The world has dramatically changed during the last 20 years. In the 1980ies the European Peace Research has focused on the overcoming of the Cold War, nowadays conflict studies are confronted with a variety of new challenges. Such include conflicts and wars in Europe and along its periphery like in the Caucasus, in the Balkans or in the Middle East as well as the dangers of proliferation, climate change, transnational terrorism and its impacts. Just as much the current financial crisis, the problems of the European integration, the unequal development of certain regions within the European Union, as well as the conflict between the northern and southern hemisphere of the world society with its increasing gap between the rich and the poor, the responsibility of the European Union in conjunction with the crisis and humanitarian catastrophes in Africa, the migration and the refugees, the energy crisis and also the new rearmament are demanding a solution.
The end of the confrontation between the West and the East was the first step into a peaceful world, but nevertheless the new emerging regional conflicts within and around Europe in the 1990ies as well as 9/11 and the current War on Terror have been a setback. Meanwhile war has become again an instrument of politics while Europe as well as other world regions are effected by it. The hope for a "peace dividend" after the end of the Cold War has been disillusioned. Meanwhile even the European Union has become a global player, which is involved into military interventions.
In the face of a global situation which is characterised by crisis and conflicts, EPU aims to enhance peaceful processes and to counter violent conflicts.
EPU currently provides three areas of research expertises:
→ Peace and Conflict Research → European Peace and Security Policy & European Union as a peaceful power → Peacebuilding
The EPU has participated in several research projects on Global and European Peace and Security Studies in cooperation with its partner Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) during the past years.
For detailed information please click on the research projects listed below (German only):
→ State of Peace-Konferenz → Friedensmacht Europa? - Studien für Europäische Friedenspolitik → Europäische Friedenspolitik → Europa 1996. Sicherheit in Europa. Rahmenbedingungen und Kriterien einer umfassenden gesamteuropäischen Sicherheits- und Friedensordnung aus österreichischer Sicht
→ Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) → Institute for Social and European Studies (ISES) → Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP) → Sigmund Freud PrivatUniversität (SFU) → The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)