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Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict

The Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV) at Ruhr University Bochum (Germany) is one of the leading research institutes on humanitarian law and humanitarian studies in Europe.

It was founded in 1988 on the initiative of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Knut Ipsen, then rector of Ruhr University Bochum, as a means to conduct research on international conflicts and provide solutions to resolve them. The IFHV’s research is highly interdisciplinary with a focus on international humanitarian studies from a legal and social-scientific perspective.

The Institute also provides high-level academic and professional training for the next generation of personnel in the area of humanitarian action. The IFHV’s interdisciplinary angle is put into practice through its Joint Master’s Programme in International Humanitarian Action, part of the European University Network on Humanitarian Assistance (NOHA).

Since 2014, the Institute is headed by Prof. Dr. Pierre Thielbörger, M.PP. (Harvard). Its staff consists of about 25 employees (including student research assistants) and about 10 PhD students.

Current professors involved in the Institute’s work are:

The Institute’s research programme is based on four pillars:

Some significant current and former research areas include

The European University Network on Humanitarian Assistance (NOHA) is an international association of universities that aims at enhancing professionalism in the humanitarian sector, by promoting humanitarian values through higher education. Its flagship Joint Master’s Programme in International Humanitarian Action was created in 1993. Its European partner universities are:

The NOHA Master has been awarded the status of an Erasmus Mundus Programme, providing EU-funded scholarships for outstanding third-country nationals. It further enables students and scholars to become part of a global framework for cooperation between the following universities:

The NOHA Master at the IFHV enjoys broad support by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the German Red Cross in particular, the European Union, the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) in Venice as well as many other affiliated non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and inter-governmental organisations (IGOs) and the wider international humanitarian community.

  • Prof. Dr. Dennis Dijkzeul (IFHV)
  • Prof. Dr. Horst Fischer (IFHV)
  • Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Heintze (IFHV)
  • Prof. Dr. Pierre Thielbörger, M.PP. (Harvard) (IFHV & Faculty of Law; Managing Director)
  • Prof. Dr. Markus Kaltenborn (Faculty of Law)
  • Prof. Dr. Adelheid Puttler, LL.M. (Chicago) (Faculty of Law)
  • Prof. Dr. Ludger Pries (Faculty of Social Science)
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Wohnlich (Faculty of Geosciences)
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Wilhelm (Faculty of Medicine)


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