Our vision is to define and build a knowledge base on regional conflict and humanitarian response known for its research excellence – both theoretical and applied.
Our research work is rooted in a commitment to addressing some of the most pressing regional challenges: armed violence, humanitarian disasters and mal-development in an original, rigorous and independent way. By linking theory, policy and practice in, and through, our research, we seek to have catalytic and constructive impacts at local, national and international levels. CHS research is intimately linked to its teaching and applied advisory and policy work.
CHS research is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. As such, it cross cuts the traditional academic categorization of humanities, social sciences and public administration. Its scope includes, but is not limited to the following strands:
Critical examination of conflict and conflict resolution methods: Understanding the causes and drivers of conflict in the region with the aim of advancing effective and culturally appropriate responses to conflict and the construction of sustainable peace at the local, national and regional levels. Also, it is important to develop a deeper understanding of conflict resolution methods including traditional forms of 'wasata' both at the community and state levels.
Defining coping mechanism and forms of resilience: Based on empirical quantitative and qualitative research across the region, the aim of this strand would be to better understand the ways in which communities develop coping mechanisms to survive political violence and conflict and what can be done to increase their resilience.
Investigating contemporary humanitarian responses: Based on empirical research across the region the aim is to examine the ethical, political and power structures that govern the relationship between crisis-affected communities and humanitarian aid providers. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the qualitative differences between the responses of international and regional actors.
Understanding conflict resolution and humanitarianism in Islam: The focus of this strand of research is on how humanitarianism has been defined and narrated in Islam and local Arab cultures, both historically and contemporarily. The work will aim to answer the question of how has Islam influenced the global culture of humanitarianism and vice versa.
Examining post-conflict reconstruction and development: This strand will investigate the socio-political (such as, governance structures, social justice and human rights, etc.) and economic determinants of successful reconstruction in the aftermath of conflict (including issues of taxation, public management and labor mobility). Particular attention will be paid to ways in which the gap between humanitarian response and development can be bridged. Also important is to develop a better understanding of issues of justice and traditional forms of reconciliation
Exploring state fragility and political transitions: The nature and definition of state fragility and failed governance within the region will constitute the main focus of this research strand. The aim is to better understand in what ways state fragility drives conflict and feeds inequality in the region and what are the political-economic-security dimensions required to increase state effectiveness.