The causes and effects of violence

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Dr Anke Hoeffler is an internationally recognised social scientist who has made important contributions to our understanding of violent conflict and economic development in the Global South. As the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation announced today, the political economist has been selected to receive one of its prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Professorships. Hoeffler, who currently works at the University of Oxford (UK), was nominated by the University of Konstanz's Department of Politics and Public Administration, which will host the Humboldt Professorship starting in 2019 once the appointment negotiations have been concluded successfully. With funding in the amount of up to five million euros, the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship is the most highly endowed international research award in Germany. It recognises leading international scientists who have previously worked abroad for the purpose of bringing their pioneering research to a German university over the long term.

Anke Hoeffler is one of the most widely cited humanities scholars worldwide. As an economist and political scientist, the focus of her research is on the causes and effects of interpersonal and political violence. For instance, a study on the economic consequences of violence and armed conflict that she participated in was much-noticed. It suggests that domestic violence causes the highest cost worldwide – it is 50 times higher than the financial havoc wreaked by civil wars. Domestic violence is thus the most expensive form of violence for societies, and one that has received comparatively little attention from researchers.

The so-called greed and grievance approach that Anke Hoeffler developed in collaboration with the British migration researcher Paul Collier has proven crucial to the academic and public debate: They investigated whether civil wars develop mainly out of the strain caused, for instance, by political oppression or out of religious motives and to what extent economic aspects, such as advantageous financing options, facilitate rebellion.

As Humboldt Professor, Anke Hoeffler will be expected to further strengthen the internationally recognised field of conflict and development research at the University of Konstanz, which has close ties with an important joint project on "the political dimension of social inequality" that is currently being pursued in the Department of Politics and Public Administration. Her appointment is accompanied by the University of Konstanz's intention to establish a new Centre for Conflict Research and Development Policy. In Konstanz, Hoeffler will also take the opportunity to pursue her current research on development projects in Liberia and the treatment of Syrian refugees in Jordan, which is financed by the World Bank and other funding institutions.

Anke Hoeffler currently works as an academic staff member at the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. She has been a researcher at Oxford since 1999, where she also earned her doctorate after completing her studies in Würzburg and London. In 2014, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Mannheim. She is a member of various academic bodies and organisations such as the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

Anke Hoeffler is one of nine nominated scientists who are currently working in France, Canada, Austria, the United States and the United Kingdom. Appointment negotiations with the University of Konstanz, which nominated her for the award, are scheduled to start soon. Hoeffler will be presented with the Humboldt Professorship in May 2019 if she accepts the position. The Humboldt Professorship is awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It provides universities in Germany with the means of attracting internationally leading researchers and thereby to enhance their own research profiles as internationally competitive research institutions.


  • Political economist Dr Anke Hoeffler has been selected to receive an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship worth up to five million euros
  • Anke Hoeffler was nominated by the University of Konstanz's Department of Politics and Public Administration
  • One of the most widely cited humanities scholars worldwide
  • Following successful appointment negotiations, the professorship could begin in 2019, accompanied by a new Centre for Conflict Research and Development Policy.


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Caption: Dr Anke Hoeffler

Copyright: Fisher Studios


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                                <p><strong>Media Contact</strong></p>    <p>Julia Wandt<br />[email protected]<br />