DPCR Background

The Department of Peace and Conflict Research has its origins in a study circle initiated by graduate students and young teachers at Uppsala University. During the academic years 1962-65, it organized as a series of academic workshops within the framework of the Nordic Summer University. The activity then continued as a university activity connected to Folkuniversitetet / Kursverksamheten at Uppsala University. Under the name Peace Research Seminar at Uppsala University, later the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, it soon gained the support of the university's Vice Chancellor Torgny Segerstedt and the University’s decision-making bodies.

For more detailed information on these early days, see the article (in Swedish) "Freds- och konfliktforskningens begynnelse i Uppsala (pdf) Pdf, 63 kB." from 2012 by one of the initiators, Bo Wirmark.

In 1971, the government established a position as Assistant Professor for peace and conflict research. In conjunction with this the Faculty Board of the Social Sciences decided to establish a separate unit (avdelning) for peace and conflict research. This was the beginning of the current Department. The first head of department (föreståndare) was fil. lic. Peter Wallensteen, also the holder of the new position. In 1981 the Swedish Parliament created the Dag Hammarskjöld Chair in Peace and Conflict Research, in memory of the second Secretary-General of the United Nations who died while on a peace mission in 1961. Peter Wallensteen was appointed to this chair in 1985 and he held the position until 2012.

An overview of the development of peace research in Uppsala can also be found in the University’s publication at the installation of new professors, autumn 2013 (in Swedish): "Fredsforskning i Uppsala - återblick på ett halvsekel (pdf)" Pdf, 5 MB. by Carl Frängsmyr. The same publication also presents the current holder of the Dag Hammarskjöld Chair; Professor Håvard Hegre.


A central feature of the Department has been the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP). Read more about the background of UCDP and the Department of Peace and Conflict Research in the interview "The First Steps in the PRIO-Uppsala Connection: Peter Wallensteen" by Siri Aas Rustad at PRIO. The interview was done in 2019.

DPCR Head of Departments

  • Peter Wallensteen 1972 – 1999
  • Kjell-Åke Nordqvist 1999 – 2005
  • Ashok Swain 2005 – 2006
  • Erik Noreen 2006 – 2011
  • Magnus Öberg 2012 – 2017
  • Erik Melander 2018 – 2020
  • Ashok Swain 2021 –