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The Nature of Peace

Exploring links between the natural environment and peace-building in post-conflict societies.

Advanced Study Group and from September 2017 a Theme at the Pufendorf Institute, Lund University


Since September 2016 the Advanced Study Group on the Nature of Peace at the Pufendorf Institute, consisting of a team of scientists from many different disciplines, studies examples of regions that have recently undergone a transition to peace after an internal armed conflict. Despite a relatively thorough understanding of the social and political factors that influence and foster reconciliation and success or failure thereof, there is a lack of understanding how economic, political, and social processes that are innate in reconciliation, affect the natural environment and can lead to, or further undermine, environmental justice and sustainability. Our aim is to explore the causal relations between peace and the natural environment in the context of internal armed conflicts. We are interested in the natural environment in post-conflict societies. What role does nature have in peace building? How is the natural environment considered in fragile economies that need to develop quickly? Does peace always bring sustainable development? We argue that environmental justice is a central dimension for sustainable peace and development in societies where internal armed conflicts have recently occurred.

Empirical evidence from around the world has shown that post-conflict reconstruction efforts often focus on the short-term and urgent needs of societies transitioning to peace. These processes, however, often fail to consider the root causes of the conflict (such as control over key natural resources) or to integrate dynamics such as those linked to the distribution of environmental "goods and bads" and participation in environmental politics. It is therefore of key importance to investigate how environmental justice brings sustainable peace and development in the long term. Our theme brings together researchers from five different faculties (Social Sciences, Law, Humanities and Theology, Natural Sciences, and USV) to discuss and work on these issues.


Nature of Peace




Recently cleared forest patches following the demobilization of the FARC guerilla, Guaviare department, Colombia.
Photo taken by Torsten Krause, 2017







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