Emma Elfversson

Forskare (tjänstledig) vid Institutionen för freds- och konfliktforskning

Gamla Torget 3, 1tr
753 20 Uppsala
Box 514
751 20 UPPSALA
2023-01-12 - 2025-12-31
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Kort presentation

I am Associate Professor (Docent) and work on issues relating to ethnic politics, communal conflict, local conflict resolution, and rural/urban dimensions of organized violence. I currently lead the projects The Urban Dilemma and The Continuation of Conflict-related Violence in Postwar Cities. I employ both qualitative and quantitative methods; field research focuses on cases in Kenya.


  • africa
  • communal conflict
  • comparative politics
  • conflict research
  • conflict resolution
  • indigeneity ethnicity and nationalism
  • kenya
  • mediation
  • peacebuilding
  • sustainable development
  • urban governance
  • urban violence


I am Associate Professor (Docent) in peace and conflict research, and hold a Ph.D. (2017) and a Politices Magister degree (2008) from Uppsala University. My doctoral thesis, Central Politics and Local Peacemaking: The Conditions for Peace after Communal Conflict (2017) is available here. Prior to my Ph.D. studies, I worked for two years as a research assistant with the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP).


I teach courses within Development Studies, as well as Quantitative Methods on the MSSc program at the department of government. I have extensive experience as as thesis supervisor at Bachelor and MSSc level. I am assistant supervisor to PhD candidate Marcellina Priadi. I have previously taught courses such as International Conflict Resolution, Advanced Qualitative Methods, and Reviewing a Research Field at the department of peace and conflict research.

Service to the profession

I have held a number of other positions of trust at Uppsala University, including vice chairperson in the Student Union's Doctoral Board; the presidium of the Academic Senate; chairperson of the PhD council at the faculty of social sciences; a member of the social sciences faculty board; teacher representative to the board at DPCR; and a member of the Martin H:son Holmdahl scholarship committee.


My research interests concern ethnic politics and communal conflict, the role of state and non-state actors in addressing communal conflicts, and rural/urban dimensions of organized violence. I am currently conducting research within several collaborative projects, two of which as Principal Investigator:

  • The Urban Dilemma: Urbanization and ethnocommunal conflict (the project page is found here). The project seeks to advance knowledge on why urbanization brings with it intensified ethnic grievances and increasing levels of inter-group violence in the city in some cases, but not in others. It employs a combination of quantitative analysis and in-depth study of dynamics in Addis Abeba (Ethiopia), Kampala (Uganda) and Nairobi (Kenya).
  • The Continuation of Conflict-related Violence in Postwar Cities: Mapping violence at the street level (the project page is found here). This project collects systematic data on conflict-related violence in postwar cities, where events are disaggregated and geocoded at the street level. We use this novel data to advance theoretical and empirical knowledge on patterns and causes of urban postwar violence. To complement quantitative analysis and assess theoretical mechanisms at more depth, we conduct fieldwork in the postwar cities Beirut, Belfast, Mitrovica and Abidjan.

I am also involved in the project The institutional roots of electoral violence (project page), and the project Urban-rural dynamics of community-based conflict management (project page). Within both these projects, I conduct research based on a combination of quantitative data and case studies of local conflicts and conflict management in Kenya.

My doctoral research project analyzed the durable resolution of communal conflict, and the role of the state and non-state actors in resolving such conflicts, focusing on cases in Africa (the project page is found here). I investigated the dynamics between local conflict resolution processes and central government strategies, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods. My case studies focus on communal conflicts in Kenya. The introduction to the thesis (kappa) is available here. A summary of my dissertation, with an emphasis on policy relevant implications, can be found here. Much of my work on communal conflict is summed up in this short article for The Conversation Africa.


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Emma Elfversson