Birte Vogel

Dr

Personal profile

Biography

I am currently serving as Deputy Director and Senior Lecturer in Humanitarianism, Peace, and Conflict Studies at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI). My academic journey at HCRI began in 2016 following the completion of my PhD in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response at the same institute in 2014. Prior to that, I pursued an MLitt in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of St Andrews (Scotland) and obtained a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Münster (Germany). 

 

My research interests revolve around the three main areas: (1) economic dimensions of international interventions, (2) the ethics of knowledge production in conflict-affected societies and (3) the arts in peace and conflict. I have contributed to these fields through my involvement in co-editing three books. "Economies of Peace," published by Routledge in 2019, explores the economic dimensions of peace and conflict. In "The Companion to Peace and Conflict Fieldwork," published by Palgrave in 2021, we delve into the ethical considerations of conducting research in conflict-affected societies. I am also excited about a forthcoming book "The Art of Peace," to be published by Edinburgh University Press. 

 

Over the years, I have been engaged in various research projects. Presently, I am the PI on the British Academy project Re-ordering Ethics and Knowledge Production in Conflict- and Disaster-Affected Contexts(2023-2025). I also was as a Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded project The Art of Peace (2018-2022), which has been a significant endeavour. I also led the "Trade for Peace in the Remote Himalaya" project (2018-2019), examining the implications of trade policies and economic reforms in conflict-affected societies. Another substantial study I conducted was focused on the experiences of beneficiaries of humanitarian cash and voucher assistance (2018-2020), commissioned by DFID. 

 

Before joining HCRI, I was a Phd student on the EU FP7 funded project titled "Cultures of Governance and Conflict Resolution in India and Europe" (2011-2014), led by Oliver Richmond and Roger Mac Ginty. Furthermore, I had the privilege of gaining practical experience while working for the German Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). In that capacity, I contributed to a project aimed at strengthening local government structures in Afghanistan's Northern provinces. 

Research interests

My research is interestesed in the diverse experiences of peace and humanitarian interventions. I am particularly interested in the role of NGOs, civil society and local communities, and their interaction with international actors. While I am intersted in a range of areas of peacebuilding (such as peace activism, the role of arts, etc) my main focus is on the economic dyanmics, everyday experiences and consequences of interventions.

Current and recent projects 

The art of peace: Interrogating community devised arts based peacebuilding (2018- 2022)

I was a Co-I on this major AHRC funded project looking at the role the arts can play in situations of peace and conflict. See our project website

Humanitarian Cash Assistance: How design influences value for money (2018-2020)

This researched looked at to what extent the value for money of cash assistance and voucher assistance (CVA) is influenced by the design of the programme. We investigated unified delivery platform, existing social safety nets, and the consolidation of grants drawing on available global evidence and four country case studies; Colombia, Jordan, Kenya and Turkey. 

The findings demonstrate that the debate on CVA’s value for money needs to go beyond scale and must also focus on quality, as defined as efficient, effective, equitable and sustainable assistance. It is important to acknowledge the strengths, but also the limitations, of operational models that enable delivery at scale. The value for money of CVA will not be achieved through the application of a single operational model, rather it should be pursued through a combination of models according to each context – the whole of cash response system. At the same time, this research also makes the case for a shift towards greater emphasis on the experiences of recipients and cash end-users. The research’s emphasis on end-users’ revealed assumptions made by humanitarians about crisis-affected households’ preferences and expectations.  

Trade for Peace? Analysing the impact of trade and mobility on conflict dynamics at the boarders of India, Pakistan and China (2017-2019)

This research, in cooperation with partners from O.P. Jindal Global University, India, explored how urban market spaces and spatial practices in Jammu and Kashmir, India, have been influenced by historic and contemporary socio-economic changes and how, in turn, these dynamic urban practices impact social relations. The project looked at how the governance economic actitivities, especially tourism and trade, impacted on conflict synamics and perception of territory. Some of the findings are publsihed in Political Geography. 

Economy formation processes in conflict-affected societies (2016-2018)

Despite decades of involvement, many of the debates about international peacebuilding and conflict prevention efforts are still detached from the basic livelihoods and everyday concerns of citizens in conflict-affected societies, including socio-economic aspects of peace. Disregarding socio-economic aspects of peace and how they relate to people’s daily lives leaves a vacuum in our understanding of peace and the formation of post-conflict economies. Through a series of workshops, we explored the formation of economies, influenced by socio-economic legacies from before and during the conflict, direct or indirect international presence, national elites, and international economic trends and structural hegemonies alike in order to better understand how societies emerge and recover from war. The results are published in an co-edited special issue Civil Wars and a book (Routledge, 2019) 

PhD Supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD projects with a focus on non-state actors or (I)NGOs in peacebuilding. I am particularaly interested in projects that look at

  • The role of various civil society actors in building peace;
  • The role of cooperations in conflict/ peace;
  • Socio-economic and economic effects of peacebuilding, statebuilding or humanitarian interventions;
  • Economic peacebuilding approaches;
  • How economic reforms interact with social relations;
  • Various aspects of humanitarian cash transfers. 

Current PhD students: 

Laila Zulkaphil: Humanitarian Impact Bonds (2022-)

Rana Khalaf: Dealing with Governance during Conflict - a key to peace? (2017-)

Completed PhD projects:

Kirstina Tschunkert: Aiding Conflict? The Implications of Humanitarian Cash and Voucher Assistance for Host-Refugee Relations in Lebanon (2016-2020)

Isabelle Schläpfer: Corporate Narratives and Humanitarian Technologies as Sociotechnical Imaginaries: How Multi-National Companies Impact on the Idea of Humanitarian Aid (2016 -2021)

Margaux Pinaud: Peace Pathways: A mixed methods study of the role of civil society in ceasefire monitoring (2017-2021)

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

I am an active member of the International Studies Association (ISA). ISA has over 6500 members worldwide and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association dedicated to international studies. I have taken over active leadership roles and previously served as executive member of the ISA's Peace Studies Section (2014-2016), as well as acting programme chair for the 2015 and 2016 conventions. I’m currently serving on the Boulding Award Committee.

I am also a founding member of the International Association of Peace and Conflict Studies (IAPCS) that organises an annual Peacebuilding conference exploring new frontier in the field.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

External Examiner MSc Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding, University of Durham

2018Oct 2021

External Examiner MLitt Peace and Conflict Studies, University of St Andrews

2018Feb 2022

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute
  • Creative Manchester

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