Peace and human security

Ett barn som håller ut sin hand

Human security is a prerequisite for sustainable peace. Uppsala University is a world leader in empirical research on armed conflicts and conflict resolution. The aim now is to establish human security and peace as a new overarching research theme with a new professorship. Placing it at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research will produce an exciting balance between cutting-edge academic research and direct social relevance.

Along with such vital aspects as freedom from abuse and oppression, human security also encompasses the relationship between gender equality and peace. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (also known as the Global Goals) reflect the interconnection between sustainable peace and other development goals such as poverty reduction, gender equality and inclusive societies.

Uppsala University stands out clearly for its empirical research on armed conflicts and conflict resolution. In the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, researchers continuously collect information on conflicts in the world and make all data globally and freely available. Data from UCDP has been used to develop a system that can forecast where in the world conflicts will occur.

The research studies non-violent protests, ethnically motivated violence towards civilians and violence associated with elections, as well as interventions to protect the civilian population and conflicts and peace processes in a gender perspective. All this research is relevant to the theme of human security and peace. A stronger link between these different areas is needed, not least to support work on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2020, the Swedish government gave Uppsala University a mandate to establish a national knowledge centre for research on nuclear disarmament – the Alva Myrdal Centre. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective and involving researchers in fields such as peace and conflict research, nuclear physics, artificial intelligence and political science, the centre aspires to promote a safer and more secure world for all humanity.

“We want to develop the research environment by gathering research together under the overarching theme of human security and peace. This area is directly relevant to society and could help to produce important knowledge about the mechanisms behind conflicts, violence and peace processes.”
Professor Erik Melander and Senior Professor Peter Wallensteen, Department of Peace and Conflict Research