Transforming Conflict-Economies: Natural Resource Sector Reform and Human Security

Project funded by Gerda Henkel Foundation


Dr. Nina Engwicht, full-time research fellow at the Peace Academy

Jan Grabek M.A.,     PhD-Scholarship holder of the Gerda Henkel Foundation
based at the Peace Academy

Associate Fellow:

Dr. Sascha Werthes,         Full-time Senior Lecturer at the Trier University;

Project Homepage:


Failure of public administration in natural resource sectors is strongly linked to civil conflict and human insecurity. In recent years, acknowledgment of the security-dimension of natural resource management sparked a dramatic increase of reform measures on peacebuilding and development agendas. While the devastating effects of bad natural resource governance on human security are a major motivator for transformative efforts, studies evaluating the success of reform strategies predominantly focus on the administrative macro-level, neglecting their impact on the individual and collective security of populations affected by conflict and resource extraction/destructive exploitation. This research project aims to fill this gap by investigating resource sector reforms through the analytical framework of human security. To this aim, the research project will conduct an in-depth case study of a natural resource sector, regularly linked to conflict proneness and that is subject to ambitious reforms: Forest resources in Liberia. Through extensive field research and an exploratory research design, the project aims to shed light on the direct and indirect linkages between resource sector reforms and various dimensions of human security.