Research Network

The Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping/Protection Research Network – UCPRN

UCPRN is a network of people who do research on Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping/Protection (UCP) interventions or projects. The network deepens the understanding of UCP and provides support to those who advocate for its wider use.  The network exists to:

  • Further UCP research
  • Increase knowledge about UCP theory, practice and application
  • Dissemination of knowledge on UCP to organizations using UCP methods and to other external audiences
  • Support colleagues
  • Encourage collaboration within the network
  • Provide a forum for dialogue, debate and constructive critique
  • Support funding applications
  • Collaborate on research projects
  • Develop relationships / interface with practitioners
  • Be focal point for people interested in researching UCP from any discipline

The network recognizes that there is no single accepted definition of UCP, but understands the core to be unarmed civilians using nonviolent methods to directly protect other civilians from violence.  Different organizations and researchers define the ‘p’ as peacekeeping or protection. The network embraces both uses, as well as other related phrases such as protective accompaniment, as areas of study.

The network has identified two broad research agendas as follows:

1.UCPRN Practice research agenda

The UCPRN encourages research on the practice of UCP. Areas of particular interest include understanding effective or good practices; the impact (if any) of effective interventions on larger conflict trajectories; the links between specific practices and impact; and the criteria – both internal/organizational and external/environmental that contribute to being effective. The network also encourages research/theorizing which addresses appropriate methodologies for UCP research.

2. UCP policy research agenda

The UCPRN encourages research on policies related to the use of UCP and the de-militarization of peacekeeping and civilian protection.  The network is interested in the impact of UCP on existing policy, and research which engages with traditional or military peacekeeping research.  Our policy research agenda includes asking how UCP impacts on the relationship between peacekeeping and the military implementation; understanding what and why peacekeeping is effective; comparing military and UCP interventions;  and challenging the assumption of the use of force in peacekeeping.
We want to understand how Governments and Institutions relate to UCP, asking about the funding of UCP and the barriers that may exist to incorporating UCP into policies.

Research Ethics
UCPRN encourages all researchers to engage with ethical concerns. In particular UCPRN encourages researchers to consider the following: obtaining informed consent of those who participate in the research; do no harm to research participants; find ways to acknowledge and relate to power differentials between researchers and those who participate in research; include the perspectives and voices of diverse groups in the research when possible and relevant;  maintain honesty and transparency in reporting research findings, including about our own background and biases as researchers, as well as any conflict of interest; and consider the ethics of the funding source. The network also encourage research processes that provide opportunities for those who participate in research – ‘the researched’ to give feedback on initial findings. We recognize that each research project may raise specific ethical questions that will need to be addressed, and encourage discussion and reflection on these issues.

Research Methods
The network encourages the use of research methods that are compatible with the ethics statement above and are appropriate to the research question. In particular the network recognizes the validity of both qualitative and quantitative methods, including action-oriented research, that are appropriate to the research question, and encourages the inclusion of perspectives and voices of those who are served by UCP, and those who serve as staff and volunteers for UCP implementing organizations.  We recognize that conflict affected contexts are complex and encourage research methods that encompass complexity and which do not exaggerate causation.

Membership and ways of working

Both individuals and corporate bodies (for example research institutes) can become members of the UCPRN.

There is no membership fee.

The working language of the Network is English.

The Networks maintains a depository of documents (, a website/blog ( and cooperates with the Selkirk College on its database on UCP (

The mailing list is maintained on mail jump and the network is hosted by Peace Studies at Leeds Beckett University. You can contact Rachel Julian with questions and enquiries.

The network is an initiative of researchers in the field of UCP who want to build opportunities for collaboration and new research.

How to join the network
Please send an email to with a bit about yourself.
Subscribe to news on mail chimp at this website


  • United Kingdom: Rachel Julian, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Peace Studies, Leeds Beckett University.
  • USA: Ellen Furnari, Ph.D.,
  • Canada: Randy Janzen, Ph.D., Chair Mir Centre for Peace, Selkirk College.
  • Germany: Christine Schweitzer, Ph.D., Institute for Peace Work and Nonviolent Conflict Transformation,