Context Column


Research Units

ZEUS, the Centre for European Peace and Security Studies

ZEUS, the Centre for European Peace and Security Studies, was founded in January 2003 as a research unit within the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg. The Centre's research programme focuses on opportunities for enhancing the European Union's responsibilities in the area of peace and security policy. In particular, ZEUS analyses the EU's global role in peace and security issues with respect to relevant areas of policy and the Union's formal and practical relations with NATO and the UN, the USA and Russia, and key regions for European security, such as the Balkans, Central Asia and the Middle East. Working closely with the IFSH's other research unit – the Centre for OSCE Research (CORE) – and additional German and international research institutes, ZEUS contributes to current academic discourses, higher education, and the training of young professionals. In accordance with the IFSH's overarching research programme, ZEUS's EU-related research focuses on the intersection of civilian and military crisis prevention and conflict management. ZEUS's work has a strong practical component, seeking above all to generate knowledge on the current and future role of the EU as an active global player in the field of peace and security policy for use in politics and academia and by the general public.


ZEUS Website

Centre for OSCE Research (CORE)

The Centre for OSCE Research (CORE) at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) is the first institution specifically dedicated to research on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). CORE was founded on 6 January 2000. The President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Johannes Rau, attended the opening ceremony. CORE works as a politically independent think tank combining basic research on central aspects of OSCE evolution with demand-oriented analysis of current problems and practical contributions to relevant issues. Addressing political actors as well as the academic and political public in Germany and abroad, CORE strives to enhance OSCE development with analysis and critique, thus permitting a deeper insight into the problems and perspectives of the Organization. In an effort to support OSCE goals to achieve effective conflict prevention and settlement and the construction of a European security order, CORE seeks to contribute to a realistic assessment of the capacities and limitations of the Organization. Reflecting the main focus of the OSCE on democratization and conflict regulation in (South-) Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, the transition processes in these three regions figure high on the CORE agenda.

CORE Website

Interdisciplinary Research Group on Disarmament, Arms Control and Risk Technologies (IFAR²)

The Interdisciplinary Research Group on Disarmament, Arms Control and Risk Technologies (IFAR²) addresses the complex interaction between the dynamics of armament, potential weapons deployment, debates on strategy as well as the potential of arms control and disarmament as security policy instruments. The focus of its work is on arms control foundations, potential and forms; disarmament and non-proliferation after the end of the East-West conflict; the development of applied concepts of preventive arms control; monitoring the progressive dynamics of armament and arms control policy in Europe and worldwide with a focus on modern technologies as well as technical possibilities of existing and future (weapons) developments, in particular, in the area of missile defence and space weapons systems and the "Revolution in Military Affairs". The increasing complexity of these issues is being examined by an interdisciplinary research group. Its work methods involve a combination of natural- and social-science techniques and expertise. Through intensive co-operation with other institutions of various disciplines basic research is conducted in the natural science/technical dimension of arms control. In addition, IFAR² participates in a series of expert networks, which bring together expertise from the areas of research and praxis and concentrate research efforts..

IFAR² Website