Post-conflict reconstruction research backed by ERC funding

  • Date

    Fri 31 Mar 23

Ismene Gizelis headshot

Researchers have received €2.47million to explore the benefits of peacekeeping, post-conflict reconstruction and successful state building in war-torn countries.

The University of Essex project, funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant, builds on previous findings which revealed that UN peacekeeping and successful security provision has benefited maternal health and education in Africa.

Professor Ismene Gizelis from Essex’s Department of Government leads the project which expands her previous research to incorporate the benefits for human development, political inclusion, gender equality and governmental capacity.

Professor Gizelis will work with partners including Dr Louise Olsson at the Peace Institute in Oslo (PRIO).

Professor Gizelis said: “This is an ambitious research project, which looks beyond traditional security objectives, relating the quality of peace and development to changes in security.

“It will develop insights beyond UN peacekeeping in Africa and will break new ground in examining peacekeeping dividends across a broad set of outcomes and evaluating policies that best leverage positive impacts of peacekeeping. It will transform our understanding of post-conflict reconstruction and long-term sustainable development."

Head of the Department of Government, Professor Faten Ghosn said: “We are delighted that this European Research Council funding will enable Professor Gizelis and her team to explore the benefits of peacekeeping, not just for African states, but with implications for war-torn regions across the globe.”

The ERC Advanced Grant funding, part of the Horizon Europe programme, is amongst the most prestigious and competitive EU funding schemes. It provides researchers with the opportunity to pursue ambitious, curiosity-driven projects that could lead to major scientific breakthroughs. They are awarded to established, leading researchers with a proven track-record of significant research achievements over the past decade.

In this 2023 round, €544 million has been awarded in total.

Maria Leptin, ERC President said: "These new ERC Advanced Grantees are a testament to the outstanding quality of research carried out across Europe. I am especially pleased to see such a high number of female researchers in this competition.”