EPLO Brown Bag Lunch Events

EPLO Brown Bag Lunch events are 1 – 1.5 hour-long, informal round-table discussions on a wide range of geographic and thematic topics with relevance for the EU and its support for peacebuilding and conflict prevention. Participation is free and (usually) open to all but registration is mandatory.

Please click here if you want to receive invitations to EPLO Brown Bag Lunch events.

Next event

Title Rethinking the role of non-state actors in war-to-peace transitions: The case of post-conflict Liberia
Date Tuesday 28 January 2020
Time 12:00 – 13:00
Venue EPLO Office, Avenue de Tervueren 12, 1040 Brussels (Map)


In her latest book entitled ‘Extralegal groups in post-conflict Liberia: How trade makes the state’, Dr Christine Cheng studies the aftermath of the Liberian civil war and shows how extralegal groups emerged as a product of livelihood strategies and of the political economy of war. She analyses the trajectory of extralegal groups in three sectors of the Liberian economy (rubber, diamonds and timber), and argues that they should be viewed as accidental statebuilders driven to provide basic governance goods in order to create a stable commercial environment. Her research sheds new light on how to understand violent nonstate actors and their impact on governance where the state is weak, pointing to the importance of viewing these actors as part of an evolutionary process of state-making rather than simply as national security threats. Based on these findings, Dr Cheng will put forward key policy lessons for the European Union (EU) in its engagements in contexts transitioning from war to peace.

Dr Cheng is Senior Lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London, where she teaches on the MA in Conflict, Security, and Development. Previously, she was the Boskey Fellow in Politics at Exeter College, Oxford, and the Cadieux-Léger Fellow at Global Affairs Canada. She has worked for the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank. Dr Cheng holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford (Nuffield) and an MPA from Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School).

Participants are welcome to bring their own lunch and EPLO will provide tea and coffee.

Registration Please note that seats are limited and registration is mandatory. Please contact Lorenzo Conti if you would like to participate.

Previous Events


12/12/2019: Peace and conflict dynamics in the South Hebron Hills (Odeh Nasser Najadah, head of the Palestinian Ka’abneh Furijat municipality, and Alon Cohen-Lifshitz, Bimkom)

05/12/2019: Afghanistan 2019: Talk with Muqaddesa Yourish, former Deputy Trade Minister


28/11/2019: Exploring the potential of digitally-enabled peacebuilding: ‘Virtual Exchange’ as a pioneering tool for peace education (Stephanie Siklossy, Search for Common Ground)

26/11/2019: Supporting everyday justice providers to achieve SDG16.3 (Ed Laws, Overseas Development Institute)

20/11/2019: Media as a peacebuilding tool: the example of Ms. President talent show (Media Focus on Africa and the finalists of the Kenyan talent show Ms President)

18/11/2019: Mainstreaming Human Rights and Gender in CSDP missions: the case of EUCAP Somalia (Gorica Balta, Human Rights and Gender Adviser at the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia))

07/11/2019: EU Support to peacebuilding and the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia (Snežana Jakovljević, Sandglass, and Vetone Veliu, Mitrovica Women Association for Human Rights)


10/10/2019: Colombian women on the frontline: the role of women human rights defenders working on peace (Claudia Mejia Duque and Katerin Jurado Diaz, Sisma Mujer, and Maria Eugenia Cruz Alcarcon, National Network of Women Human Rights Defenders)


25/09/2019: Gendered effects of the conflicts in the South Caucasus region and women’s priorities for peace (Lara Aharonian, Shahla Ismayil and Ekaterine Gamakharia, partners of Kvinna till Kvinna)


09/07/2019: A threat inflated? The countering and preventing violent extremism agenda in Kyrgyzstan  (Kloé Tricot O’Farrell, Saferworld)


25/06/2019: Community perspectives on preventing violent extremism in the Western Balkans (Beatrix Austin, Berghof Foundation, Redion Qirjazi, Institute for Democracy and Mediation, and Sefer Selimi, Democracy Lab)


16/05/2019: Evolution of US policy on conflict prevention and prospects for US-EU relations (Uzra Zeya, Alliance for Peacebuilding)


29/04/2019: Yemen in 2019: What are the current pathways to peace? (Shoqi Maktary, Search for Common Ground)

12/04/2019: Children and armed conflict: exchange of views with civil society (Virginia Gamba, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict of the UN Secretary-General)


22/03/2019: Current political and security developments in Sudan: Recommendations from civil society leaders (Saferworld)

06/03/2019: Supporting local women-led organisations’ work on peace, security and P/CVE: Lessons learnt from the implementation of the Innovative Peace Fund in Libya (Sharazad Magrabi, Libyan Women Forum, & Melinda Holmes, ICAN)


21/02/2019: Strengthening Europe’s conflict prevention, resolution and mediation (Michael Keating, European Institute of Peace)

15/02/2019: Data-Driven Protection in Peacekeeping Operations: Insights from the DRC and South Sudan (Lauren Spink, Center for Civilians in Conflict)


10/01/2019: Perceptions of human security in southeast Myanmar (Theo Hollander, Saferworld)

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