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Contested administrations - conflict resolution and the improvement of democracy

Understanding the role of public administration when it comes to conflict resolution in cities situated in different democratic settings.
The project is funded by the Swedish Research council and runs between 2012-2015

This research project is concerned with public administration’s capability to address and possibly resolve contested issues and conflicts in order to increase equality, strengthen processes of integration and build social solidarity in democratic systems.

Consequently, public administrations in Divided Cities is positioned as an essential focus of analysis as this research project marries theories of Public Administration with Conflict Resolution to

1) explore the role of public administrations in conflict resolution and conflict generation,

2) generate new analytical concepts and develop a theoretical framework for understanding the role of public administrations in different democratic contexts,

3) and subsequently advance a public administration toolbox for conflict resolution. Strategies for addressing societal tensions are extremely important in order to reach democratic sustainability as our cases represented by cities in mature democracies (Copenhagen and Malmö), consolidating democracies (Belfast and Mostar) and fragile democracies (Mitrovica and Jerusalem) well illustrate.

The study is intended to generate new insights into the role of public administrations in community building, democracy consolidation and societal conflict transformation in the everyday lives of residents living in areas where different contested issues are salient.


Page Manager:

Researchers on the project

Department staff members:

External project members:

  • Annika Agger (Roskilde University)
  • Birgitte Poulsen (Roskilde University)




  • Björkdahl, Annika; Strömbom, Lisa (ed.). "Divided cities – Governing contested issues". (Forthcoming with Nordic Academic Press 2015).

Working Paper Series:

  • Mostar and Mitrovica: Contested Grounds for Peacebuilding, Working paper No.1. (2013)
  • Bringing Cities In: The Urbanization of Critical Peacebuilding, Working paper No. 2 (2013)
  • "...or else the lie around". Time, Space and the Everyday in Post-Independence Dublin. Working Paper No. 3 (2014)


Department of Political Science
Lund University
Visiting address: Paradisgatan 5H (House: Eden)
Postal address: Box 52, SE-221 00 LUND
Telephone: +46 46-222 89 52

Faculty of Social Sciences