The Peace Report - Germany's independent yearbook on peace and security - has been published since 1987 as a joint effort of the IFSH and two other peace research institutes, the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) and the Protestant Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (FEST) in Heidelberg. In 2002, the group of editors was expanded to include the Bonn International Centre for Conversion and The Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) in Duisburg.
The Peace Report closely observes and analyses the development of international conflicts and peace-threatening developments are continually observed and analysed. Every Peace Report contains approximately 15 case studies and problem analyses written by researchers of the participating institutes. If required, guest writers are asked to make contributions. The “Editors’ Statement: Current Developments and Recommendations” draws conclusions, points out results and addresses concrete recommendations to the peace and security policy-making communities in Germany and Europe.
The most effective strategy against war is to avoid its development. Causal crisis prevention and conflict transformation that address the roots of violence are the core tasks of peace research. The foremost causes of war in today's society are economic underdevelopment, ecological destruction and national and social disintegration processes, which lead to nationalism, fundamentalism, militarism, and terrorism. The Peace Report regularly addresses these and other topics, such as international law, human rights, sustainable development, arms control and disarmament.
Attempts to prevent war and resolve conflict by political and civil means often do not lead to the desired results. The Peace Report also focuses on situations where the prevention of violence has failed and the use of force again has the upper hand. In the past, the analyses of armed conflicts and regional conflicts have mainly concentrated on Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Given the frequent failure of conflict prevention efforts, the Peace Report analyses the structural prerequisites and conditions for an efficient and effective international - and particularly European - peace and security system. The Peace Report uses non technical language to ensure that it reaches not only experts but also members of the public who are interested in specific topics. The Peace Report seeks to go beyond the assessment of political developments by explaining the conditions and the causal relations between international and intra-state conflicts, pointing out different approaches to problem solving and encouraging independent decision-making.
The Peace Report is presented to the Federal Press Conference in Berlin each year in the first half of June. For a number a years, the book's public profile has been strengthened by the editors' discourse on their findings with the political Berlin in meetings with members of various committees of the German Bundestag such as the Defence Committee, the Committees on Foreign Affairs, on Economic Cooperation and Development and on Human Rights, with the Planning Unit of the Foreign Office, with members of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as for the first time in 2015 with the Foreign Department of the Federal President’s Office. Other meetings involve civil society actors such as Pax Christi or the World Peace Service.
The Peace Report is published by LIT Verlag, Münster, as a hardback of approximately 250 pages. It is available in bookshops at the price of €12,90.
Margret Johannsen coordinates the IFSH's work on the Peace Report.