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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR) Chair Group International Relations & Security Studies


Issues of war and peace, security policies, diplomacy, and conflict management are studied in a historical context, emphasizing the normative and institutional orders in which they occur.

A substantial part of the research projects makes use of the Copenhagen School’s framework for analysis of international security , combined with insights in Multilevel Governance . From this angle, especially state-centrism and standard divisions between the public and the private sectors are challenged. They are treated as historical contingencies, subject to constant reinterpretation, rather than ontological starting points for research.

Selection of funded research projects by staff

Infrastructure Globalities: Rethinking the Political Geographies of Economic Hubs from the Global South (Jana Hönke- ongoing)

This new 5-year project will offer a novel understanding of how emerging powers challenge traditional theory and practice of international relations: through taking infrastructure sites and practices as theoretical and empirical starting points. Funded through Jana Hönke’s ERC Starting Grant , the INFRAGLOB project researches how models and experiences of actors from the Global South (i.e., Africa, Asia, Latin America) redefine the governance of economic hubs globally. This will be investigated through the ideas and models driving Chinese and Brazilian management of large-scale port and mining projects, and multi-sited ethnographic research in Mozambique, Tanzania, Brazil and China to establish how these are enacted, negotiated and disregarded in practice. The team will trace how this is affected by transnational mobilisation and infrastructure controversies across the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic, and follow transnational communities of practice to establish how new actors and practices change existing transnational business governance.

Gender, land, and security: The gendered processes and impacts of large-scale land acquisitions in Northern Sierra Leone (Caitlin Ryan- ongoing)

This project is funded by a grant from the Folke Bernadotte Academy, held by Caitlin Ryan, and in collaboration with Njala University in Sierra Leone for field research. Large-scale land deals for agribusiness are increasing in states where a majority of the population relies on subsistence agriculture.  There is a consensus that secure land tenure is essential for rural women’s physical, economic and social security, however, the gendered impacts of these land deals are under-researched. This project will collect context-specific data on the gendered insecurities of land deals in Northern Sierra Leone. In-depth empirical research is crucial to identify and understand the processes of negotiating the deals, and the gendered impacts of them. The project will collect ethnographic data through several different qualitative methods.

Ongoing PhD Projects

  • Bastiaan Aardema – Exit strategies by Humanitarian NGOs (Supervision: Jaap de Wilde).
  • Eric Cezne – South-South Cooperation Between Solidarity and Business as Usual: unpacking Brazilian extractive and infrastructure projects in Mozambique (Supervision: Jana Hönke & Jaap de Wilde).
  • Barbara Gruber – The Psychologization of Security through Resilience (Supervision: Caitlyn Ryan & Jaap de Wilde).
  • Sarah Katz-Lavigne – Conflict, Corporate Strategies, and Illicit Extraction in the DRC’s Copper and Cobalt Sector (Double degree with University of Carleton, supervision: Jean Daudelin & Jana Hönke).
  • Yaruslava Marusyk – The Role of the EU and Russian Norms, Values and Principles in Energy Security and Energy Transition Discourses? (Supervision: Jaap de Wilde).
  • Annisa Paramita Wiharani – International Consequences of Decentralisation in Indonesia Regarding Environmental Policies at the Municipal Level (Supervision: Jaap de Wilde & Ron Holzhacker).
  • Stef Wittendorp – Securitization Theory and European Counterterrorism (Supervision: Jaap de Wilde & Andrej Zwitter)
  • Chamutal Afek Eitam – Organizational Learning and Evaluations in INGOs Delivering Humanitarian Action (Supervision: Jaap de Wilde & Liesbet Heyse)
  • Magdalena König – Understanding EU-Western Balkans Integration in Counter-Terrorism from a Perspective of Collective Securitisation (Supervision: Nadine Voelkner, Senka Neumann-Stanivukovic & Jaap de Wilde)
  • Chris Vloedbeld – The Security Reflex in Counterterrorism (Supervision: Jaap de Wilde)

Completed PhD Projects

  • Luca Franza, The Political-Economic Dimension of Transformations in EU-Russia Gas Trade Mechanisms (Supervisor: Coby van der Linde & Jaap de Wilde) – finalized in 2020.
  • Agha Bayramov, Constructive Competition or Destructive Conflict in the Caspian Sea Region? (Supervisor: Christoph Humrich & Jaap de Wilde) – finalized in 2020.
  • Mustafa Sezal, Origins of Differentiation in Critical Security Schools: A Philosophic-Genealogical Search for Emancipatory Roots. (Supervision: Jaap de Wilde in cooperation with Burak Bilgehan Özpek & Hakan Övünç Ongur, TOBB University of Economics & Technology, Ankara) – finalized in 2019.
  • Elisabeth Schweiger, Listening to Silence: ‘Targeted Killing’ and the Politics of Silence in Customary International Law. (Supervisor: Xavier Guillaume & Jaap de Wilde) – finalized in 2018.
  • Karsten Friis, Military-Civilian Relations in Interventions. (Supervisor: Jaap de Wilde & Iver B. Neumann, NUPI, Oslo) – finalized in 2018.
  • Kars de Bruijne – Ex-Post Negotiated Settlement in Civil Win Slovenia and Sierra Leone (Supervision: Jaap de Wilde & Arjan van den Assem ) – finalized in 2016.
  • Johannes Kester Securing abundance: The politics of energy security (Supervision: Jaap de Wilde & Benjamin Herborth) – finalized in 2016.
  • Mohammadbagher Forough – Transnational Public Spheres: A Spatial Perspective (Supervision: Jaap de Wilde & Benjamin Herborth) – finalized in 2015.
  • Senka Neumann-Stanivukovic – Europeanization: A Post-Structuralist Approach (Supervision: Peter Volten & Jaap de Wilde) – finalized in 2014.
  • Tim Boersma – European Energy Security in the Gas Sector (Supervision: Jaap de Wilde & Catrinus Jepma , Energy Delta Institute) – finalized in 2013.
  • Cecile de Milliano – Adolescent Resilience to Flooding in Indonesia, Burkina Faso and Bolivia (Supervision: Joost Herman & Jaap de Wilde) – finalized in 2012.

Please see the individual staff pages for the full range of research activities that we are engaged in.

Last modified:01 June 2021 4.39 p.m.