The world is a much more peaceful place today than it was 30 years ago. However, in Syria, in Yemen and in South Sudan human tragedies continue to unfold that TV coverage allows us to witness on a daily basis. Why do wars such as these continue to be waged and what are their social consequences and causes? Alexander von Humboldt Professor Anke Hoeffler will discuss these and other questions in her inaugural lecture entitled “Gewalt und gesellschaftliche Entwicklung” (violence and the development of societies), which will take place on 23 October 2019 at 17:30 in the University of Konstanz’s Audimax lecture theatre (A 600). Please note that this lecture will be held in German.
Anke Hoeffler is one of the most widely cited social scientists in the world. As part of her internationally recognised work in the field of conflict and development research, she places particular emphasis on the causes and consequences of interpersonal and political forms of violence. “From a global perspective, the situation has improved considerably. But peace remains fragile in many regions and even in countries that are at peace people continue to fall victim to lethal and non-lethal forms of violence”, she says. “Who are the victims, who are the perpetrators? What are the social consequences of various forms of violence and can they be prevented and/or reduced?”
A significant contribution to the academic and public debate in this context has been made by the “greed and grievance” approach, which Anke Hoeffler developed with the British development economist Sir Paul Collier. The pair investigated whether civil wars were mainly sparked by political oppression, for example, or waged for religious or ideological reasons, and how economic aspects, such as advantageous financing, favoured rebellion.
Recognition as an Alexander von Humboldt Professor
For her research, Anke Hoeffler has received funding from institutions such as the European Commission, the OECD and the World Bank. Prior to accepting a position at the University of Konstanz, the native German worked as a research officer at the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. In 2019, she was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship in the amount of 3.5 million euros – the most prestigious and most highly endowed research award in Germany (worth up to five million euros). Hoeffler has since joined the University of Konstanz’s Department of Politics and Public Administration as a full Professor of Development Research.
As an Alexander von Humboldt Professor, Anke Hoeffler will expand the University of Konstanz’s internationally recognised contributions in the area of conflict and development research and establish a new Centre for Conflict Research and Development Policy. Among other things, she is planning to conduct field studies on the situation in Liberia and the treatment of Syrian refugees in Jordan and will also address violence prevention in underdeveloped countries. In the long term, Hoeffler hopes to work closely with the University of Konstanz’s Cluster of Excellence “The Politics of Inequality: Perceptions, Participation and Policies”, which addresses the perceptions, political causes and consequences of inequality.
The Alexander von Humboldt Professorship at the University of Konstanz
Professor Anke Hoeffler’s Alexander von Humboldt Professorship in the area of political economy is one of two Humboldt Professorships the University of Konstanz was able to secure in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Another Alexander von Humboldt Professorship was awarded to Professor Margaret C. Crofoot from the University of California, Davis, USA. As Professor for the Ecology of Animal Societies at the Department of Biology, Crofoot will contribute her pioneering expertise in the field of movement ecology to support the interdisciplinary research carried out at the University of Konstanz’s Cluster of Excellence “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour”. She is also a director at the Konstanz-based Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, which was founded recently to replace the Radolfzell branch of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology.
- Alexander von Humboldt Professor Anke Hoeffler to deliver her inaugural lecture
- Topic: “Gewalt und gesellschafliche Entwicklung” (violence and the development of societies, held in German)
- Date: 23 October 2019
- Time: 17:30
- Location: University of Konstanz, Audimax lecture theatre (A 600)
- Professor Anke Hoeffler is one of the most widely cited social scientists in the world, specialising in the area of conflict and development research
- Her research interests include the causes and consequences of interpersonal and political violence as well as the social causes of excess morbidity and mortality
- In 2019, Anke Hoeffler received an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship in the amount of 3.5 million euros and has since joined the University of Konstanz’s Department of Politics and Public Administration