Centre for Policy, Conflict and Co-Operation Research

About the Centre

Most research in international relations remains focused on security issues, mainly in the context of military questions and national intelligence. In line with more recent discussions about broader concepts of security, our Centre seeks to broaden the debate to consider conflict and co-operation more broadly, in both international and domestic society. We seek to bring together international and domestic politics and history, policy making and theory, as well as the advancement of professional practice and theoretical developments. We regularly engage with professionals in diplomacy, military and other related areas, both in our teaching and in our research.

This Centre is hosted by the Division of History and Politics, but is also embedded in the ProPEL group.

At the heart of what our Centre does is the interaction between theory and practice. We want to explore how conflict and co-operation work in practice.  We are keen on developing insights on how our research can help in real-life situations.

We are happy to offer our global experiences for consultancy and training sessions to public and private sector clients. 

Please contact our directors for further information. 

Dr Matias Margulis (m.e.margulis@stir.ac.uk

Professor Holger Nehring (holger.nehring@stir.ac.uk)

Dr Andrea Schapper (andrea.schapper@stir.ac.uk


Our members are world-leading specialists coming from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, including International Politics, History (and peace history in particular), Law and Human Rights, and Public Policy.

To further explore this section and meet everyone associated with the Centre, please use the following links:

Idrees Ahmad (conflict, media and communication 
Paul Cairney (public policy)
Rowan Cruft (philosophy of human rights)
Megan Dee (diplomacy, negotiation, European Union)
Marwan Fayed   (resource conflicts, networks and computing)
Clemens Hoffmann(international historical sociology)
Sossie Kasbarian (migration) 
Matias Margulis (international political economy, international trade)
Holger Nehring (history of conflict and co-operation, diplomacy)
Andrew Perchard (economic history, strategic raw materials)
Bashir Saade (religion and politics) 
Annalisa Savaresi (environmental law)
Andrea Schapper (human rights and the environment)
Phia Steyn (environmental history, landscapes of conflict)
Emily St Denny (public policy) 

Frans de Vries (environmental economics)
Mo Egan (crime and security law, human rights)
Tara Fenwick (emeritus) (professional learning and development) 
Simon Hope (justice, pluralism, diversity) 
Dave Mackay (professional learning, strategy and innovation)
Heather Price (environmental science)
Raquel de Pedro Ricoy (language, conflict and co-operation)
Richard Simmons (political participation and public services)
Andrew Tyler (environmental science)

Honorary Staff:

A number of former diplomats and policymakers from around the world work with us as research fellows:

Ambassador Dr Sameh Aboul-Enein is Assistant Foreign Minister of Egypt for Disarmament, International Security and Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, after holding the position of Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister within the same ministry. He is currently seconded to LAS as Ambassador & Permanent Representative of LAS to the UN & other international organizations in Geneva. He was also recently appointed as Professor of International Relations & Organisations, Geneva School of Diplomacy & International Relations. In January 2017 he became Honorary Vice-Dean of the Geneva School of Diplomacy.

He is Adjunct Professor for Disarmament, International and Regional Security at the American University in Cairo, Visiting Professor for Crisis Management, Security and Diplomacy, University of East Anglia. He has been a Visiting Lecturer, Course Instructor and Academic Advisor at the NATO Defense College in Rome and at the Defence Academy of the UK and Senior lecturer at the School of Business in the Management Centre of the American University in Cairo (AUC). He is also a member of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Cybersecurity.

Lord Jack McConnell, former Scottish First Minister and Special Representative on Conflict Resolution Mechanisms to Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Sir George Reid, Scottish politician and former Communications Director of the International Red Cross, Geneva.

Lord George Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO.


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)


Science and Conflict (led by Holger Nehring)

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

(http://www.writing-pugwash-histories.org/project-description/writing-pugwash-histories/, together with the University of Vienna)

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.



Outreach and public engagement

We have recently been involved in running a creative writing competition as part of the official Scottish commemorations of the battle of Gallipoli  (http://www.stir.ac.uk/arts-humanities/about/literature-languages/english-studies/gallipoli/).

Our members regularly write for The Conversation (http://www.theconversation.com) and other blogs.

Study with us

Three postgraduate degrees are directly linked to its research activities:

The Masters in International Conflict and Co-Operation (ICC)


The Masters in Public Policy (MPP) http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/programme-information/prospectus/history-politics/public-policy/

The Doctor of Diplomacy (DDipl), one of the two professional doctorates worldwide in this field http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/programme-information/prospectus/diplomacy/doctorofdiplomacy/

Contact Us

Dr Matias Margulis (Co-Director) m.e.margulis@stir.ac.uk 

Professor Holger Nehring (Co-Director) holger.nehring@stir.ac.uk

Centre for Policy, Conflict and Co-Operation Research (CPCCR)

Division of History and Politics

Pathfoot Building

University of Stirling

Stirling FK9 4LA

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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