Who we are

The Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Conflict Transformation (Institut fuer Friedensarbeit und Gewaltfreie Konfliktaustragung, IFGK) was founded in 1991 by individuals affiliated to the Federation for Social Defense (BSV). The office of the charitable association under German law is located in Wahlenau (Germany). Management tasks are shared by several staff. All activities of the association are carried out by volunteers. The funding for IFGK comes mainly from membership fees of the association and from contributions by the circle of promoters,  as well as donations and contributions supporting individual research projects. IFGK’s  annual budget amounts to approximately 20,000 Euro.

1. Goals

IFGK was founded by researchers who reside in different places in Germany. For some of them, peace research is also the way they earn their living, for others it is something they do in addition to their job, or as pensioners. They all have in common that they wish to be catalysts for learning, understanding and acting nonviolence. They perceive themselves as a part of the global movement for social justice, peace, and the preservation of resources for human life.

2. Major activities and focus areas

The focus areas of IFGK’s work consist of (action) research, advisory work and events.

Action research explores conditions, processes and effects of nonviolent action. One of IFGK’s major activities is to provide platforms to discuss results of such pieces of research with activists. In addition, evaluations and other studies are conducted on a consultancy basis. Working papers, books and articles are published and lecturing and training on the topic of „nonviolent conflict transformation“ is provided.

3. Study Days

IFGK conducts study days two or three times per year on a national level. They provide a forum to present research projects in the field of nonviolence and to discuss them in a circle of supportive and competent peers. The presentations can be on first ideas for a research project, as well as publication projects or completed post-doctoral studies. The institute emphasizes combining the theory and practice of peace work. Instead of payment for those who present their work?, constructive feedback, mutual sharing and learning from others is offered. IFGK Study Days are open to all who are interested.

4. International Networking, Cooperation and Representation

The Institute is a Working Group of the Federation for Social Defence (Bund für Soziale Verteidigung e.V., Minden),  Member of the Platform Civil Conflict Transformation (Plattform Zivile Konfliktbearbeitung) and of the Professional Association of Peace Researchers in Germany (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung). Dr. Christine Schweitzer represents the Institute and the Platform in the Consultative Council for the Action Plan „Civilian Crisis Prevention“ (Aktionsplan "Zivile Krisenprävention") of the German Government. The Institute is also a Section of the War Resisters' International (WRI, London). Currently, Dr. Christine Schweitzer represents the Institute at WRI’s international conferences and assemblies. Further platforms in which IFGK members participate include the Network for Peace Education in Rhineland-Palatinate and the working group on "Satyagraha"/ transforming power (Gütekraft).

5. Members of the IFGK are

  • Martin Arnold, Dr., Pastor (luth.)

  • Anne Dietrich, Peace and Conflict Advisor

  • Reinhard Eismann, Dipl.-Politologe

  • Albert Fuchs, Prof. Dr. phil., Dipl.-Psychologist

  • Gudrun Knittel, Dipl.-Social Sciences, Trainer for conflict transformation and Thérapie Sociale

  • Mirjam Mahler, Master of Peace- and Security-Studies, Diplom-Volkswirtin, Journalist and Mediator

  • Barbara Müller, Dr. phil., Historian

  • Achim Schmitz, Dr. phil., Social Science / Social Paedagogics

  • Christine Schweitzer, Dr., Social Anthropologist / Peace Studies

  • Roland Vogt, Peace Worker, Conversion expert, Dipl. Pol., legal studies


Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Conflict Transformation
Hauptstraße 35
55491 Wahlenau
Tel. ++49-6543-980 096