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Conflict and Governance

The Amsterdam Centre for Conflict Studies (ACCS)

The members of the Conflict and Governance Programme share an interest in the relationship between conflict and practices of democratic governance. This practice orientation provides a window onto governance and defines an approach to understanding conflict as a driver for, and an outcome of, policy and political action. The members of the group share a particular interest in the frontlines practices that translate broad political and policy commitments into action and the responses that such action generates from the public. 

The dramas that play out along the boundary between frontline practice and the public are a source of insight into how terms like radicalization and sustainability get tangible meaning in action, into the dynamics through which policy controversies develop, and into the ways that meaning is contested and develops when citizens organize and take action. The interactions that drive these dramas can help us grasp the varied ways in which practices of activism, politics, public administration, and conflict resolution influence each other and, together, shape the horizon of democratic governance.  

Our interest in practice translates into efforts to engage practitioners throughout the research process. We see practitioners as partners, as inquirers in their own right, and seek to develop settings that give practical expression to this notion of a partnership. These efforts range from providing forums for practitioners to speak about their work, to organizing research as an inquiry into practices of governance, contestation, and conflict resolution, to developing theoretical insights through forms of joint reflection on action. A goal of these efforts is to promote learning about, and in, practice that can contribute to theoretical insights and to the practical development of democratic governance.