Context Column


CORE (Centre for OSCE Research)

The Centre for OSCE Research at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg

The Centre for OSCE Research (CORE), which is part of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH), is the only institution specifically dedicated to research on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Founded in January 2000, CORE is currently headed by Dr Wolfgang Zellner.

Established in 1971 as a civil-law foundation, the IFSH analyses threats to peace and international security, following a policy-oriented approach. Currently, the IFSH has about 60 employees. Its Director is Prof. Michael Brzoska.

The IFSH’s research agenda ranges across questions of European security, arms control, transition processes in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, and most prominently, transnational risks and threats and aspects of global governance. From its inception, the IFSH has made regular contributions to research on the CSCE/OSCE process. This, in turn, paved the way for the creation of CORE.

CORE operates as a politically independent think tank, combining basic research on the evolution of the OSCE with capacity-building projects and teaching. Addressing political actors, the academic community and the interested general public in Germany and abroad, CORE strives to contribute to the OSCE’s development with analysis and critique that provide insight into the problems faced by and opportunities open to the Organization. In support of the OSCE’s goals of cooperative security, effective conflict prevention and settlement, democracy and good governance, CORE seeks to contribute to a realistic assessment of the capacities and limitations of the Organization. In analysing the structures, instruments and activities of the OSCE and its co-operation with other international actors, CORE focuses on the following:

  • OSCE activities in the areas of crisis prevention, conflict resolution, and peace building;
  • OSCE contributions to a co-operative security regime in Europe, especially through arms control and security dialogue;
  • OSCE approaches to addressing transnational risks and threats;
  • OSCE efforts to build peace and stability through democratization and good
  • the OSCE’s institutional evolution and effectiveness.

In line with the OSCE’s own priorities, much of CORE’s work concerns the transition processes in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

CORE strives to maintain an international outlook and to work towards viable solutions to problems. Several CORE staff members are not only qualified academics but have also acquired practical experience in OSCE field missions and/or field research. In addition, CORE projects frequently involve collaboration with local scholars in the countries and regions being studied. Regular contact with OSCE institutions and field operations keeps CORE’s research programme oriented towards politically relevant questions.

Introductory documents:

Information regarding internships with CORE (here).