Birte Vogel

Dr

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Personal profile

Biography

I was appointed as Lecturer in Humanitarianism, Peace and Conflict Studies at HCRI in 2016. I hold a PhD in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response from Manchester, an MLitt in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of St Andrews (Scotland), as well as a Bachelor degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Münster (Germany). I am the Editor of the HCRI Policy Brief Series and was previously Assistant Editor of the Taylor and Francis journal Peacebuilding.

My two recently co-edited books reflect my general research interest in the intersection of economics and peace and conflict studies (Economies of PeaceRoutledge, 2019), as well as my interest in the ethics of conducting research in conflict-affected societies (The Companion to Peace and Conflict Fieldwork, Palgrave, 2021). 

I am currently a Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded project The Art of Peace (2018-2022) and was the Principle Investigator for Trade for Peace in the Remote Himalaya (2018-2019) and investigated the implications of trade policies and economic reforms in various conflict-affected societies. 

I also conducted a larger study looking at beneficiaries' experiences of humanitarian cash and voucher assistance (2018-2020, commissioned by DFID). Previously, I worked on the EU FP7 funded project 'Cultures of Governance and Conflict Resolution in India and Europe' (PIs Oliver Richmond and Roger Mac Ginty, 2011-2014). Prior to that I briefly worked in the field of international cooperation with the German Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on a project aiming 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- ongoing)

(in cooperation with the University of Durham)

This is a major AHRC funded project looking at the role the arts can play in situations of peace and conflict. See 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)

(in cooperation with partners from O.P. Jindal Global University, India)

This research 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)

(in cooperation with colleagues from Philipps University Marburg, and Brandeis University, Berlin, Germany)

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: 

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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