Creating a research community

In order to develop our understanding and knowledge of  unarmed protection and peacekeeping we need both practice and research. Groups such as Peace Brigades International and Nonviolent Peaceforce are doing amazing work across the world, and we would like to establish a research community who also build the knowledge and understanding.

I am starting to coordinate a small group of researchers, with experience in PBI, NP, EAPPI and other groups who do some form of unarmed and nonviolent protection and violence prevention work, who are beginning to work together to collect and build the research evidence for this work and we’re interested in creating an international network of people who do research so we can share work between ourselves more easily.

Do you do research, or know someone who does research, on the work of unarmed protection? 

It might be looking at a specific project or effectiveness, or why it works, or the experience of field staff or some other aspect. We believe that by sharing our ideas, knowledge and papers that we write we will be able to help support the field work and help influence policy, and be able to support each other, and maybe encourage more research on unarmed and nonviolent strategies.

We are planning for both virtual and face to face meeting opportunities, and to create a supportive environment for researchers, so if you are interested in being involved, whether you are a post-graduate or established researcher, and independent or in a research centre/institute, then please get in touch.

If you have written anything then it would be wonderful to hear about that. One of the first ideas is to have an annotated bibliography of the current research work from lots of people so that new researchers have a clear place to start and might know who to contact.

I am coordinating the start of this network. I work at Leeds Beckett University where I teach peace studies. I used to work for Nonviolent Peaceforce, and I am working with Christine Schweitzer and Ellen Furnari to set up some initial meetings.

Do please get in touch with any ideas or questions, and thanks for your interest, my email is

Rachel Julian,

Senior Lecturer in Peace Studies

Leeds Beckett University