The FI was founded in 2008 and has the legal form of a registered non-profit association (eV).

The FI is a free, autonomous and independent institution for academic research and practical field work. The FI is mainly financed by private donations. The FI is not externally financed and is not subject to any external determination.

The FI is committed to the rules of the German Research Foundation (DFG) to ensure good academic practice.

In addition to the central facilities in Felsberg and Kassel, the FI maintains regional offices in Colombia for Latin America and in Iraq. At present, research groups of the FI are working in Iraqi Kurdistan, Nicaragua and the "Eritrea Contact Group" as a transnational association. A further research group of young academics works in Germany at the FI as the "Felsberg Research Collective" (FFK).

The FI is a founding member of the International Consortium for Research on Violence (ICRoV).

The FI is connected with many partners worldwide and is part of an international network of affiliated researchers