Senior LecturerSchool of Global
About Florian Kühn
I am a Senior Researcher in Peace and Conflict Research. I have studied violence and its political organisation, within the state or outside state structures, for over two decades. My regional focus is on Afghanistan and the whole West and Central Asian region as well as the Middle East (on the challenge of geographically delineating a 'research region', see my writings). With a broad focus of the interaction of 'local' social orders and international interventions, creating mixed and ambiguous spaces of political exchange, I have contributed to the debate about liberal peace, international relations and the problems and inherent contradictions of peacebuilding and statebuilding missions.
With a focus on the political economy of conflicts, a long-standing interest in rentier states' politics comes with that, I have looked at illicit activities of state and non-state groups advancing their political position. In particular, violent groups outside of official positions of power, have been at the centre of my research. Whether Taliban or so-called 'Warlords', for many in the global context violence is a means to to politics, or business.
This empirical interest for me is tightly connected to trying to understand how violence, the state, domination, economy, and other such concepts are understood. In my epistemological work, I have adopted and adapted philosophers' and theorists' ideas to re-construct how we know what we know, whether it was Blumenberg's or Cassirer's, Douglas' or Strange's, Elias', Stein Rokkan's, Herz' or, more recently Bachellard's and Bauer's approaches, I have combined empirical insights with conceptual work to theoretically make sense of what I am observing in the real world.
As Co-Editor of the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, I have since 2013 tried to support junior scholars in publishing their research, and also to reflect and represent the changing reality of international interventionism.