BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion) deals with a wide range of global topics in peace and conflict research centring on the challenges of organised violence. These topics range from the (de-) mobilisation of violent actors, arms exports and small arms control to the importance of organised violence in global migration flows and the use of natural resources.

Based on applied and transdisciplinary research, the Center offers technical and policy advice and contributes to public debates. At the same time, its practical experience and the interaction with experts offer opportunities for further academic research, creating a unique ‘knowledge circle.’

BICC is a non-university think tank with international staff. It was founded in 1994 and is a member of the Johannes-Rau-Research Community. BICC’s Director for Research holds a chair for Peace and Conflict Research at Bonn University. The Center receives annual core funding by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Its donors come from German and international research institutions, German federal ministries and international organisations.

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Roles/tasks in the project

BICC is the Coordinator of the TRAFIG project. BICC is work package leader for WP 1: Conceptualising transnational figurations of displacement; WP 7: Identifying solutions: Connectivity and mobility for protection, WP 9: Project management and communication; WP 10: Ethics requirements.

Team members involved in the project

Dr. Benjamin Etzold

Dr. Benjamin Etzold is a social geographer and migration scholar with more than 13 years of experience in studying people’s vulnerability and livelihoods, trajectories of migration and displacement, as well as informal labour relations and patterns of food security. He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Bonn. In TRAFIG, he serves as the scientific coordinator and undertakes empirical research in Pakistan and Ethiopia.

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Maarit Thiem

Maarit Thiem attained her Masters in Social Anthropology from the University of Cologne. Her Master’s Thesis analysed the situation of internally displaced people living in Guatemala City. Before joining BICC, Maarit Thiem managed the Global Nexus Secretariat at GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), which is the global hub for an EU/BMZ co-funded programme on the Water-Energy-Food Security (WEF) Nexus. Before her assignment at the Nexus Regional Dialogues Programme, she worked in Namibia for the GIZ Land Reform Programme as an integrated expert for the Legal Assistance Centre LAC and for the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change at the United Nations University. Maarit Thiem is the Project Coordinator for the TRAFIG project.

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Miriam Auel

As the Grant Manager at BICC Miriam Auel is responsible for the administrative and financial management of TRAFIG. She holds a BA (Hons) in International Business Management and moreover participated in a project coordinator training with focus on development assistance and humanitarian aid.

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Rolf Alberth

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Dr. Simone Christ

Dr. Simone Christ is a cultural anthropologist with a focus on forced migration and labour migration. She holds a PhD (2015) in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Bonn. For her PhD, she studied the culture of migration in the Philippines which evolved as a consequence of more than forty years of state-sponsored labour migration. In the TRAFIG project, she is inter alia responsible for empirical research in Germany. Apart from the TRAFIG project, she works in the project “Between civil war and integration—Refugees and the challenges and opportunities of societal change in North Rhine-Westphalia” on conflicts in refugee shelters and on long-term integration processes of refugees.

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Gizem Güzelant

Gizem Güzelant is currently a BA student of English, Social Sciences and Educational Sciences at the University of Bonn. During her studies, she spent a semester abroad at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. Gizem supports the TRAFIG project as a student assistant.

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Susanne Heinke

Susanne Heinke studied Slavic Studies at the University of Cologne and worked as a journalist in different newspapers and special interest journals as well as on TV and radio. She brought this experience to BICC in 2003 when she became the first ever Press Spokesperson and has since built up a public relations unit. Since 2012, Susanne is Head of Public Relations at BICC. In her work, Susanne actively contributes to all conceptual and practical aspects of BICC’s outreach activities as well as the enhancements of the institute’s corporate design.

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Dr. Katja Mielke

Dr. Katja Mielke works as Senior Researcher at BICC with a focus on the nexus of violent conflict, mobility and migration. A political scientist by training, she has mainly worked on state-society interrelations, mobilisation and the nexus between social and spatial (im)mobility in Central- and South Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Within BICC, she is currently involved in three projects on forced migration: “Protected rather than Protracted: Strengthening Refugees in Peace” (BMZ), “Forced Migration: Research and Transfer” (BMBF), and “Between Civil War and Integration—Refugees and the Challenges and Opportunities of Societal Change in North Rhine-Westphalia” (Land NRW).

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Dr. Markus Rudolf

Dr Markus Rudolf is a social anthropologist with interest and experience in conflict management pertaining to humanitarian aid, crisis management and post-crisis assistance. He is currently leading the research project “Trajectories of reintegration: The impacts of forced displacement, migration and return on social change“ in the framework of the BMZ Special Initiative “Fighting the causes of refugee movements, reintegrating refugees” at BICC. The project focuses on (re)integration programmes for displaced persons and the role of returnees/displaced persons in peace processes. He previously worked as a conflict researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (MPI) and as a consultant for humanitarian issues with various international organisations.

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Heike Webb

Heike Webb is translator and copyeditor at BICC, responsible for all English language publications. She studied at the University of Mainz /Germersheim as well as the University of Sussex, Brighton. She holds a diploma in translation (English and Portuguese) from the University of Mainz. Heike will be copyediting all publications and English texts produced in the TRAFIG project.

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Lars Wirkus

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