SWEDISH SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES NETWORK
|Kristine Höglund, Isak Svensson and Louise Olsson.|
Höglund defended her doctoral dissertation called
”Violence in the Midst of Peace Negotiations:
Cases from Guatemala, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Sri Lanka”,
partly related to the conflict in Sri Lanka, on 3 December 2004. Faculty
opponent was Professor Roy Licklider, Rutgers University. Read
the abstract (as a pdf-file). The focus of her research has been the
role of violence in peace processes, and under what circumstances incidents
of violence tend to disrupt peace negotiations. More information on her personal
In August 2005 Kristine Höglund was given a SASNET planning grant for a new project on ”Mediators, Monitors, and Donors: Nordic Involvement in the Sri Lankan Peace Process, 2000–2005”. More information on the August 2005 SASNET grants.
Abstract: This planning grant will fund networking activities in the planning of a research project that seeks to analyse the Nordic involvement in the Sri Lankan peace process 2000–2005. In the planning phase of the project we will involve a number of eminent scholars that have specialized in the conflict in Sri Lanka – both in Sri Lanka and in the Nordic research environments. Two networking activities are suggested. Firstly, a research trip to Sri Lanka to discuss the involvement of our local research partner Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in the project. Secondly, we plan a 2-day workshop that brings together scholars in Sweden and other Nordic countries that have a special interest in the Sri Lankan peace process. Our ambition is that this initiative will result in a more permanent network for Swedish and other Nordic scholars working on issues related to the Sri Lankan peace process.
Dr. Isak Svensson is involved in a research programme on International Mediation in Internal Armed Conflict, led by Prof. Wallensteen. He has
partly focused on Sri Lanka, mainly doing quantitative studies of the peace process
in Sri Lanka. Especially, he has studied Nordic Third-Party Intervention in Sri Lanka. In 2001 he published a report from a Minor Field Study (no
14), named Confidence Building Measures in Intrastate Conflicts:
Lessons from the 1994-95 Peace Process in Sri Lanka, and he has published several other papers and articles on the issue, many in collaboration with Kristine Höglund. He is also Member of the International Working Group on Conflict Prevention, at the Folke Bernadotte Academy, a Swedish government agency dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of international conflict and crisis management, with a particular focus on peace operations. More information on his personal
Isak Svensson defended his doctoral dissertation entitled ”Elusive Peacemakers: A Bargaining Perspective on Mediation in Internal Armed Conflicts” on 12 January 2007. It deals with the role of conciliatory signals in ending armed, intrastate conflicts with negotiated settlements. Read an abstract of the thesis, with a link to the full text.
Dr. Louise Olsson is a researcher and project leader at the Folke Bernadotte Academy, and at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. Her research focuses on Peace operations and their effects for the local population, looking specifically at issues relating to UN Resolution 1325 (2000). In addition to her research, Olsson has conducted projects and arranged seminars relating to the implementation of Resolution 1325. For example, she contributed to the joint UNDPKO and Folke Bernadotte Academy ”Gender adviser seminar: Increasing dialogue and collaboration between the UN and Regional organizations” held in New York in April 2009. More information on her personal web page.
Louise Olsson has been involved in research on the situation in Afghanistan. In May 2009, she co-edited (along with Johan Tejpar, Development Economist at FOI) a Defence Analysis Report entitled ”Operational Effectiveness and UN Resolution 1325 – Practices and Lessons from Afghanistan”, on behalf of the Swedish Defence Research Agency, FOI. It is an analytical framework that has been developed and applied on five different Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) engaged in Afghanistan; the Dutch PRT in Tarin Kowt, the Italian PRT in Herat, The New Zealand PRT in Bamyan, the Norwegian PRT in Meymaneh and the Swedish PRT in Mazar-e Sharif. The work with the project was led by Dr. Louise Olsson, and was carrie dout during the period September 2008 to May 2009. Read the full report.
In November 2009, Dr. Olsson was awarded SEK 3.6 m as a three-years research grant (2010–12) from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, for a project entitled ”Opportunities and Obstacles: Local Ownership of Development and Stability in Northern Afghanistan”. More information about the 2009 Sida grants.
Abstract: This three-year project, led by Louise Olsson, identifies and analyzes the opportunities and obstacles in creating development and stability through local ownership with international support in Afghanistan. In focus is the international approach to work strategically to strengthen the structure, influence and effectiveness of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the areas where Sweden plays an important role for the development and security, namely the Northern Afghan provinces of Balkh, Samangan, Jowzjan and Sar-e Pol. This project is conducted at Folke Bernadotte Academy.
Jannie Lilja (photo to the right) has a research interest focusing on the dynamics of armed conflict, rebel motivation, strategy and collective action, non-state party negotiation, social networks, civilian-rebel group relationship, and civilians in armed conflict in Asia and Africa. During the period 2007–08 she worked as Conflict Transformation analyst for the World Bank, and during the same period she carried out research fieldwork in Sri Lanka. More information on her personal web page.
