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Knowledge for Peace. Understanding Research, Policy, Practice Synergies

The research project 'Knowledge for Peace. Understanding research, policy and practice synergies' aims to improve peacebuilding practice by looking at how research and knowledge about peace and its components are generated and how the politics of knowledge production impact policy making.

The project focuses on transitional justice processes in Côte d’Ivoire, South Sudan and Mozambique.

Funder: Swiss National Science Foundation and Swiss Development Cooperation

Investigators: Prof. Laurent Goetschel, University of Basel (PI) Dr Briony Jones, WICID (Co-I and Project Lead) Dr Leben Moro, University of Juba (Co-I), Dr Gilbert Fokou, Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Cote d'Ivoire (Co-I)

Partners: swisspeace; University of Juba, Centre Suisse de Recherche Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire


Project overview:

  1. Focusing on transitional justice as a sub-field of peacebuilding, the project “Knowledge for Peace” looks at how we generate research and knowledge about peace and its components. We do this to be able to improve synergies between research, policy and practice and ultimately produce better (i.e. reliable, critical, policy relevant and useful) knowledge for peacebuilding.
  2. The team comprises senior researchers and PhD students in Switzerland, South Sudan and Côte d’Ivoire.
  3. The project involves in-depth qualitative field research in Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique and South Sudan on varied aspects of knowledge production: policy making; concept mobilisation by civil society and donors, models and theories; and knowledge exchange between actors.

Our focus:

  1. Our research focuses on transitional justice processes such as truth commissions, prosecutions, reparations, traditional justice, and other processes in three countries: Côte d’Ivoire, South Sudan and Mozambique.
  2. We work with policy makers and practitioners as key stakeholders throughout the project, holding dialogue workshops and producing varied outputs: podcasts, academic papers, discussion forums, and policy briefs.

Co-Edited Book Published: 2021

Knowledge for Peace - Transitional Justice and the Politics of Knowledge in Theory and Practice

Edited by Briony Jones, Associate Professor of International Development and Deputy Director, Warwick Interdisciplinary Research Centre for International Development (WICID), Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, UK and Ulrike Lühe, Researcher, swisspeace, an associated Institute of the University of Basel, Switzerland

Combining the knowledge and experience of leading international researchers, practitioners and policy consultants, Knowledge for Peace discusses how we identify, claim and contest the knowledge we have in relation to designing and analysing peacebuilding and transitional justice programmes. Exploring how knowledge in the field is produced, and by whom, the book examines the research-policy-practice nexus, both empirically and conceptually, as an important part of the politics of knowledge production.

This unique book centres around two core themes: that processes of producing knowledge are imbued with knowledge politics, and that research-policy-practice interaction characterises the politics of knowledge and transitional justice. Investigating the realities of, and suggested improvements for, knowledge production and policy making processes as well as research partnerships, this book demonstrates that knowledge is contingent, subjective and shaped by relationships of power, affecting what is even imagined to be possible in research, policy and practice.

Providing empirical insights into previously under-researched case studies, this thought-provoking book will be an illuminating read for scholars and students of transitional justice, peacebuilding, politics and sociology.

Find out more.