PeaceRep's Ukraine programme

"This war is much more like a classic ‘old’ war. It’s a deep-rooted contest between two sides, and it’s showing us the difficulty of using military force for what the strategist Thomas Schelling described as ‘compellance’ – making people do what you want them to do."

Professor Mary Kaldor, Director of LSE PeaceRep

"Ukrainian victory is defined by the experience of pressure inside the Kremlin which forces a recognition of Ukrainian agency. That won’t necessarily lead to a peace agreement, though, and could even involve Putin declaring victory in some form or another."

Professor Timothy Snyder, Yale University and Institute of Human Sciences ( Vienna)

 PeaceRep’s Ukraine programme brings together six global institutions, including the Kyiv School of Economics, and a network of researchers in Ukraine and the wider region to develop cutting-edge research, grounded in evidence collection on the ground that seeks to contribute directly to the protection of Ukrainian sovereignty and democracy.

The war in Ukraine is an ‘axial event’ in twenty-first century history, in which the agency of Ukrainians will have, one way or another, a tremendous impact on the future of global security. Whatever the outcome of the war will be, this conflict has already raised deeply troubling questions for the security of the international order. The central objectives of our project are to develop approaches that assist in preventing the fragmentation and disintegration of Ukraine and bring about a politically just and sustainable peace.

 The project was launched on 1st October 2022.

PeaceRep (the Peace and Conflict Resolution Evidence Platform) is an international research project rethinking peace and transition processes in light of changing conflict dynamics led by the University of Edinburgh Law School.


The Programme

The outcome to the Russian war against Ukraine will be resolved by the contingencies of history. While a Ukrainian defeat is one of these possibilities and outcomes, the inherent openness of history also provides the point at which agency enters in. How Ukrainians and their allies respond will shape the contours of the changes that lie ahead.

Our project seeks to open up these potentials by supporting Ukrainians to seize the opportunities presented by this ‘axial event’ in world history to challenge authoritarianism, oligarchy and kleptocracy. Ukraine’s fate will shape the terms of the contest between democracy and authoritarianism globally, and whether societies based on human rights and the rule of law can rise to the acute challenges of the twenty-first century.

Through our transnational network of research, scholarship, policy and impact we support democratic actors in facing up to this historic task.


PeaceRep’s Ukraine team is currently working on 11 projects across 3 thematic areas:

Thematic area (1): The state of the war - evidence from the ground

  • Project (i): Mapping Ukraine’s democratic space through local geographies: security and governance, economic wellbeing, social infrastructure and civicness.
  • Project (ii): Economic aspects of the conflict and the needs of the Ukrainian war-economy.
  • Project (iii): Environmental degradation monitoring in the Ukraine-Russia War.
  • Project (iv): The gender cleavage and the war in Ukraine: women, civicness and conflict. 

Thematic area (2): Ukrainian migrants, intellectual sovereignty, civicness and social infrastructure

  • Project (v): Ukrainian civicness abroad: the refugee population and their relationship to the war in Ukraine.
  • Project (vi): Study group on ‘intellectual sovereignty’ and its potential for policy responses to war and violence, including comparative analysis vis-à-vis other sites of conflict. 
  • Project (vii): Ukraine’s post-2014 democratic pathways and reform efforts (incl. Security Sector Governance).     

Thematic area (3): Regional and global implications of the Russian war on Ukraine

  • Project (viii): Pursuing a just end to the conflict: agency, legitimacy and accountability.
  • Project (ix): The “Frontline states”: perspectives on the war from Nato’s Eastern flank.
  • Project (x): A new age of disorder? Global and regional security, defence policy and international governance after the Russian war on Ukraine
  • Project (xi): Russia-Ukraine Dialogues event series



Key Consepts

Civicness: The term ‘civicness’ has been developed by the LSE Conflict and Civicness Research Group based on an analysis of the ‘logics of public authority’ in sites of intractable conflict. By public authority we mean a legitimacy structure beyond the immediate family that commands voluntary compliance (e.g., municipalities). Civicness has been identified as a logic based on an implicit social contract in which revenue and votes may be exchanged for rights and the provision of public services (rather than, for example, on the basis of distributional rents linked to ethnic identity). It is a form of collective action that takes place at the mediation point between society and institutions and establishes some form of stability in societal relations. Civicness as an empirical phenomenon is ubiquitous in conflict zones, which exists alongside (and may be intermingled with) the dominant (violent) logics.  

