Pilotregion Kaliningrad?

Participatory Research on Conflict Prevention

Nowadays, the insight is widely shared that international conflict prevention is the more successful the earlier it starts. However, the knowledge on how pre-escalation prevention actually works is still rather limited. The project strives for narrowing this gap of knowledge by investigating into a sensitive case which at present is on the agenda of European politics: the future development regarding Russia's Kaliningrad exclave.

There are numerous indications that within the Kaliningrad region and with respect to it a broad variety of internal, bilateral and international tensions are mounting up and form a "syndrome of conflict". Kaliningrad (in Germany mostly still referred to as "Königsberg") is subject to a high pressure for change; at the same time it is also true that any change holds the danger of tensions and conflicts being - unintentionally - aggravated. The project aims to explore the preparedness of international actors to act constructively in relation to the particular constellation emerging in Kaliningrad. The basic research questions are: How do international actors act, when they are aware (or can be aware) that a political constellation bears a potential for escalation into a mode of confrontation? To which extent do they take advantage of the opportunities for conflict prevention which exist today within the European context? How can peace research contribute to the strengthening of proactive action?

The project is complemented by SHIP's workshop and publication project The Kaliningrad Challenge - Options and Recommendations in the Perspective of Problem-solving. The project is made possible by a generous grant from the Berghof-Foundation for Conflict Research and co-financed by SHIP's regular budget. It is conducted by SHIP in co-operation with Prof.Dr. Hanne-Margret Birckenbach at the Institute of Political Science of the Justus-Liebig-University Gießen.