Anna Jarstad

Professor at Department of Government; Faculty

+46 18 471 23 58
Visiting address:
Östra Ågatan 19
753 22 Uppsala
Postal address:
Box 514
751 20 UPPSALA
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Short presentation

Jarstad leads a project on Relational Peace which seeks to define, characterize and analyze different varieties of peace that evolve after civil war. She has done research on power sharing – when former combatants form joint governments – and the nexus of democratization and peacebuilding in war-torn societies.


  • afghanistan
  • bosnia-herzegovina
  • cyprus
  • democratization
  • kosovo
  • new zealand
  • peace
  • post-war
  • power sharing
  • south africa


Anna K. Jarstad is Associate professor at the Department of Government, with a focus on International Politics. Her master course Taming Violent Conflict: Peacebuilding, Democratisation, and Development runs from January to March. She is also member of the Academic Senate at Uppsala University.

Jarstad is co-editor of From War to Democracy: Dilemmas of Peacebuilding (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and the special issue “Introducing Hybrid Peace Governance: Impact and Prospects of Liberal Peacebuilding”, Global Governance, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 1. Her research focuses on the nexus of democratization and peacebuilding in war-torn societies, especially in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Kosovo, Macedonia, and South Africa. She specializes in power sharing as a form of conflict management and has led a quantitative data collection on power sharing (IMPACT) with Desirée Nilsson and Ralph Sundberg and has conducted several case studies.

She is currently working on several projects. The main current project is Introducing democracy from the outside? which seeks to investigate the question: ”When do international and local initiatives of democratization reinforce each other?”. The project includes several case studies on external democracy promotion, as well as local initiatives to improve governance. A PhD student, Anna Ida Norén, began her work within the project in September 2014.

Another current research project deals with the causes and consequences of political violence in South Africa. One output is the article “Towards Electoral Security: Experiences from KwaZulu-Natal” (with Kristine Höglund), 2011. Africa Spectrum. Vol. 33 No.59, pp. 33-35.

A previous project (led by Louise Olsson) focused on “Opportunities and Obstacles: local Ownership of Development and Stability in Northern Afghanistan”. While the donor community has long stressed the importance of local actors for sustainable development, local ownership is now also employed by international peace operations in order to obtain security and democracy. The purpose of this project was to analyze international efforts to promote development and stability through local ownership.


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Living in Contested Land

There remains a glaring lack of attention on the existing peace that coexists alongside unresolved territorial disputes. To analyze peace beyond the mere absence of war, I focus on the various actors and their interrelations, aiming to discern the different facets of peaceful coexistence. The concept of Relational Peace (Jarstad et al., 2023; Söderström et al., 2021) offers a framework that places actors at the forefront, elucidating the diverse manifestations of both peaceful and antagonistic relationships. The overarching research objective is to explore the phenomenon of peace amid adversity: How does the issue of contested land manifest in Cyprus and Kosovo?

Varieties of Peace

Today’s headlines show that peace in South Africa is very different from peace in Cambodia or Sri Lanka. However, research thus far has not managed to analyze and explain the different varieties of peace that evolve after civil war. In the project Varieties of peace: a relational peace, we suggest that taking a relational approach to peace seriously is a fruitful avenue for expanding current theoretical frameworks surrounding peace as a concept as well as providing more theoretically grounded empirical work. This project focuses on describing and explaining the varieties of peace from a relational approach in countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar/Burma, South Africa and Sri Lanka. The project is funded by RJ 2020-2022. The project includes the following researchers: project leader Anna Jarstad, Elisabeth Olivius, Nilanjana Premaratna, Johanna Söderström, and Malin Åkebo. An open access book came out 2023:


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Anna Jarstad