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Project information

Project team

Sebastian LentzJana Moser Mela Žuljević


Centre for East European and International Studies (coordination), Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Chair of International Relations at the University of Jena, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam

Duration of project

04/2022 – 03/2026

Funded by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Further information

Prof Dr Sebastian Lentz

More info

Cooperation and conflict in Eastern Europe (KonKoop)

The consequences of the reconfiguration of political, economic and social spaces since the end of the Cold War

Since the end of the Cold War, there have been many new states, new alliances of states, but also secession conflicts in Eastern Europe, some of which continue to this day. Russia's war against Ukraine is a shocking reminder of the topicality of this issue. The KonKoop project network will examine various conflict constellations as well as the dynamics of cooperation in Eastern Europe, South Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus. The aim is to explain and understand interrelationships and, in doing so, to bundle the expertise available in Germany.

The KonKoop project, coordinated by the Centre for East European and International Studies, consists of several research teams. In five thematic areas, they want to find out how conflicts arise in Eastern Europe, which actors are involved, which factors drive or de-escalate them, but also which conditions guarantee security or enable cooperation and, last but not least, how such conflicts can be communicated to a broader public. KonKoop is interdisciplinary, with expertise from political science, geography, history and environmental science. A total of five PhD students and three postdocs are working with established researchers from the network and the cooperation partners on detailed studies and comparative qualitative and quantitative analyses.

The project will also create two laboratories that will make their research and development results freely available:

The multi-method data laboratory will process quantitative and qualitative research data and develop new methods of conflict and cooperation research.

A multi-perspective laboratory for peace and conflict cartography is located at the IfL. Here, the initial aim is to understand how cooperation partners and conflict parties represent their specific interests by means of maps. Building on this experience, visualisations are to be developed that depict conflicting or multiple interests. This does not necessarily have to be done in the form of maps; infographics and artistic-graphic (online) tools will also be tested.

The thematic fields of the project in detail are: Post-imperial nation-building processes, Religious and ethnic diversity, Economic (dis)integration, Environmental change and ecological resources, and Forms of interaction and interdependencies of cooperation and conflict.

Key questions

  • When does a political reorganisation, such as the disintegration of the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia, lead to violent conflict?
  • What role do ethnic or religious identities as well as economic interests play in the emergence but also in the resolution of conflicts?
  • What is the impact of environmental change and scarcity of resources?
  • What determines the scope for peace negotiations and the implementation of peace agreements?
  • How can a security order in Europe be shaped and institutionalised in the future?
  • How do the parties involved present their view of a conflict by cartographic means?
  • Which means are appropriate and meaningful for depicting a conflict situation in a multi-perspective visualisation?