About SHUR

SHUR is an international research project that investigates the role of civil society actors in ethno-political conflicts. Focusing on human rights violation, it aims at formulating guidelines for straightening the complementary action of civil society and European Union actors. SHUR is a Specific Targeted Research Project-STREP (July 2006-June 2009) funded by the Sixth Framework Programme-FP6 of the European Commission. Read More

Recent articles


Working papers

  • 04/09 – Redefining EU Engagement with Conflict Society by Raffaele Marchetti and Nathalie Tocci (shurwp04-09)
  • 03/09 – Human Rights in Conflicts: Securitizing or Desecuritizing? by Emily Pia and Thomas Diez (shurwp03-09)
  • 02/09 – The Impact of Civil Society’s Human Rights Articulation on Securitization in Ethono-political Conflicts. A Qualitative Comparative Analysis by Thorsten Bonacker, Christian Braun, and Jana Groth (shurwp02-09)
  • 01/09 – Media as Civil Society Actors in Israel and their Influence on the Israel-Palestine Conflict by Rabea Hass (shurwp01-09)
  • 05/08 – The Role of Civil Society in Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The Case of the Associations of Victims and Relatives of Missing Persons in Bosnia & Herzegovina by Valentina Gentile (shurwp05-08)
  • 04/08 – CASE STUDY REPORT Human Rights, Civil Society and Conflict in Israel/Palestine by Kenneth Brown, Laure Fourest, and Are Hovdenak (shurwp04-08) (hebrew trans. shurwp06-09bis)(arabic trans. shurwp07-09bis)
  • 03/08 – CASE STUDY REPORT Human Rights, Civil Society and Conflict in Cyprus: Exploring the Relationship by Olga Demetriou and Ayla Gurel (shurwp03-08) (turkish trans. shurwp09-09bis) (greek trans. shurwp10-09bis)
  • 02/08 – CASE STUDY REPORT Conflict Society and the Transformation of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Question by Giulio Marcon, Sergio Andreis, Thorsten Bonacker, Christian Braun, Francesca Nicora, Valentina Pellizzer, and Inger Skjelsbaer (shurwp02-08) (bosnian trans. shurwp05-09bis)
  • 01/08 – CASE STUDY REPORT Conflict Society and the Transformation of the Turkey’s Kurdish Question by Nathalie Tocci & Alper Kaliber (shurwp01-08) (turkish trans. shurwp08-09bis)
  • 06/07 – Comprehensive Understanding of Civil Society: The Condition of Equilibrium by Valentina Gentile (shurwp06-07)
  • 05/07 – The Concept of Securitisation as a Tool for Analysing the Role of Human Rights-Related Civil Society in Ethno-Political Conflicts by Thorsten Gromes & Thorsten Bonacker (shurwp05-07)
  • 04/07 – Conflict society and Human Rights:A Gender Analysis by Diana Copper (shurwp04-07)
  • 03/07 – Conflict Society and Human Rights by Raffaele Marchetti & Nathalie Tocci (shurwp03-07)
  • 02/07 – Conflict and Human Rights: A Gender Analysis by Diana Copper (shurwp02-07)
  • 01/07 – Conflict and Human Rights: A Theorethical Framework by Emily Pia & Thomas Diez (shurwp01-07)

Policy Blueprint

  • 01/09 – The Role of Civil Society in Ethno-Political Conflicts, the Politicization of Human Rights, and the EU Engagement by Raffaele Marchetti and Nathalie Tocci (shur pblueprint 01-09)

Policy briefs

  • 01/09 – Human Rights and Civil Society in Gaza: A New Role for the EU by Are Hovdenak, Raffaele Marchetti, and Nathalie Tocci (shur-pb01-09)


  • 01/09 – Sarajevo 12 years later, by Veronica Raccah and Multiverse (link to the video)


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict emerged and has continued to be characterised by the conflicting rights or perceived rights of the two parties (Finkelstein 1995; Said 2000; Shlaim 2001). This has led to violent resistance, which also included grave human rights abuses. The conflict emerged as an identity-based conflict, as the Zionist pursuit of a Jewish state in mandatory Palestine was resisted by the predominantly Arab and Muslim worlds, including the local Palestinian population. At its outset, the attempt to assert the Jewish right to self-determination implied the violation of Palestinian individual human rights, through the mass displacement of populations primarily in 1948 and through the disrespect of international humanitarian law since 1967. Continue reading


The Bosnia Herzegovina conflict (1992-1995) highlights the connection between several human rights issues and the outbreak of conflict (Andjelic 2000; Marcon 2000). The transition from a federal and multiethnic state (former Republic of Yugoslavia) to several new national states affected also the political and social dynamics of the Bosnia Herzegovina conflict and the protection of human rights in the area. Continue reading


Turkey’s Kurdish question, while not having entered a negotiation stage, falls within the post-violence, de-escalation phase of conflict (Cizre 2001; Dorin 2005; Ergil 2000; Ferhad & GÏŒlistan 2000; Gunter 2000; Kirisci & Winrow 1997). It raises different yet comparable questions with regards to both human rights and civil society. Continue reading

The Cyprus Conflict

The Cyprus case study finds its place in the negotiation stage of the conflict (Diez 2002; Richmond 1998; Tocci 2004). It highlights vividly how the violation of individual human rights occurred prior to the emergence and consolidation of the conflict. Continue reading