The Ukrainian resistance to Russia’s full-scale invasion has been deeply rooted in the logic of civicness, as the democratic legitimacy of Ukraine’s institutions means that the state enjoys high levels of voluntary compliance in the population. Our argument is that it is crucial for the international community to provide support that assists Ukraine in maintaining its social infrastructure and, since 2014, emerging democratic public authority, in order to avoid a situation in which the state fragments and starts to break down. This goal implies also that maintaining, as far as possible, key social infrastructures – like healthcare, education, and so on – during wartime should not be seen as separate or secondary to the war-effort, but a key component of it which is vital to sustaining the underlying democratic fabric of Ukraine.

Intellectual sovereignty: PeaceRep’s Ukraine team also seek to develop the concept of ‘intellectual sovereignty’. At the outbreak of the war, Ukraine’s educational and research institutions appealed for international supporters and academic partners to help the country protect what they called its ‘intellectual sovereignty’. Building on this call, we use intellectual sovereignty to refer to how the provision of public goods on a non-territorial or semi-territorial basis can be mobilised to support the territorial integrity of Ukraine as a democratic space under attack by Russia. For example, creating the means for Ukrainian refugees to interact and engage with citizens and institutions at home can both support the national war effort and address the fear that refugees, especially children, will lose access to their Ukrainian culture and identity. Central to the notion of intellectual sovereignty is the assumption that people living through conflict know more about that conflict that anyone else – and that these resources needed to be dawn on to build effective, robust analyses. Intellectual sovereignty is essential to enable on the ground analyses of what is happening and to preserve localised expertise. It is about giving priority to Ukrainian research and information as the basis for the formulation of policy outcomes.



Reports and policy briefs

Detzner, S., Beliakova, P., and Šekerinska, R., (2022). Security sector governance (SSG) in Ukraine: International lessons, general principles and Ukraine’s post-2014 progress. Conflict and Civicness Research Group, London School of Economics.

Cooper, L. (2022). Market economics in an all-out-war? Assessing economic and political risks to the Ukrainian war effort. Conflict and Civicness Research Group, The London School of Economics.

Brik, T., Shapoval, N., Cooper, L., and Kaldor, M. (2022). Meeting the immediate needs of the Ukrainian economy, the role of international actors and the importance of understanding the conflict as a conventional war. London: LSE IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Snyder, T., Kazdobina, J., and Scherba, O. (2022). Is a Peace Deal Possible With Putin? On the problems of peacemaking in the Russian war on Ukraine. London: Conflict and Civicness Research Group, LSE IDEAS, The London School of Economics and Political Science.


Cooper, L., and Kaldor, M. (2022). Is a Peace Deal Possible With Putin?PeaceRep.Org, Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Law School. 

Cooper, J., and Kaldor, M. (2022). In Europe’s gift: How to avoid a Ukraine ‘forever war’. European Council on Foreign Relations


The Ukraine Invasion in an Age of ‘New Wars’ with Mary Kaldor
4th March 2022
An interview with Mary Kaldor for the New Lines magazine podcast.

 The war in Ukraine with Luke Cooper
10th March 2022
A brief interview with Luke Cooper on the Compass podcast. 

 NATO, Human Security, the Changing Face of Global War and the Effectiveness of Sanctions and Debt Cancellation with Mary Kaldor
17th August 2022
An interview with Mary Kaldor for the Democracy in Question podcast.

 Avoiding a Forever War in Ukraine with Luke Cooper  
24th October 2022
An interview with Luke Cooper for the Visegrad Insight podcast.



