Initiating PhD projects and supervising PhD research is another significant research activity within the IFHV. In collaboration with the cooperating faculties, the IFHV has successfully supervised over 22 PhD candidates over the last 20 years. While the first generation of PhD candidates predominantly concentrated on problems of international humanitarian law, today’s PhD candidates cover a broad field of interdisciplinary humanitarian issues including the legal dimension of post-conflicts reconstruction, media and refugee identity, national constitutional constraints on UN peacekeeping missions, violence against women in armed conflicts and the interplay between NGO management and state officials.
IFHV Doctoral Colloquium:
8 December 2010
Marcel Banza (DR Congo) and Ojot Ojulu (Ethiopia)
Marie Currie Fellows
Grantee of the EDEN (European Doctorate Enhancement Programme) Marie Curie Scholarship at University College Dublin, Ireland.
Working title: The Interaction of Governments and International Humanitarian Organizations. Working with IDPs in “No War, No Peace Societies” - Comparative Case Studies in Azerbaijan.
First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dennis Dijkzeul
Marie Curie Supervisor: Dr. Patrick Gibbons
Following the Cold War, the Caucasus has experienced diverse territorial armed conflicts. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees remain in all states in the Caucasus. From a humanitarian organization’s perspective, working with IDPs is especially politically sensitive since the territorial dispute is not yet solved. To create assistance measures represents a challenge for both actor groups, namely the government and I(N)GOs. Appropriate humanitarian assistance and social policies need to help save lives and increasingly livelihoods, because failures might lead to new explosive conflict potential in the region.
Most models elaborated and studies undertaken focus on UN based coordination or coordination between NGOs in conflict or crisis zones. The relationship between international agencies and the respective government however is hardly addressed on an organizational level. Coordination with the local authorities is recognized as necessary, whereas local politics are often viewed as an obstacle to aid and assistance. This perception is visible in the ongoing trend since the 1990s when one of the most significant shifts in humanitarian assistance was that donor governments and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) showed increased interest in engaging directly with populations in situations of protracted crisis, even by circumventing the state to deliver assistance. The risk of lost potential of aid and a lack for respect of international law by excluding the authorities is identified, and therefore argued, that innovative approaches to engage with authorities need to be developed.
Since “high profile crises”, such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Sudan, are analysed thoroughly, but there is less research regarding “low profile crises” as well as societies living neither in peace nor war, Azerbaijan is in the focus. The country was identified as being “forgotten” by media and donors as well as experiencing humanitarian problems due to a frozen conflict, which is hardly addressed by international actors and the media. The territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which started in 1988, was suspended by a cease-fire in 1994. of Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to migrate from the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous area and the North-West of Azerbaijan, from seven Armenian occupied districts, and from Armenian borderland to saver places in Azerbaijan. Humanitarian issues of IDPs remain striking in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan therefore represents the framework in which case studies, namely humanitarian agencies – government relationships, will be analysed. Moreover, international humanitarian work has been ongoing in Azerbaijan for more than 15 years showing different phases of coordination.
A first Pilot Research has been undertaken in May 2009 to (1) find out about the appropriateness of the research process envisaged; (2) to identify the living conditions of IDPs in Azerbaijan; and (3) to gain insight to the interaction (coordination tools and quality) between I(N)GOs and the Government of Azerbaijan. Interviews with international non-governmental organizations, local non-governmental organizations and government officials have been held. It is planned to return to Azerbaijan bz the end of 2009 to proceed with the data collection. Questionnaires and interviews, as well as participant observation are planned methods to answer the overall research question: Why and how interact I(N)GOs and the Azerbaijan Government with each other? The sub question “What are the strengths and weaknesses of the different models of interaction” should help to find our about “What innovative approaches of engagement between I(N)GOs and governments can be modeled?”
2008-2009: Sylff- scholarship
2009-2010: EDEN (European Doctorate Enhancement Programme) fellow
Working title: Legal limitations of the German army while participating in undefined conflict-situations – a case study of Afghanistan
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Joachim Wolf and Dr. Hans-Joachim Heintze
My dissertation deals with the complex situation in Afghanistan. After analysing the conflict situation with its different actors and their legal status, I want to work out the legal limitations drawn by the German constitution on the one hand and the international legal framework on the other. Questions that are raised are for example if the German troops as such are bound by the German Grundrechte or/and the international human right treaties while operating under a NATO/UN mandate.
Since Oct 2010 Marie Curie Researcher (Graz)
In 2008, I graduated from the School of Law of the Ruhr-University Bochum. During my study I focussed on International and European Economic Law. As a Research Associate at the Institute, I started a PhD project in International Law, which concentrates on humanitarian interventions under supervision of Professor Dr. Puttler, LL.M., of the School of Law of the Ruhr-University Bochum.
Since Oct 2010 Marie Curie Researcher (Madrid)
My research is focused on forced migration, protracted displacement and identities of displaced people. I am particularly interested in the relationship of media access with the identity of displaced populations.