On Wednesday 12 May 2010, she defended her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Disaggregating Dissent: The Challenges of Intra-Party Consolidation in Civil War and Peace Negotiations”, partly dealing with Sri Lanka. The faculty opponent was Elisabeth Jean Wood, Professor of Political Science at Yale University, USA. The thesis includes a chapter on ”Trapping Constituents or Winning Hearts and Minds?: Rebel Strategies to Attain Constituent Support in Sri Lanka”, previously published as an article in the Terrorism and Political Violence journal in 2009.
Abstract: Contemporary civil wars are often characterized not only by fighting between rebels and governments, but also by rebel violence against their own community members. In spite of repeated peace negotiations, many of these conflicts seem to go on endlessly. Such instances may reflect attempts or failures on the part of the non-state side to consolidate. To confront the government on the battle field or at the negotiation table, rebels need to become an effective fighting force as well as effective negotiators. So, what do rebels do to consolidate to wage war and negotiate peace? The dissertation approaches the question of rebel capacity by disaggregating the non-state side in civil war and in connection with peace talks. The dissertation offers a set of original case studies from three ethno-separatist conflicts: Sri Lanka, Indonesian Aceh, and Senegal. More information, incl. link to full-text dissertation.
|Kristine Eck and Joakim Kreutz.|
Kristine Eck has worked on a project on the armed conflict in Nepal between the government and the maoist guerilla till 2007. Fieldwork was undertaken February-March 2007 in Nepal, during which government officials, Maoist rebel leaders, UN officials, journalists, academics, diplomats, and members of various civil society organizations were interviewed. Her research primarily focuses on understanding the growth of the Maoist organization; other topics included the ongoing peace process, constitutional reform, upcoming elections, ethnic and Madhesi rights, and international involvement in Nepal. During the period April-May 2008, she again visited Nepal to do complimentary fieldwork. See her personal web page.
In 2009, she contributed with an article entitled ‘Recruiting Rebels: Indoctrination and Political Education in Nepal,’ in Mahendra Lawoti and Anup Pahari, eds. ”The Maoist Insurgency in Nepal: Dynamics and Growth in the 21st Century” (London: Routledge).
Kristine Eck defended her doctoral dissertation entitled ”Raising Rebels: Participation and Recruitment in Civil War” on Saturday 5 June 2010. The faculty opponent was Stathis Kalyvas, Arnold Wolfers Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence at Yale University, USA. More information, incl. abstract.
In November 2010, Dr. Kristine Eck was given SEK 1.7 m as a post-doc scholarship from the Swedish Research Council, to carry out a project entitled ”Women at War: Explaining Differential Levels of Female Participation in Rebellion” – partly focusing on Nepal – during the period 2011-12. The project will be carried out at the Swedish National Defence College (Försvarshögskolan) in Stockholm, which means Kristine will move over to this institution.
Project abstract: The aim of this project is to answer the question: why do levels of female participation in rebellion vary? Some rebel groups discourage female participation, while in others women compose a majority of the troops. Almost all previous research has failed to address why this variation occurs, probably because warfare is still assumed by most
researchers and practitioners to be an exclusively male activity. Without understanding what explains differential levels of female participation in rebellion, researchers will retain a flawed and incomplete conception of armed conflict and practitioners will find that their policies create negative externalities for the female population. The handful of studies on this topic which have addressed female participation are historical narratives that examine only cases where there have been high levels of female participation in rebellion.
This project thus advances the study of female participation in two ways. First, it suggests a number of new theoretical avenues, namely, explanations built on culture, developmental psychology, and characteristics of the armed conflict. Second, it will test these theoretical explanations with a comparative study of five different armed conflicts in which there is variation in the level of female participation. This will allow the study to be the first to employ the type of systematic, comparative methodology needed to draw inferences.
Research assistant Joakim Kreutz has an M.A. in Political Science from Uppsala University. He is working on conflict dynamics and strategic behaviour; communal violence and deliberate targeting of civilians; the termination and recurrence of political violence; and regional organisations as third parties. His field of interest has been mainly Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, but recently he has also started to focus on South Asia, especially Pakistan. See his personal web page.
Mr. Manish Thapa (photo), Regional Coordinator for the South Asian Regional Cooperation Academic Network (SARCAN) based in Kathmandu, Nepal, received the Robert McNamara Fellowship from the World Bank which made it possible for him to work on his doctoral dissertaion project entitled ”From Bullet to Ballot: The Politics of Peacemaking in Nepal” at the Dept. of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, during the period January – June 2010. His supervisor was Professor Thomas Ohlson.
Mr Thapa has previously been a Visiting Fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.
In August 2008, SASNET awarded a guest lecture programme grant to Prof. Ashok Swain. He was given SEK 20 000 in order to invite Prof. K V Raju, Professor Head of the Centre for Ecological Economics and Natural Resources, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bangalore, India. He was co-invited by the Dept. of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo, to give lectures there as well. More information about the SASNET planning grants 2008.
Due to unforeseen reasons, Prof. Raju could not come to Sweden. Instead SASNET permitted the grant to be used to invite Dr. D. R. Sahoo, Professor of Sociology, Ravenshaw University, Orissa, India, to participate in the World Sociological Congress held in Gothenburg, July 2010. This was also done.