Events organised in collaboration with the LSE Events team

NATO’s Strategic Concept

Monday 31st October 2022, 6.30pm – 8pm (hybrid event)  

What’s NATO’s strategy for the next decade? After NATO published its new Strategic Concept in June 2022, in the midst of Russia’s war on Ukraine, and 12 years on from its last Strategic Concept, this event takes a look at how the strategy was formed and what it is for. With Dr Benedetta Berti (NATO), professor Christopher Coker (LSE), Andy Salmon (former Commandant General Royal Marines), and professor Mary Kaldor (LSE).

The Death of a Soldier Told by His Sister

Tuesday 28th February 2023, 6.30pm – 8pm (hybrid event)

What does it mean to be on the frontline of the Ukrainian resistance? Before February 2022 Ukraine was already at war with Russia – a conflict that had already cost thousands of Ukrainian lives by the time of the second Russian invasion. One of them was Olesya Khromeychuk's brother Volodymyr. In this public lecture, Olesya will discuss her book (Octopus, 2022) in light of the events of this year. Her lecture will be followed by a Q&A with Luke Cooper (LSE), Mary Kaldor (KSE) and Tim Judah (The Economist).

Russia – Ukraine Dialogues

From the 1st of November 2022, the LSE IDEAS Russia-Ukraine Dialogues is part-funded by PeaceRep’s Ukraine programme. For a full list of past and upcoming events click here.

 Our team also provided informal support to these two previous events:

Russia-Ukraine Dialogues: Russian and Belarusian anti-war movements
Tuesday 21st June

Andrei Soldatov, Ella Rossman and Lolja Nordic dicsuss ongoing anti-war efforts of activists and their impacts on domestic politics in Russia and Belarus. 

Click here to access the recordings of the webinar.

Russia-Ukraine Dialogues: economic scars of the war
Tuesday 26th July

Tymofyi Mylovanov, Nataliia Shapoval, Mary Kaldor and Luke Cooper discuss the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, and future reconstruction and development.

Click here to access the recordings of the webinar

Our Team

London School of Economics and Political Science  

Dr Luke Cooper is Senior Research Fellow and Director of PeaceRep’s Ukraine programme.

Prof Mary Kaldoris Professor Emeritus of Global Governance and Director of LSE PeaceRep.

Seema Syeda is a Research Assistant with PeaceRep’s Ukraine programme.

Leon Hartwell is Senior Adviser for the Central and South-East Europe Programme atLSE IDEAS who works on the Russia-Ukraine Dialogues series.

 Julia Ryng is Projector Coordinator at LSE who works on the Russia-Ukraine Dialogues series.   

University of Edinburgh

Prof Christine Bell is Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Edinburgh Law School and Director and Principal Investigator of PeaceRep.

Dr Devanjan Bhattacharya is a Train@Ed Postdoctoral Fellow with PeaceRep.

Kyiv School of Economics 

Tymofii Brik is the Rector of KSE and Head of Sociological Research and Vice President for International Relations.

Nataliia Shapoval is the Chairman of the KSE Institute and Vice President for Policy Research.

Tymofiy Mylovanov is a President of Kyiv School of Economics and Associate Professor of the University of Pittsburgh.

Institute of Human Sciences (IWM, Vienna)

Katherine Youngeris an IWM Permanent Fellow and Research Director of our Ukraine in European Dialogue program.

Prof Timothy Snyderthe Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

Jagiellonian University

Karolina Czerska-ShawisAssistant Professor and Programme Coordinator for the MA in Euroculture at the Jagiellonian University.

Wojciech Michnik is Assistant Professor of International Relations and Security Studies at Jagiellonian University and contributing editor for New Eastern Europe.

Agata Mazurkiewiczis Assistant Professor at Jagiellonian University’s Department of National Security.

Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies

Dr Cindy Wittke is Head of Political Science Research Group at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS).

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Contact us


Dr Rim Turkmani, Principal Investigator +44(0)207 955 6627


Conflict Research Programme, LSE IDEAS, Floor 9, Pankhurst House, Clement's Inn, London, WC2A 2AZ

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