;
  3. To disseminate such knowledge and expertise to policymakers, practitioners and academics involved in foreign affairs, security, international development and humanitarian action; and
  4. To provide advanced training in conflict prevention for mid and senior level professionals.

Thematic Focus and Projects

Researchers and partner institutions of the Conflict Prevention program work in the following main thematic areas.

Frameworks, Principles and Norms
The outbreak, recurrence and escalation of contemporary violent conflict continues to challenge the foundations of the international response. To provide reflection and with focus on the prevention of mass atrocities, projects will focus on the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, the relevance of Just War theory, and civilian protection.

Natural Resources
In addressing some of the root and instrumental causes of violent conflict, projects in this theme will conduct policy-relevant research on water and climate change through comparative country research and local case studies. Through a series of initiatives, we will explore the relationship between the management of water and the prevention of violent conflict by taking a multi-level governance approach. The research on climate change will identify and address the vulnerabilities and challenges for specific regions and through a conflict-sensitive approach.

Institutions and Governance
Institutions at the international, national and sub-national levels shape our capacity to prevent and respond to violent conflict and other forms of crises. Projects in this theme will consider the relationship between formal and informal organizations, the impact of institutional reform in ‘post-conflict’ settings, and the specific role of municipalities as the first response and ‘clearing house’ for a wide range of grievances and tensions in contexts of rapid urbanization.

With more than 1bn children living in countries devastated by violent conflict, research in this theme will focus on how education can play a transformative role in preventing and mitigating violent conflict as well as building community resilience. Projects will seek to understand how we can maximize education as a uniquely mobile asset and its contribution to preventing violence and building lasting peace.

Fact sheet


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