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    Crossing the river Pyanj between Gorno Badakhshan and Afghanistan
    Using Moodle / important common tasks
    by Jan Koehler - Tuesday, 20 May 2014, 7:39 PM

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    Crossing the river Pyanj between Gorno Badakhshan and Afghanistan
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    by Jan Koehler - Sunday, 4 May 2014, 7:54 PM

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    Available courses

    In this training we teach different qualitative field research methods to gather differentiated information on research questions and a range of relevant cases. As prinicple tools we use guideline interviews on general topics of interest and conflict case studies basedon background interviews with involved parties, other stakeholders, experts, and participant observation.

    The information is structured and analysed in a joint workshop at the end of the fieldwork. We structure and analyse the case studies following the methodology of institution centred conflict research (see special course on this site), i.e. looking at context, ressources, power-relations and institutions that shape and constrain actors strategies, choices and actions in specific conflicts.

    In this training we introduce basic mapping and geocoding techniques used for searching for and georeferencing items via our existing ARC GIS database or using the online version of the database to search for, analyse and add data from the field.

    This training prepares profile teams in Afghanistan for field research: field access, village and district profiles, village histories, mapping, GPS use and identifying the right places and units of analysis, photography and documentation

    This online training course designed for field team leaders and enumerators preparing for household surveys in Afghanistan. We take two longitudinal surveys implemented in North-Eastern Afghanistan since 2007 and 2010 respectively as examples.

    Wir beobachten die Dynamik und Effekte lokaler Governancekonstellationen in 27 Distrikten Afghanistans.

     2010-11 haben wir das erste Mal systematisch für jeden Distrikt im Rahmen von Konfliktfallstudien ein Akteurs- und Ressourcenmapping erstellt und zur Analyse in eine i2 Datenbank eingepflegt. Dies war die Phase des sogn. zivilen und militärischen Surges. Gleichzeitig fällt in diese Zeit der Beginn der Transition (inteqal) der Sicherheitsverantwortung von Interventen zu afghanischen staatlichen Sicherheitsorganen (und nicht-staatlichen: Milizen). Die Beziehung zwischen externen und internen Governanceakteuren ist in dieser Zeit besonders intensiv.

     2014-15 werden wir nun erneut lokale Konfliktanalysen nutzen um die Governancekonstellationen und -dynamiken pro Distrikt zu erfassen. Die Phase der Transition ist nun abgeschlossen. Der Abzug der meisten Kampftruppen ist vollzogen. Die Souveränität Afghanistans ist wieder hergestellt. Militärische Interventionskräfte sind in der Fläche nicht mehr vorhanden. Die Entwicklungsintervention geht allerdings weiter.

    Vor diesem Hintergrund analysieren wir, wie sich die Haltung der befragten Afghanen zu den Interventen und zu den staatlichen und nicht-staatlichen lokalen Governanceakteuren verändert.

    - Puzzle from statistical finding: less violence in cargo-governed municipios then in similar partido-municipios; how can this be explained?

    - Method: institution-centred conflict research to investigate causal mechanisms linking local governance to violence

    - Theory: nexus between violence and local governance

    - Case studies

    - Conclusion

    English Summary

    The project Institution Centred Conflict Studies (ICCS) builds on the experiences and results of the preceding, VW-foundation financed, transfer project Understanding Local Conflicts, Using Development Opportunities. As a result of this project, the State University of Kabardino-Balkaria in Nalchik (KBSU) established a Master Programme on the sociology of conflict and founded a Graduate School (Graduiertenkolleg) for empirical conflict research.

    In the new funding period (2015-2018) ICCS expands regarding three aspects: (1) ICCS is expanding its  teaching and research programme to Adygheya in the North Caucasus as well as to Abkhazia and  Adjara in the South Caucasus. (2) For the teaching component ICCS opens the existing master programme at Nalchik University to three additional universities in the region. In cooperation with the Centre for Conflict Studies (CCS)  at University Marburg and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG) in Bielefeld, ICCS will enhance teaching and also create an option for graduation in Germany. (3) In the field of research, ICCS uses the Graduate School at Nalchik University as anchor for PhD students and post-PhD researchers from the region to conduct methodologically sound empirical conflict research. This is achieved via an initial summer school held at Nalchik University, via a series of workshops conducted at the new partner universities, via research grants and via extended in-field backup provided by the German project management and its partners in Marburg (CCS) and Bielefeld (IKG). Both components – teaching and research – are closely interlinked and will help create an urgently needed pool of empirically informed and methodologically trained local experts on this region.

    Based on the research fields tentatively identified in the ICCS project proposal and the further development specification of those promising empirical research directions we arrived at three general research lines.

    1.       Research line “Sub-national governance constellations”

    2.       Research line “development and social order”

    3.       Research line “politics of culture and identity”

    In January 2017 we agreed to produce a new textbook on the ICCS approach to empirical research of patterns and dynamics of social order via conflict analysis. The textbook will capture not only our heuristic focus but will rather develop this focus from within the broader field of peace, conflict and violence studies on the one hand and theories of social order and change on the other hand. 

    The individual chapters are written initially in English and Russian. The first edition of the textbook will be in Russian. English and Georgian editions are planned to follow. 

    Настоящий курс рассматривает диалекитическую взаимосвязь между институтами и конфликтамиЦель курса заключается в разработке теоретически обоснованного и универсально применимого метода эмпирического институционально ориентированного исследования конфликтов с последующим применением его к  анализу различных конфликтных ситуаций.

    Institution Centred Conflict Research - the method and its application in Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Mexico, Peru and Burundi

    In this course we introduce the theoretical basis and methodological approach of institution centred conflict research (ICCR) and its application in different countries. The methodology is based on the nexus between conflict and institutions; it serves as heuristic tool to analyse dynamics of social order. In the case studies the focus is often on social dynamics under rather unstable institutional framework conditions, i.e. in areas of intervened, fragile, defunct or emerging statehood.

    Theoretical foundation

    We treat conflicts and institutions as empirically observable social phenomena; all societies have to deal with conflicts and are defined by the collective rules they establish. Conflict can disrupt established relations and fragment society; at the same time conflict can form and connect societal units and enable the dynamic adaptation of social order. Institutional rules that inform social interaction can be followed or broken. Sets of rules can contradict each other. Furthermore, institutions and their distributive consequences for actors can be questioned and contested.

    Hence, there is a strong though ambivalent relationship between the two social phenomena - conflicts make and break institutions; institutions cause and contain conflicts. ICCR builds on a working concept of conflict consolidated with an institution-centred theory of social order.


    Based on this theoretical foundation we introduce a research methodology to assess social order via the analysis of communal conflict processing. This approach is divided into four distinct modules of empirical investigation: historic and geographical context, actors' constellations, material and immaterial resources aimed at or used in conflict and, finally, formal and informal institutional rules regulating conflicts or targeted by conflict.  

    Each module is based on the theoretical framework of institution-centred conflict research and focuses on specific constraints that inform actors' choices in conflict.

    Case examples

    To date this institution-centred methodology of conflict analysis has been used to analyze sub-national conflict dynamics in Afghanistan, Central Asia, North- and South Caucasus and Mexiko. Application in Peru and Burundi are in planning.

    This course introduces a longitudinal multi-method approach to assessing the impact of development interventions. To evaluate whether development aid in conflict zones has a stabilizing effect one needs to show that observed changes in stability were caused by the intervention. Repeated large-n surveys are used to identify impacts; and qualitative methods are used to triangulate results and contextualize quantitative findings.