The SSRC has partnered with the London School of Economics (LSE) on a UK Department for International Development–supported research consortium on justice and security in fragile and conflict-affected situations. The global research program involves a consortium of partners from around the world, including the SSRC, the Conflict Research Group at Ghent University, the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University, the Global Consortium on Security Transformation, the South-East European Research Network, and the Video Journalism Movement. It aims to reframe and inform understanding and policymaking about issues relating to the political marketplace, border spaces and citizenship, social exclusion, and gender in states affected by conflict.

Over the next five years, the JSRP will generate primary evidence about the informal institutions that govern the lives of people in a range of fragile or war-affected locations. Our focus is on understanding the relationship between ‘official’ and ‘hybrid’ governance structures to find out what arrangements best benefit those at the receiving end of policies to support justice and security. Fieldwork is already underway in the border zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan, and Uganda. The consortium is working with a network of local researchers from the region, and in April 2013, the Social Science Research Council hosted a workshop for this network at the Centre d’Etudes Pour l’Action Sociale (CEPAS) in Kinshasa, DRC. This served as an opportunity to build the capacity of local researchers, as the workshop included trainings on research ethics, the practical dilemmas of fieldwork, and how to connect academic research to policy processes.

The consortium is led by a Senior Management Team, which comprises of four research directors: the SSRC’s Tatiana Carayannis, Alex de Waal (Tufts University), Tim Allen (London School of Economics), Koen Vlassenroot (Ghent University) and CEO Mary Kaldor (London School of Economics). Carayannis also leads on the Western DRC fieldwork and co-leads the CAR portfolio with Koen Vlassenroot.

For more information and the full list of publications, please see the JSRP website.