The principal aim of our Centre is to develop a more thorough, deeper understanding of the practical workings of conflict and co-operation in history, theory and everyday life.

The Centre would be organised around a core interdisciplinary hub that brings together innovative approaches from all participating subjects and bring them into a sustained and productive conversation with one another to develop a truly inter- and trans-disciplinary understanding of the key issues, including professional practice and development.

These projects include:

Policy challenges 

(Paul Cairney)

This project represents part of an international project that brings together public policy scholars from seven countries to address some of the biggest policy issues of our time. Our network exists to use the same policy analysis framework to help scholars explain the development of key policy issues. By clarifying complex policy processes and issues, it informs current debates and helps policymakers and stakeholders to produce a solution based on evidence, cooperation and due process. The centre goes beyond the simple production of evidence on problems for others to solve, to explain how solutions should be generated and selected. It generates knowledge of policymaking in multiple countries, at several levels of government, to identify comparable experiences that can be used to inform public debate in each country.

Landscapes of conflict 

(Holger Nehring, jointly with colleagues at Centre for Environment, Heritage and Policy)

Visit Landscapes of conflict project website

Science and Conflict 

(led by Holger Nehring together with the University of Vienna)

International network on the history of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs 

Remain or Leave? An ESRC-funded MOOC on the UK's referendum on EU membership

Agriculture Land Use Planning

(Matias Margulis)

The purpose of this research is to examine how the changing role and value of agriculture within Canadian society today might affect agricultural land use policy within and across national, provincial, and local jurisdictions. This project is a five-year study with nine researchers from six universities across Canada and funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant.

Resolving Conflicts Between Food Security and Biodiversity Conservation Under Uncertainty

(Nils Bunnefeld)

Conflicts between food security and biodiversity conservation are increasing in scale and intensity and have been shown to be damaging for both biodiversity and human livelihoods. Uncertainty, for example from climate change, decreases food security, puts further pressure on biodiversity and exacerbates conflicts.

ConFooBio is a 5 year Horizon2020 European Research Council funded project (£1.1m, 2016-2021) which proposes to develop management strategies for conflicts between biodiversity conservation and food security under uncertainty. ConFooBio will integrate game theory and social-ecological modelling to develop new theory to mitigate conservation conflicts. ConFooBio will implement a three-tiered approach 1) characterise and analyse real-world conservation conflicts impacted by uncertainty; 2) develop new game theory and experimental field games that explicitly incorporates uncertainty; and 3) produce and test a flexible social-ecological model, applicable to real-world conflicts where stakeholders operate under conditions of extreme uncertainty. 

The project has importance for society at large because ecosystems and their services are central to human wellbeing. Managing a specific natural resource often results in conflict between those stakeholders focussing on improving food security and those focussed on biodiversity conversation. ConFooBio will illuminate new strategies to such conflicts by showing how to achieve synergies that protect biodiversity and secure livelihoods. This project will develop a practical, transparent and flexible model for the sustainable future of natural resources that is also robust to uncertainty (e.g., climate change). The project aims to be relevant for environmental negotiations among stakeholders with competing objectives from local to global (e.g. the negotiations to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals).


Researching international performance: overcoming ambiguity, establishing connections

(Megan Dee)

This collaborative investigation aims to facilitate the, thus far untapped, collaboration and knowledge-exchange of scholars and practitioners undertaking international performance research from diverse ontological and disciplinary perspectives.  Drawing together experts of foreign policy analysis, international diplomacy and practice, international political sociology and public policy, as well as those with expertise in performance and evidence-based research; this project seeks to overcome existing ambiguity surrounding performance research and establish deliberate linkages and commonality in international performance as a field of study. Through a series of planned events this project is aimed at information-sharing and gathering to contextualise the scope and diversity of international performance research within and across respective disciplines and publics. Specifically, this project looks to pool collective expertise and work creatively towards establishing a clearly defined international performance research agenda leading to future multi-disciplinary research initiatives.


EU performance in nuclear diplomacy

(Megan Dee)

This project is concerned with the evaluation and explanation of EU performance within global nuclear diplomacy. The project stands apart from other performance analyses by focusing explicitly on the normative and social dimensions of performance as a concept of analysis, looking particularly at the benefits and linkages of pragmatic sociology with international negotiation, diplomacy, and practice discourses in IR. This research is concerned with the development, analysis and testing, of a performance as ‘worth’ analytical framework, applied and evaluated in the context of EU performance in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review negotiations (1995-present).