The International Consortium for Research on Violence (ICRoV) has been founded 11 Dec 2013 in Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. ICRoV is an association of academic institutions and scholars from various disciplines and countries. ICRoV-members are committed to the search for ‘Human Security’ and ways out of violence.

ICRoV’s guiding motivation is the comparative and interdisciplinary investigation of phenomena of violence. Examination and analysis of these phenomena of violence are embedded into the overarching concepts of ‘Human Security’ and ‘Human Rights’.
We understand ‘Human Security’ as protection of the individual human being against physical threat (war, terror, etc.) and psychological or mental threat (repression, discrimination, etc.). We consider the implementation of human security as a prerequisite for human development. Human security shall be guaranteed through the rule of law (‘préemination du droit’, ‘Rechtsstaatlichkeit’), which is based on universal human rights on the one hand, and has to protect and secure these universal human rights on the other.
The International Consortium for Research on Violence aims at elaborating prospects for ways out of violence as well as for ways leading towards the rule of law – in order to promote non-violence and legal certainty. Human rights, transitional justice, social reconciliation and economic reconstruction represent basic pillars of such rule of law.

Members & Organizational Structure
The following institutions are involved in the International Consortium for Research on Violence (ICRoV):
  • Felsberg Institute (FI)
  • University of Kirkuk
  • Hamburger Institute for Social Research (HIS)
  • Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law
  • Center for Iraq Studies, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (CIS)
  • Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá
  • Instituto Martin Luther King, Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI)

Individual members are:
Nazar Jameel Abdulazeez, Felsberg Institute, Regional Office Kurdistan/Iraq
Sefik Alp Bahadir, Director, Center for Iraq Studies (CIS), Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg/Germany
Freddy Cante Maldonado, Professor, Facultad de Ciencia Política, Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá/Colombia
Gerd Hankel, Research Fellow, Hamburg Institute for Social Research/Germany
Fareed Jasim Hamood, Professor, College of Law, University of Kirkuk/Iraq
Daniel Heilmann, LLM, Senate of the Kingdom of Cambodia
Christoph Herzog, Chair of Turkology, University of Bamberg/Germany
Faisal al-Istrabadi, Center for the Study of the Middle East & Maurer School of Law and the School of Global and International Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington/USA
Hartmut Quehl, Director, Felsberg Institute/Germany
Kathrin Scherr, Head of Subsaharan Africa Projects, Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law, Heidelberg/Germany
Erwin Silva, Instituto Martin Luther King, Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI)
Birgit Svensson, Felsberg Institute, Country Director Iraq
Paula Timcke, Felsberg Institute, Regional Office Colombia
Dennis Torres, Director, Instituto Martin Luther King, Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI)
Martin Torres, Instituto Martin Luther King, Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI)
Magnus Treiber, Felsberg Institute & Dept. of Anthropology, Bayreuth University/Germany
Stéphane Valter, Senior lecturer, Le Havre University/France

Institutions and individuals are members of the consortium. ICROV is officially represented by its spokesperson – currently Dr. Hartmut Quehl (Felsberg Institute) – who is also responsible for ICRoV’s coordination and activities.

Principles of research and analysis
The International Consortium for Research on Violence is committed to the following principles:
international and intercultural exchange of experiences
assessment of violence phenomena through comparative and interdisciplinary research approaches
analysis under the premise of ‘application in peace processes’
elaboration of recommendations for further action.
On a first level, the International Consortium for Research on Violence puts emphasis on the academic investigation of three focal topics. These are: ‘Transitional Justice’, ‘Reconciliation’, and ‘Economic Reconstruction’. They will set the general frame for an annual focus and respective annual symposiums. Analysis of conflictuous situations and contexts will have to consider ‘obstacles and potentials’ in order to elaborate on ‘ways out of violence’.
On a second level, Iraq will serve as exemplary country case study in the medium term. Iraq’s case will be embedded into regional and global analysis. A profound investigation of experiences from other world regions will provide comparative context and a framework for annual Iraq conferences and ICRoV meetings.
On a third level, field studies on the respective focal topics will be conducted. These empirical studies will be implemented in the city of Kirkuk which can be regarded as a micro cosmos of Iraq. They will be realized under the central coordination of the University of Kirkuk, and include participation of international researchers. Annual results will be documented and published.

The Felsberg Institute (FI) has been working in Iraq already since 2008. In 2010, FI established its own offices in Erbil and Bagdad. In this same year, FI started a joint conference program in cooperation with the University of Kirkuk which dealt with various aspects of violence in Iraq, and which aimed at bringing representatives of the Iraqi civil society institutions together with the academic world in order to create a forum for dialogue between the various societal groups.
Since 2012 these conferences won an international character: in April 2012, the ‘First International Conference On Violence’ in Iraq took place in Kirkuk. In February 2013, a ‘Second International Workshop-Conference on Violence” was held in Germany, and in December 2013, the ‘Third International Conference on Iraq: 10 Years on – Stocktaking and Perspectives’ took place in Erbil. All three events were supported and co-financed by the German Foreign Office.
Meanwhile, these conferences which are jointly organized by FI and the University of Kirkuk have become an established factor in Iraq, and the academic discussion that we incented has finally become a part of the inner Iraqi discourse on the topic of ‘violence’.
Therefore, we decided to expand, intensify and consolidate our work. One important step into this direction has been the establishment of ICRoV, which was officially founded during the conference “Iraq: 10 Years On – Stocktaking and Perspectives” in Erbil, Kurdistan Iraq (9-12 Dec 2013).
In May 2014 ICRoV held its first international conference and annual meeting at Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá/Colombia under the title: “Realistic Peace and Turbulent Transitions”.

ICRoV's inaugural meeting in Erbil (Kurdistan, Iraq), 11 Dec 2013. From left to right: Prof. Dr. Dr. Sefik Alp Bahadir, Birgit Svensson, Prof. Dr. Christoph Herzog, Prof. Dr. Fredy Cante, Dr. Daniel Heilmann, Prof. Dr. Feisal al-Istrabadi, Dr. Hartmut Quehl, Prof. Dr. Fareed al-Jaseem, Dr. Magnus Treiber, Dr. Kathrin Scherr, Nazar Jameel Abdulazeez


Erbil, 11. Dezember, 2013 International Consortium for Research on Violence (ICRoV)