Fragility, Conflict and Displacement

Fragility, conflict and displacement pose immense challenges to sustainable development. The number of violent conflicts has doubled in the last decade with every second post-conflict country experiencing renewed conflict and many getting trapped in repeated cycles of violence. At the same time, the number of those seeking protection increases: today we see the largest total number of forcibly displaced people since reporting started in 1950. Climate change, demographic pressures and rising inequality will exacerbate these trends.

To confront these problems, we need to understand better what makes for stable, cohesive and peaceful states and societies. The work in this research cluster aims at identifying institutions and policies that help overcome the challenges conflict, fragility and displacement pose, and what role external engagement can play in this.

We analyse what empirical patterns of state fragility exist and how countries transition between them. In post-conflict societies we examine the effects of international peacebuilding and democracy support as well as how social cohesion can be improved in these settings. In our research on displacement we focus on understanding what causes people to flee and how their arrival affects social cohesion within the host communities.


Abedtalas, Musallam
Ekoh, Susan
Fiedler, Charlotte
Flaig, Merlin
Grävingholt, Jörn
Jaji, Rose
Kuhnt, Jana
Leininger, Julia
Mross, Karina
Martin-Shields, Charles


Cities and Displacement (Themenheft)
Dick, Eva / Einhard Schmidt-Kallert / Benjamin Schraven (2022)

in: Trialog - a journal for planning and building in a global context 140-141 (Januar 2022)

Localisation of global refugee policies the case of Kenya and Kalobeyei
Dick, Eva (2022)

in: Trialog (140/141), 4-9

The nexus between climate change and human mobility and its relevance for urban areas
Schraven, Benjamin (2022)

in: Trialog (140/141), 10-12

Ride-sharing apps for urban refugees: easing or exacerbating a digital transport disadvantage?
Martin-Shields, Charles (2022)

in: Trialog (140/141), 58-62

Navigating through an external agenda and internal preferences: Ghana’s national migration policy
Segadlo, Nadine (2021)

Discussion Paper 8/2021

Local governments and the sustainable integration of refugees in Ethiopia
Binkert, Eva / Merlin Flaig / Lukas Frucht et al. (2021)

Discussion Paper 21/2021

A behavioural perspective on the drivers of migration: studying economic and social preferences using the Gallup World Poll
Klöble, Katrin (2021)

Discussion Paper 4/2021

A systematic review on ethical challenges of 'field' research in low-income and middle-income countries: respect, justice and beneficence for research staff?
Steinert, Janina Isabel / David Atika Nyarige / Milan Jacobi / Jana Kuhnt / Lennart Kaplan (2021)

in: BMJ Global Health 6 (7), article e005380

How the political participation of refugees is shaped on the local level: self-organisation and political opportunities in Cologne
Jacobi, Milan (2021)

Discussion Paper 34/2021

Refugees and local power dynamics: the case of Gambella Region of Ethiopia
Hagos, Samuel Zewdie (2021)

Discussion Paper 25/2021

How digital solutions can ease the COVID-19 impact on displaced populations
Kuhnt, Jana / Kirsten Schüttler (2021)

published on, 02.03.2021

Economic integration into host communities in times of Covid-19: how to ease the impact of Covid-19 on displaced populations in low- and middle-income countries
Kuhnt, Jana / Kirsten Schüttler (2021)

published on, 16.04.2021

 “Aberrant” masculinity: men, violence and forced migration
Jaji, Rose (2021)

in: Claudia Mora / Nicole Piper (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Migration, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 373-386

Constellations of fragility: an empirical typology of states
Ziaja, Sebastian / Jörn Grävingholt / Merle Kreibaum (2019)

in: Studies in Comparative International Development

First peace, then democracy? Evaluating strategies of international support at critical junctures after civil war
Mross, Karina (2019)

in: International Peacekeeping 26 (2), 190-215

What do we know about post-conflict transitional justice from academic research: key insights for practitioners
Fiedler, Charlotte / Karina Mross (2019)

Briefing Paper 3/2019

Supporting peace after civil war: what kind of international engagement can make a difference?
Fiedler, Charlotte / Jörn Grävingholt / Karina Mross (2018)

Briefing Paper 23/2018

Constellations of State Fragility v1.0.
Grävingholt, Jörn; Ziaja, Sebastian; Ruhe, Constantin; Fink, Patrick; Kreibaum, Merle; Wingens, Christopher (2018)

German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE). DOI:10.23661/CSF1.0.0

State fragility as a cause of forced displacement: identifying theoretical channels for empirical research
Martin-Shields, Charles P. (2017)

Discussion Paper 30/2017

Urban governance of forced displacement: premises, requirements and challenges in the light of new humanitarian trends
Dick, Eva / Benjamin Schraven (2017)

in: RaumPlanung 5/2017, 22-29


Social cohesion in Africa
Supporting Sustainable Peace
Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer
Reducing root causes of forced displacement and managing migration
An empirical typology of state fragility
Transformation and development in fragile states
Digitalisation and Information in the Lives of Migrants and Refugees
‘Contested mobility‘: Migration policy in countries of the global South between local needs, national interests and global agendas