In the face of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, thinking about peace among Ukrainians and Russians seems currently impossible. And yet the key to sustainable conflict transformation lies with the people who will have to live with and alongside each other again in the future. In this project, funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research (DSF), we want to explore everyday knowledge about ways and forms of peaceful coexistence of and together with representatives of the Ukrainian and Russian diaspora(s) in Germany. What ideas of peaceful coexistence do these people have, how do they practice these ideas and how do they change their interpersonal relationships?

The project looks more closely at the micro-foundations and social anchoring of peace and conflict resolution than would be possible from a state-centred perspective. It moreover creates protected spaces for encounters in which to test how this everyday knowledge can be activated in order to promote peace, and how it can help the societies of origin to positively cope with future. Thus, peace turns into a lived deliberative practice. We collect our research data via guided interviews and a real-life laboratory in close cooperation with the everyday partners. In doing so, we follow a participatory research approach. Our results will be documented for the public and made available to an interested audience in Germany as well as in the societies of origin.

Project duration: April 2024 – September 2026