Bonn International Center for Conversion
Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) was founded as a non-profit limited company in 1994 with the support of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Shareholders are the States of NRW and Brandenburg. The Center is headed by a Director for Research and a Director for Administration. The governing bodies are the Supervisory Board, the Board of Trustees, and the International Board. The Centerâs concept of Conversion Studies focuses on applied research and frames the instituteâs activities for the next five years. The Centre is subject to the Public Corporate Governance Code of the state of NRW, understood as the measure of good and responsible management and control. The Code aims at making a companyâs decisions with regard to management and control transparent and comprehensible (see âCorporate Governance Bericht 2015â).
BICC is a founding member of the Johannes-Rau-Research Community, an umbrella organisation for 15 independent non-university research institutes with more than 1,000 employees in North Rhine-Westphalia, established in 2014. The Community is dedicated to conducting holistic research and advisory activities with regard to issues that a society that is becoming increasingly more complex will have to face in the future. It believes in co-operation that crosses disciplinary borders. Being part of the Johannes-Rau-Research Community requires excellent research on issues important for the future and meeting uniform quality standards. This is why member institutes are externally evaluated on a regular basis.
BICC receives a core funding from the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). This funding enables the Center to perform research projects and research-based policy advice with funding from a variety of donors. Bonn University is the seat of the professorship for Peace and Conflict Research held by BICCâs Director for Research.
BICC cooperates with international and national research institutes and foundations, UN and other international organizations, ministries such as the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as well as with institutions such as the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), NGOs, and international and bilateral organizations working in the field of development cooperation. BICC is co-editor of the annual âPeace Reportâ
BICC understands Conversion Studies as the critical and policy relevant analysis of the dynamics in the concepts, means and practices of organized violence. Concepts address any attempt to either legitimate or de-legitimate expressions of organized violence, whether this relates, for example, to the build-up or reduction of military forces, or to the actual use of physical force.
BICC conducts applied research and thus provides innovative impulses towards ongoing debates. BICC understands its research as problem-oriented: relevant research results can only be obtained by looking at a concrete problem from various perspectives; policy relevant: applied research findings are intended and prepared to reach relevant stakeholders and decision-makers; empirical: BICC-research covers remote sensing and GIS, discourse analyses and intensive field research, with an emphasis on participatory methods and a problem-oriented combination of qualitative and quantitative research designs. Critical: BICC-research discloses its normative basic assumptions and critically reflects these. BICC-research follows the DfG-guidelines âGute Wissenschaftliche Praxisâ. The research themes include the following:
â¢ Discourses about war, Civilâmilitary boundaries: Means refer to instruments and material infrastructure of organized violence, such as defense industries and weapons systems (from small arms to aircraft carriers), but also military bases.
â¢ Arms production and political economy, Arms transfers and arms control, Base conversion and arms destruction: Practices describe the fields of organized violence where concepts and means combined turn into visible behavior. This can include the formulation of normative rules and the constitution of different actor types. Practices can relate to strategies of mobilization and demobilization as much as to actual acts of violence themselves.
â¢ Mobilization and demobilization, Use of violence: In line with our focus on the complex social processes that accompany manifestations of organized violence.
BICC has identified two intersecting research themes which show multiple inter-linkages with organized violence:
â¢ Natural resources
â¢ On-going projects at BCCI are mentioned below.
â¢ On the phenomenon of so-called Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan
â¢ Forced DisplacementâResearch and Transfer: Approaches from peace & conflict studies
â¢ Collective action of non-state armed groups in the Ukrainian conflict
â¢ Between civil war and integrationâRefugees and the challenges and opportunities of societal change in North Rhine-Westphalia
â¢ Protected rather than protractedâStrengthening refugees and peace